I call her "amo" which stand for "my love" in short Italian slang. Or honey or other made up names on the fly when I want her attention for some input.
When I speak about her with my family back home-home, I call her WIF-I, my brother calls her "carrier" because it's one of the other three words that he learned in English after me living in America for decades... We are both from the same mother, I swear!
I was outside enjoying some digital sketching on the bench when WIF-I passed by and said:
You know, this table looks really good here! We now know that isolation and heat makes you even more creative than normal!
She stood there staring at it like she was contemplating life and spacing at same time and as she turns around like she is going to reveal the meaning of life, she smiles and walks away without a word.
My brain is in a WTF moment spinning at decoding that body language and mix of rewarding comments when from the porch, she says in a soft voice:
I don't know... it's like it's missing something though.
Now... if that comment had been landed by a random "I don't do shit at my home and when I see others doing actual DIY work, I feel compelled to have an opinion I would have wiped the comments like Mr Lindo in a nanosecond.
But I do care about her opinion therefore I kept thinking about what she was talking about. I walked into the house and followed up "...so what about is missing something?!"
Oh you still thinking about that? HAHA...I don't know. It's nice, don't worry it's nice.
"you still thinking about it" - b! You literally just said it!
At this point you know that WIF-I has an opinion and it has nothing to do with the actual thing, you just have to kick the rock around the block enough until the avalanche comes down full of wisdom.
And sure enough, the ultimate reason of that comment comes out after a few staring at her without saying anything meaningful.
Hypothetically...what if, we have a fight or something and we don't want to stand one next to each other on the pineapple bench but we want to be close enough to work it out?
If you present me a problem with an actual rationale behind it. Not a solution in search of a problem like often happens in the corporate world. I engage the MacGyver scanner right away. A solution must be found because the rationale behind it doesn't require anymore time to be wasted!
I remember seeing around the property an old log that was the left over of a tree cut. I had used the brother/sister of the same log for the sighting table project.
I fetched it, cleaned up and start drilling holes with a Forstner drill bit that does wonders for this type of jobs.
Then I used leftover branches to make feet for the upcoming seat. Or the chair of potential discord as I should be calling it.
When was all done, I sanded it, leveled it and gave a quick stain touch. Mostly for the bugs, as I am learning, rain here isn't remotely of a concern with the exception of outblowing vegetation. In Seattle with a ton of rain grass stays the same, you just observing everything going to shit while complaining that you can't enjoy the outdoor because the weather is crap. Man, if God did design the planet you have to admit that he has a deep sense of irony about humans.
I carved with an axe the part of the peg that goes into the hole and one side of the bench I drilled a shallow hole to place in a solar powered LED light to shine at the bottom when the dusk kicks in. Stargazing is amazing here and you don't want to pollute more than you need to not slam into a rock while watching the celestials.
The height is just right for the table, the distance from the other bench is perfect for any future "discussion" or "let me tell you something about you that you don't know" type of conversations. That is a citation from a Ron White' show we enjoyed in Seattle a few years back. It was joke but if you have not been married for several years and don't get it, then the joke is on you. 😅
The job is now done and what was a random comment that made me stop from sketching something that was far more pressing work wi$e. Turned to be a great learning lesson and also a nice addition to the plaza.
Those little enhancements we make to the property require skills to be developed or exercised. Patience in the process, and mental stamina more than anything. The mind wonders at time and deepens into memories and other thoughts that normally I would have not made the time for bringing them up.
Thoughts that make me appreciate how hard I had to work to get what I have now. Not just mentally and physically but also psychologically. It is way harder to do your job when the only reason you are pushed back is because you pronounced some word with the wrong inflection or not the slang of the day. Those creations also makes me revives some of the amazing moments I had in the past that were so good that even going back in time several times to relive them, they would pass too quickly for how good they were.
As I was digging out the photos for this post, I noticed that we now have a pineapple logo in the bench and a papaya tree in front of it. AND in less than two weeks my baby frog is joining us in Moloka'i.
