December 2, 2018. Advent

The Wreath Project    This time every year a group of women in the village of Paciano get together and make wreaths.  They decorate each doorway with a beautiful wreath in the historic center of this tiny town.  Wreaths are made by hand from grape vines, cut by us locals.  Each wreath involves twisting and turning the grape vines into a circular form, tied together with wire.  Each is decorated with local greens and with recycled or “found” donated ribbons and ornaments.  I love getting together to do this project — there is a mix of local Pacianese women (Italian) along with “strsnieiri” (foreigners) such as English, American, German and Dutch, accompanied by a few tail wagging friends as everyone works together, chattering in community.  “Woe,” this year I missed the work sessions, but I’ve been around Paciano this morning photographing a few of the more fetching wreaths.  I’ll do “penance” on Monday and help finish up the last of the wreath-making job. See photos next page/day.

A Hamlet Divided. Our tiny hamlet, called “Mazzarelli,” is a subset of the bigger village mentioned above, “Paciano,” our administrative center.  I’ve just been learning that our little hamlet, here known as a “localita,” has divided loyalties.  Visualize Mazzarelli in the shape of an oval — there are about 25 homes/properties lined up along a narrow road that cuts east/west through the oval.  Those people living on the north side of the road mentally align themselves with Castiglione del Lago, the big city and market town near here.  Those living on the south side are pro Paciano.  I guess if there was a soccer game or a bike race, we’d be on the Castiglione side.  Go figure, it’s essential to note that we are ALL administered by the Pacianese mayor and police department (2 officers, one male one female) Powers that be breathe a sigh of relief when they count 1,000 residents in Paciano so that we/they can remain an official town.  If not, we’d have to merge with Panicale, and that would mean breaking down centuries old rivalries.  Why they’re glad to have us AND ED SHEERAN!!!!

Quirks and more quirks. In a few days I’ll publish my story here about Peony the turkey and Beffi, the good witch, written in Italian and illustrated by yours truly.

Watch for Advent wreath photos next and Happy Advent to you!!!

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