Days of Donkeys and Wine

February 21, 2013

How beautiful to see a lifelong dream coming true!

My friends Diana and John, who hail from Montana, had schemed and dreamed for years about how to make a life in Italy. Then in 2006, they bought a country property in Sicily (about 30 minutes from my village), complete with an army of olive and almond trees, and a roofless farmer’s house. They would arrive on the island for a few months every year to toil away on the house, staying till their money ran out. Then they’d go home to work some more at their jobs.

Italy makes you sharpen your wits. They battled the Italian bureaucracy and eventually nabbed residence permits and a power line to their property.

We drove out to their house last week as afternoon ripened into evening and clouds boiled in the sky. A chill wind rippled the olive leaves as we rattled up a long driveway. Then our eyes feasted on this:

A renovated stone house in Sicily, copyright Jann Huizenga

A view of the back of the house.

A stone house renovation in Sicily, copyright Jann Huizenga

A view of the front of the house. From left to right: Diana; Cynthia, a neighbor originally from Malta; and my husband, happy that he has no olives to take care of…

The house is still raw inside, but all the original stonework will remain untouched: niches, shelves, and horse-tying stones.

Sicilian Stonework in a Farmer's House, copyright Jann Huizenga

Sicilian Stone House, copyright Jann Huizenga

Sicilian Stone House, copyright Jann Huizenga

Diana and John plan to live full-time in Sicily, raising donkeys and making wine. After years of patience and persistence, their dream is close. Real close.

Complimenti, amici. Auguri!!!!

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