That brought me a flashback of when she was just two and I was showing her how to do craft with fruits, something that I enjoy dwelling on at times.
Since you may ask in future, let me fill that curiosity, in case you don't know much about me yet. Yes, I do enjoy crafting with fruits. It's a thing and you don't have to go to a fancy hotel in Cancun to experience it. You just need a few very sharp knives, lots of patience and few props like long wood sticks. Or you just need to invite me at your place 🌴😇🌴
This one was for a block party back home. The pasta on the side of the ship are the cannons not the portholes. Big difference Frank!
This one was for a getting together with Andrea, Yumiko and the Lombardi's back two centuries ago. Time really freaking flies!
And many others crafties that I have put together for when the Seattle crew was getting together at our place over the years. Pineapple, Papaya and Watermelon is always been part of a story to be told but the outdoor had to be the roundabout of everything.
Outdoor, fruits and great friends, calls for art to express the joy of doing it together. Like the art of living a bLife in full.
One of my favorite creative minds, Walt Whitman, wrote on his 64th summer about a life worth living:
“From to-day I enter upon my 64th year. The paralysis that first affected me nearly ten years ago, has since remain’d, with varying course — seems to have settled quietly down, and will probably continue. I easily tire, am very clumsy, cannot walk far; but my spirits are first-rate. I go around in public almost every day — now and then take long trips, by railroad or boat, hundreds of miles — live largely in the open air — am sunburnt and stout, (weigh 190) — keep up my activity and interest in life, people, progress, and the questions of the day. About two-thirds of the time I am quite comfortable. What mentality I ever had remains entirely unaffected; though physically I am a half-paralytic, and likely to be so, long as I live. But the principal object of my life seems to have been accomplish’d — I have the most devoted and ardent of friends, and affectionate relatives — and of enemies I really make no account.”
Even though he held his friends and family in high regard, Walt Whitman ultimately found meaning in the great outdoors. He referred to it as “the bracing and buoyant equilibrium of concrete outdoor Nature, the only permanent reliance for sanity of book or human life.”
Moloka'i, to me is the gateway to that Walt's concept so crisply chiseled for others to be inspired by.
Basically, what we can take from his thoughts about life is that after all is said and done, only the natural world will remain. Nature’s laws come before mankind’s. And enjoying the outdoor with friends in my view is an enhancement of Walt's enlightening thoughts. When you remove all of the stressors about finances, chores, bills, etc., what is left?
Observing my cousin Ciro, in the wild outdoor of the Amalfi coast, teaching to my little frog about negotiation skills. "Margot, you try to reason but in doubt. Just headbutt the shit out of it. Sorry. No shit word, but kick in the head really hard. Like this. Capito a-zio?!"
A watermelon in the backyard with a smartass that is trying to outsmart Cristiano while his father his looking for a switch to turning him off for a few minutes of adult conversations.
watch year after year the kids growing as a gang of free pastafarian spirits without the colanders on the head of the boundaries we had to deal with growing up.
When you put it all together you get a fruit salad of good things that properly orchestrated sail in the unknown of the outdoor like it was meant to be.
My sister was asking for a life advice last week, and I told her what I keep telling to myself.
Don't get stuck on the can't be done mentality because <reason here>. Find the guts to find what makes you whole. It's okay to endure for sometime because nothing in life comes free of charge but at some point you need to take risks.
She is has been considering more than seriously to join us in a couple of years. She took me by surprise as I had made the proposal to my younger brother and didn't ask her because she just bought a home. You can imagine my surprise when she said "find me something to do, I will rent the house. It's just a house"
As a random Walt W. admirer says: if you don't have a watermelon, do what we did. Make one. Growing a watermelon in Seattle is like finding gold on the moon. Tenacity leads to perfection.
I am not going to say who, somebody said so 😎 🤙🏽 😎
As always have a bLife moment, everyday. For life. 🤙🏽