Arriving home, I was amused to see a sign posted over the gate, ‘Welcome Home, Mr. and Mrs. Graignano.’ “I wonder what surprises are waiting for us.”
“Whatever they are going to do, it’s better to get it over with.”
“Tradition says I need to carry you over the threshold.” I put the bags down, picking Amalia up we entered the house.
“It’s too quiet. Something is up.”
I took our bags to our bedroom. Coming back down the stairs, I heard whispers. Putting my finger to my lips, I let Amalia know that she needed to be quiet and listen.
Whispering, “Brad, there is the car. Where are they.”
“They must have gone upstairs to his room.”
I took Amalia’s hand and went back to our room. Using the chair, I went down to my office after I showed Amalia how to use it.
Waiting for her to join me, I listened at the door. Now it sounds like Amo has joined the group. Just as I was going to sneak up behind them, the door opened, and Mom and Dad entered.
The boys thinking it was Amalia and me, tossed rice at them. Then they realized it was Mom and Dad. “We thought it was Tony and Amalia.”
“Well, it wasn’t, and now you have to clean this up. Where are they? I saw the car outside.”
“We’re right here.” When I said that, it was apparent I took the boys by surprise. Then we all laughed as Mom gave Amalia and me a hug.
“I hope you made coffee.”
We headed to the kitchen, where we told everyone about our Hawaiian trip. Mom made a snack for us, and the boys started to tell about Amo and his goat. It turned out there were two goats that Dad and Charlie had bought.
By the next day, normality reigned. I went with the boys, checking out the horses, cow, rabbits, turkeys, and chickens, as well as Pa and Nona’s gardens. I didn’t need to check out the oats and cornfields. I did pick a bouquet from Nona’s flower garden for the dining room table and our bedroom.
Amo had to show me his goats. I think he treats them like pets. I also noted a small fenced-in area for them next to the paddock for the horses. Amo said that was for the goats.
“Tony, we can expand that area for the sheep.”
“Sheep! Who is going to take care of the Sheep? Besides feeding them and milking them, they have to be sheared in the fall.”
“I can do that.”
“Amo, you’ll be busy with school. You won’t have time to do that.”
“If I don’t have time, then we can sell them.”
“How about we wait until you start school and see how much time you have.” He thought that was a good idea. I knew if he had a problem, the boys and Charlie would pitch in. But that wouldn’t be fair for the boys. This will be their senior year, and they will need to spend their time studying.
Time seemed to fly. The boys and Amo were busy with the farm. They did take one camping trip and took Amo with them. Between Charlie and Dad, we managed for five days. And Tom was quick to point out I missed a few eggs.
We continued to supply the small food market. We took Amo on as staff, so now he gets a share of the profits as well. He was becoming comfortable with the boys and working on the farm.
Amo continued his English lesson, and I felt he would be ready for my University this fall. He needed to select a major, although his course work as a freshman was fairly straightforward except for seminars. I’m sure the boys will talk to him.
Amalia spent time in the library as well as taking care of the household duties. When she wasn’t cooking or cleaning, I would find her in the Library reading the journals. Sundays were spent at home with Mom and Dad or at their place. It seemed to be one time at our place and the next time at Mom and Dad’s. Every time Mom saw Amalia, she would surreptitiously check her stomach. I knew what she was hoping to see, but no bump. We decided we would wait a few years before we thought about children.
As we approached the start of school, we also started to prepare to harvest crops, make wine, sausage, and salami. This year I had two more hands to help. As the fruit on the fruit trees began to ripen, we started to can apples, pears, and plums. Amalia bought books on canning, and with Charlie and the boys’ help, she began canning the fruit. Mom would stop by randomly and help. She would take several jars home with her, and we were okay with that. I had to enlarge the shelves in the basement to hold all of the canned goods. Some of the vegetables we froze. I did buy another freezer, only this time it was a vertical unit.
The boys took some of the canned fruit to their apartment and, on occasion, a salami. I bought a small refrigerator for Charlie’s room. I told him to help himself with any of the food. He took a salami and some fruit as well. For the most part, everyone ate together in the dining room.
When you are busy and having fun, time seems to fly. I woke up and realized I needed to start preparing for freshman week. My preparation was routine now, and I utilized a lot of the material I had used previously. This was a godsend because I only had a little less than two weeks to prepare.
School started the last week in August. For me, life at the University returned to normal. Life at home wasn’t normal. The boys and Charlie had a routine they followed. Amo had to adjust to a farm schedule, milking the goats and helping the boys before breakfast. In the evening, there were farm chores to do, and he was expected to help.
Amalia had a house to care for and meals to prepare. Everyone helped as much as they could, but the burden of running the house fell on the shoulders of Amalia.
I was surprised at how fast routines were established and responsibilities accepted. I had a smooth-running household and farm.
I'll be moving over he next few days, so I'll not be able to update. Once Im settled in my new home., I'll be posting again.