The boys developed a relationship with the owner of that family store. Now we were selling our chickens, butter, and eggs there.
August, my mind turned to University issues. School will start with Freshman week, and then we would be on our fall schedule.
Luis told me that he would be going to Italy to meet Camilla’s family. Uncle Angelo and Aunt Katy were going with him. That solves the problems with the language. I wished him good luck.
Two weeks later, Uncle Angelo and Aunt Katy returned without Luis. Mom and Dad came over on Sunday and told me that Camilla’s family wants to have the wedding in Italy. So I guess I’ll be heading to Italy for a wedding.
I spoke to the boys and Charlie telling them I would be going to Italy for Luis’s wedding. I had confidence in them, and I knew the farm would be in good hands.
Luis came home speaking Italian. When I asked him how he did with the language, he replied in Italian, very well.
“So the immersion system worked for you.”
“Yes, when all people speak to you in Italian, you learn very fast.”
“Have you picked a date?”
“You know Italy doesn’t celebrate Thanksgiving, and considering that is a four-day holiday, we have chosen the Friday following Thanksgiving.”
“That's great. That will permit me to attend.”
“You better attend, you and Gene will be in the wedding and the only guys I’ll know.”
In September, we started to pick the grapes for wine. I had to order more bottles so I could empty the barrels of last year’s wine. For that, I had helpers. With the barrels flushed, we were ready to make wine. The boys knew what to do as they helped last year. I had several cases of wine from last year, which would hold us over until the new wine was ready for drinking.
When we had finished with the wine, it was time to think about making salami and sausage. I told Uncle Angelo what I needed, which was the same as the previous year. I still had some sausage and salami l from last year. I think I even had one that Pa and I made.
It was the middle of October when Uncle Angelo and Gene delivered the pig and calf. Now the work would begin, but I had three helpers. It wasn’t unusual for me to come home from school and find the boys and or Charlie rubbing salt on the carcasses.
Thanksgiving break snuck up on us. We were busy harvesting, canning, and freezing vegetables from Pa’s garden. The boys harvested the oats and corn from the extended acreage that they plowed in the spring. They had build storage space on the farm by adding a floor over the stalls. Now when you went into the barn, you could smell the oats and corn.
Charley was in charge of the grinding the corn for the chickens. It seemed we each had a chore that would keep us busy.
I could notice a tear now and then in the eyes of the boys. I’m sure they were thinking about when they did this at their homes. Dad helped; he enlisted the boys to help him harvest his fields. They always came back from doing that in a better mood.
Mom asked me at Sunday dinner if I was packed and ready for Italy. That brought me back to earth very quickly. “I need to talk with Luis. I don’t know if he wants us to wear anything special.”
“I think one of your suits will be okay.”
“I’ll call Luis and just check to be sure.”
Monday I called Luis and asked if there was anything I needed to buy for the wedding. He said a dark suit would be okay. Looking over my suits, I had two that would match that criteria. I checked with Mom and booked the same flight. The boys had met with Dad and knew what to do.
Wednesday before Thanksgiving, we flew to Italy. The plane looked like a family reunion with all of the relatives going to see Luis get married. Landing in Rome, Luis met us with a bus. For a moment, I was confused. I would have sworn I saw Luis on the plane with us.
When I mentioned that to Mom, she said he had flown over earlier to make arrangements.
The bus took us to a hotel near the church where they were to be married. The man at the check-in desk had a big smile on his face as we checked into the hotel. There was a note in my room outlining the events for the next four days.
Luis told me that breakfast would be held in the dining room of the hotel at 8 am. Checking my watch, I had one hour before breakfast. I thought I would take a short nap, didn’t happen. Luis and Gene came and took me out to show me the church.
“Gene , when did you fly over?” I remembered not seeing him on the plane.
“I flew over with Mom and Dad on Saturday. Let’s go and have breakfast.”
Breakfast was something else. There were introductions to be made. I was introduced to Camilla’s parents, also aunts and uncles. After breakfast, Camilla and Luis introduced me to the bridal party. Camilla’s maid of honor was her cousin and would be Gene’s counterpart. The other young lady was another cousin, and she would be my counterpart.
I kept looking around the dining room as I ate. A few of the men reminded me of Pa. As I was eating and chatting, a young woman entered the dining room. I was staring at her when Mom nudged me. “What?”
“ Are going to eat that or just pose with it?”
I had a piece of sausage on a fork halfway to my mouth. Mom started to laugh.
“Mom, that girl that just entered the room, who is she?”
“I don’t know, but evidently, she is Camilla’s friend. She is very pretty and stands out with her blond hair.”
Most Italians have black hair or a very dark brown. So this young woman having blond hair was unusual among this group.
I watched her as she chatted with Luis and Camilla. I spotted Gene talking to his counterpart in the wedding. Somehow, I caught Luis’s eye and nodded my head toward the girl. Luis smiled and said something to Camilla, she looked at me, and I waved. Then they talked to the girl and headed to my table.