when you have a friend visit from Italy

When you have a friend visit from Italy, a friend with whom you have shared tears and laughter and sorrow and joy, you may think you need to scour the house, do all the laundry and polish the woodwork. But life will get in the way, as it is wont to do, and you will be content to vacuum and dust and spruce a bit here and there.
You might expect that your children will stay home all morning, waiting for it to be noon, so they don't miss meeting your special friend - but then you will realize that they have their own lives and have made plans and may come up from the basement to greet her, but might be out when she arrives.
And, you might assume that your friend will want to tour the neighborhood or go shopping or be taken to lunch and be somewhat relieved to learn that she is just as happy to have a jaunt at Anthropologie, have coffee at home (left too long on the stove!) and share dozens of photos of the places you could not visit.

We had Friday with Paola. We drank her in and soaked up all of the Positano we could get from her....

She brought linen things for each of us, a gorgeous woolen wrap for me (I've hardly taken it off), and many delicious treats (which I promise to write about later).
We sat and talked and looked and listened to so much that I felt full by the time she left that night.

chatting with F

She brought her laptop and we had a wonderful chat with Fabio and Brizio - from the mountain top in Italy to my dining room table.

It was an extraordinary thing to sit with her at our table -

P's scarf

(Paola, you see, is all about beautiful colors and bright happy laughing.)


The very first thing she did was return my bracelet of saints. I had slipped it on her wrist in the airport in Naples last September as my promise to return.
We did not say goodbye on Friday either.
We may be lucky enough to see each other before she returns.
But now it is my turn to go to her house.


Anonymous said…
Lovely, both the visit and the telling of it. I am so happy for you.

Visits with friends like that can fill you with so much love and happiness.
I'm also happy that you got to spend that time with her.
Paula said…
Paola is so chic!

You really need convince her to start a blog.
RW said…
I am so delighted for you!
Anonymous said…
Here I am waiting to be picked up to go into the very heart of Tuvalu and I was reading your blogs, you know the same bunch I enjoy at home and there it is: my bum is looking at me. Paula, that is everything BUT chic.
I have been a horrible commenter lately although I have been reading posts every night, LATE. It's just that every time I come here I get caught up and run run run.
I enjoyed each and every minute of our meeting and I truly just wanted to do what we did, sit and chat and enjoy your company. And I loved the familiar relaxed athmosphere, no pressure on anybody. That's exactly what I would expect from friends.
Anonymous said…
What a wonderful gift to have a visit from a cherished friend.
Amy A. said…
Why do our cherished friends have to live so far away?
smalltownme said…
A lovely visit.
Pretty Things said…
That is so incredibly cool!

PS, now homesick for my tiny house hear Venice. Sighs. To be in my 20's again!
Sarah said…
Proving once again that the best gift is simply giving yourself. Once again, you've made us all feel good.
Anonymous said…
What a happy time! "Blackbird Goes to Italy" is a blog series I look forward to reading someday.
alice c said…
I am so happy for you both.
I feel as though I was there too.
Anonymous said…
That is NOT how I pictured Paola. But now I am so glad that that is what she looks like--well, what I your camera allowed of her anyway. What fun she must be. I'm so happy for both of you that she went to Tuvalu, and wish she could have stayed longer. And now I have to wonder--how did you come to meet one another? Or is that story somewhere in a past post?

Miz S said…
LOOK at her, with the curly red hair and the graceful hands! How adorable.

I remember so well, that trip to Italy and the hurried departure. But I don't remember the bracelet. A picture for me, please?
Anonymous said…
"Blessings. What wonderful blessings", says the heretic in your reader list.

Paola, you're beautiful - although we've only seen you from the back of that wonderful head of hair - we know how much blackbird loves you - and that makes us all love you, too.

May your hearts always, always be connected.
Mary said…
Thank you for sharing with us the loveliness of that visit..
Anonymous said…
Could that dear Paola be any cuter? Friends you don't have to scour the house for are true ones.

Anonymous said…
It's nice to think of you two sharing an afternoon together. I'm happy for you both. It's nice to see connections that span the globe.

I sitting here captivated by the back of Paola's head. And her outerwear. And her painted finger nails. And the tiny photo of her husband, Fabio.

Hello, Paola in Positano! (By Positano, I mean PARADISE, of course.)

Smooches to you both.
Dani said…
Who knew she was so beautifully flamboyant?? (I mean that as the biggest compliment possible!)

Sounds like a perfect visit. I can't wait to hear more!
That One said…
Oh, she's just lovely!
Marmite Breath said…
Oh! I must read about your Naples experience! It's practically my favourite place in the world. Also, Positano! SWOON!

I loved reading about you and Paola. It reminded me of my friend, Elena.