I can still remember the oppressive heat of mid afternoon as we lingered at the lunch table; overhead the grapevines crisscrossing from one side to the other doing their best to block the Italian sun from our tender Canadian skin. Wonderfully sated we had no problem retiring to cool rooms for the afternoon pisolino (nap). We are awakened by the sound of lively conversations and the tinkling of glasses; the lemonade is cool and refreshing made from lemons that just a few hours ago were hanging from a tree by the kitchen door. My Nonna is lovingly folding her husbands shirts, each one buttoned, smoothed, and then placed on a woven rush seated chair. I am asked to sit on the chair in order to 'press' the shirts.
The heat here is tolerable, our grapevines produce no grapes, and we do not have a lemon tree. But in the age old tradition of my grandmother, today, while enjoying the lavender garden I 'pressed' Valodya's shirts and in doing so I relived a heartfelt memory.