Sure enough, it’s Thursday, and I have been unable to obtain Medusa’s head. So sometime within the next few weeks, after the Vigili come by to verify that we really live here, I shall be able to return to the Questura and hopefully get my paperwork started, even though it’s not within the eight-day window. And I just have to be O.K. with that. After all, I believe I was really supposed to get a visa before we came, although they’re not too strict about these things in Italy. (In Florence, weirdly enough, Tony didn’t even have residence, and they were going to give me a residency permit. In fact, it’s still waiting for me down there, although it’s linked to my old passport, so I think that makes it technically invalid.) In the meantime, though, we did have a happy day yesterday. Tony drove home from work in our car! It’s a Skoda station wagon, so there’s plenty of room for the car-seats (I even fit between them, although it’s like a mummy case, and anyone larger than I or even a slightly different shape wouldn’t fit), and a gigantic hatchback trunk. We can actually go places now! Without running for busses or trains!
We’re going to celebrate tomorrow by driving up to Saluzzo, where we lived when we first moved to Italy. No, Tony is not planning to take his Italian passport and wave it under Teresa’s nose at the Saluzzo Comune (although he confesses to having fantasized that scene more than once). But we’ll take a walk around the old city, have gelato at Loreana’s, maybe go play at the park across from Hotel Griselda or pop into our Egyptian friend at the shwarma shop.
Sunday we saw all our old friends at the Cuneo branch. Two people told Tony that they had experienced visions prophesying our return. Mysteriously, even though we had not told anyone we were coming, my name was on the program as the Sacrament Meeting pianist. Some ward members who had been investigators on our last Sunday in the Branch remembered Tony bearing his testimony and crying, and had been quite overcome at the time by the conviction that he looked exactly like Joseph Smith. Julio, who translated all our citizenship documents, leaves this month for a mission in Santiago Chile West.
We went to visit our dear friend Beatrice across the street, who used to sell us raw milk every morning. She loaded us up with fruits and vegetables from her garden, and then came by the next day with a crate of luscious peaches off her tree. She’s also allowing us to park our car next to her woodpile, since Carla and Giorgio have such a full house there’s no space.
We also arrived just in time for Chiusa Duvarta, the yearly town festival. We were the first to ride the little train around, and it made a lovely tour of the cobblestone streets. We noticed a few changes, but mostly how everything seemed the same.