First, some background on the borough of Berlin. It's is a tiny town up in the mountains of western PA. My Dad spent his entire life here and grew up in the same house. It was a small school where he was quarterback for the football team, played basketball and baseball, was president of the student council, wrote for the newspaper, and I'm not kidding you when I say was part of like every other club. The town has no stop lights; just 2 flashing lights at each end of town. The grocery store has like 6 aisles and I love it! More about that on day 3. It's hard to explain the houses and what the town looks like. It's soooo different from Texas. I love it and I love visiting, but I don't think I could live here.
Day 1: My Aunt Amy and my cousin Angele were still here most of the day so that was lovely! My aunt and I went to the tiny, pretty Catholic church where I have been to mass several times. As we left the house my Nonna said "I hope the priest shows up!!" Apparently, Father has just not shown up for mass. Shady stuff. Anyways, Aunt Amy and I were freaking out because everyone basically sits in the same seat every Sunday and we were terrified we were going to tick off a local by taking their spot. I think the choir loft missed Nonna, the priest gave a 3 minutes homily, and we were out of there in 40 minutes tops. For basically the rest of the afternoon we sat around the kitchen table and just laughed about silly things. Whenever the women of this side of the family gets together we will, without fail, talk about our Italian problems. We talk about the weird places we get hair, how we take care of it, the goings ons in our armpit region, how we fix it, and just other things that maybe you just don't want to hear about. But I love it because it makes the really long arm hairs I somtimes get or me having to take care of my lady stache a little less weird. It's always a blast.
One minute we were sitting there and then we heard a "tap!tap!tap!" in the chimney that sounded like someone banging on metal. My aunt darts from the table and runs outside leaving my cousin and I sitting there like "uhhh...." Turns out they have been hearing this noise all week and my Nonna frets about these sorts of things. She frets a lot. They think it's a bird and Aunt Amy has been trying to get a glimpse at the culprit all week. She comes back in and confirms that it was a bird which started about 20 questions from my Nonna
N: "well what kind?" A: "I don't know, Mom"
N:" well is it black?" A: "Not sure, definitly a dark color"
N: "Brown?" A: "Maybe"
N: "well how big is it A: "Like a normal size bird....really Mom I'm not a bird expert. I don't know"
N: "well why do you think he's doing that" A: "Not sure..."
N: "You don't think it could be a woodpecker do you?"
I'll spare you, but this went on for, I kid you not, at least another 10 questions. My aunt, cousin and I moved on in the conversation and were talking for about 5 minutes, probably about hair removal products, and Nonna was just sitting there all quiet (which is not the norm) then shouts out
N: "WELL DO YOU THINK IT COULD HAVE BEEN A DOVE?!"
This my be one of those you had to be there/have to know my Nonna sort of situations but it was so funny. She had been sitting there that entire time thinking and fretting about that bird. We just couldn't stop laughing. Then, we told her that we don't think it's a dove.
My cousin and I asked about how my Pap and Nonna met and that was a really cool moment for me to hear their entire relationship story. Twas precious. They met in highschool and Pap was older so he went to Penn and Nonna went to work. They long distance dated all through Pap's years at Penn to which I asked...
K: "ok, how did that work?
N: "I would go with his parents to see his football games on the weekends. We'd spend summers together.
N: "And oh, LOTS OF LETTERS. ::long pause:: I guess I need to get rid of those before I die..."
My cousin and I almost peed ourselves. She clearly doesn't want people reading those letters!
After a while my aunt and cousin had to leave, starting what I knew would be an interesting week with just me and Nonna. sidenote: Apparently, my aunt's boyfriend has been partial to calling my Nonna (whose first name is Louise) Wheezy. I think it is HILARIOUS! I don't know why we haven't thought it before. I'm disappointed in us. So the week with lil wheezy and I began. We watched TV then Nonna started getting all fretty. She started fretting about this "rubbing" in her hip and that they were taking out the staples the next morning. She got herself all worked up, despite my reassurances, and couldn't go to sleep so she suggested that maybe taking a pain pill would help. I TOTALLY agreed and skipped to get the pain pills :)
Day 2: Nonna is about 2 weeks out from surgury and is doing really well so she can get up and dress herself and get her cereal, which I won't lie to you, I really appreciate that. Today the nurse and the PT came. Both were lovely ladies. The nurse removed the staples and Lil Wheezy said she couldn't even feel it. And, the PT told her the rubbing was totally normal as long as it doesn't hurt! Huzzah! No more fretting about that. The rest of the day revolved around day time television, pill taking, and our next meal. I am soaking in this slow paced life! I went for a run and just enjoyed lounging and hanging out with my boyfriend (my Kindle).
Day 3: Got up and did our breakfast and coffee whilst watching Live With Kelly. Oh how I love Kelly! Then Nonna continued her day time television watching. She loves her soaps. My uncle likes to tease her and call it her soft porn. I went for my run and I had to share this picture I took. I ran to the outside of town (please, do not be impressed thinking I ran great distances) and this was just beautiful. It's kinda hard to see in the pictures but it's just rolling hills and mountains in the background, and farms and giant windmills and I just lurve it. I wish I could say I just ran for miles and miles, but I'm out of shape, there were hills, and I'm way out of my elevation comfort zone so it was a walk/jog situation.
When I got back we made a grocery list and it was off to the grocery store. Ok this store is like a glorified convient store. I mean I think Bucees has more going on than this joint. And I liked it just fine. You could get all your basics and that was fine with me. I mean I love me some HEB. But, I just liked the simplicity of it all. Very refreshing. Then, it was off to the drug store/hallmark type store across the street. They love Nonna around there. Finally, I stopped at the little ice cream hut that is open in the spring and summer to get Nonna and I a treat. Let me tell you something...I've been stopping by that ice cream hut a long time and it is UHmazing. The dreamsicle flavor is the best I've ever had. Wheezy was so happy about her treat. When I got home her and her friend were gossiping about people and their grandkids and speculating about how many tellers the new bank in town will have. The rest of the day consisted of pulling the weeds out of her flower beds, more day time television and we watched a movie
It was a great week...I took her and a few of her friends out of the house for her birthday on Thursday "into town" for dinner. The ladies and I had a lovely time. I'll spare you all the details of the rest of the week but I just loved getting to spend time with her, my cousins, and my aunt and uncle.