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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

The End-of-Summer Family Dinner

IMG_0535You may remember, we started the summer at Benedetto’s sister’s house some three hours away with a family dinner on draped tables and antique chairs sprinkled across the back lawn. By no design of our own, we ended the summer in much the same way, roasting corn and chickens on the grill, complemented by a refreshing salad of mixed greens, raisins, and raspberry vinaigrette. Iced tea and cubed watermelon for dessert spelled summer through and through.

The next day, our kids’ cousin headed back to school. At 13 years old and in the eighth grade, our four children ranging from 13.5 to 17.5 loved to spend quality, silly time with her.

The sillier the better.

It was a comfy setting, leather sofas in the living room where their daughter held IMG_0537forth in all her barefoot, blue-toenailed glory. Their hyper dog almost pogo-sticked from person to person, chasing a squeaky ball and jumping on us, up-down, up-down, non-stop. Concerned for their physical well-being and our mental well-being, we left our Scotties in doggy daycare for the afternoon and early evening.

IMG_0530Four adults and five children provided just the right mix of together time and independence. Similar to family dinners from our era, there was an adult table and a children’s table. We talked about group topics with everyone joining in, and we chatted separately. It was the stuff of family dinners where you could talk freely and everyone still loved you the next day: stocks, politics, religion, kids, food, movies and funny real life stories.

Benedetto insisted on buying honey from his brother-in-law the part-time beekeeper. The BIL figures that he will break even on his investment by the year 2025 at this rate, and gave my husband the option of light honey or dark honey.

“Which kind did you buy?” I ask him later. “Light or dark? And what’s the IMG_0533difference?”

“They come from different parts of the hive. The darker tastes stronger. I bought the amber.”

“Is the amber lighter?” I puzzle.

“No, it’s inbetween,” he replies.

“But I thought he had lighter or darker….”

“No, he really had three kinds—lighter, darker, and amber.”

These are the sorts of things that only family can understand. You give somebody two choices and they end up going with a third. Meanwhile, his sister and I sit with cappuccino, admiring fresh-cut zinnias from the bee farm, while the kids chat back and forth about the most inane topics and giggle some more.

Famiglia, fun, and the end of summer. Memories to be savored.

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