The sound of driving rain, thunder and lightening woke me up around 3:30AM this morning. Someone who has lived in Sicily for several years told me a few weeks ago that Fall isn't here until we get our first big storm of the season. If he is right then Fall is here! I was so excited that I had a hard time falling asleep again. I laid in bed listening to the sound of the rain and seeing the flashes of lightening through my closed eyelids and counting until I heard the rumble of thunder.
A side note on Italian generosity: Yesterday afternoon Les and I stopped at a gas station bar on our way to run errands. We were in desperate need of coffee. We had been at each others' throats all morning and it wasn't until around 2:00PM that we discovered our crankiness was directly related to the lack of caffeine coursing through our veins. We ordered cafe macchiatos and paid and were soon sipping beautiful relief. As we drank our coffee the barista attempted to carry on conversation with us. I was shown that I still have a long way to go in learning the Italian language. I could pick out a couple of words but not enough to really understand what he was talking about. He was good natured and we smiled and laughed a bit, I think he appreciated that we tried.
As we were getting ready to leave we left a tip on the bar and said "ciao" to the barista. He said "aspeta" wait! He had prepared another coffee drink for us. It consisted of a bit of espresso covered with "crema di latte" sort of like a sweet milk slushy, topped with a bit of chocolate syrup and cinnamon. It was delicious! We drank them down and asked how much they cost and were told they were on the house. I was blown away by the simple and sincere generosity.
I have experienced this several times since I have lived in Sicily. From a plate of fresh roasted chestnuts given to us at a restaurant during a festival season, an extra bunch of arugula and a couple extra vegetables or pieces of fruit thrown into the bag at the outdoor market, to a "regala" gift of a poinsettia plant at Christmas from our favorite restaurant, Italian and Sicilian generosity never ceases to warm my heart.
Now playing: Arthur Fiedler; Boston Pops Orchestra - An American In Paris