We have a new friend.
Well, not really, because we rarely see her and haven’t ever talked much at all, but . . . we have been in communication for years now. I know this doesn’t make sense yet, but give me a chance to explain.
We take a daily walk through the meadows and back around on the strada bianca, white road. We would just call it a gravel country road, but basically, it’s the same thing. About 4 years ago, we met a Scottish woman named Angela who has lived here in Tuscany with her Italian husband for some 20 years. She’s very animated, funny and we like her a lot. We’ve seen her on that road through the woods, once or twice each year, walking her dogs. We take a few moments to talk and laugh, always ending with that same phrase, “We’ll have to get together some evening for a glass of wine.” “What a great idea!” And that’s where it usually ends. Until some months ago when things changed a bit.
Since we’re all out for walks on these chance encounters, we never have any pens or paper to write down phone numbers. And our memories are like old refrigerators—nothing keeps for very long. One evening last year, we encountered her again, and she just happened to have a business card with her. Why? We don”t know, but we promised to give her a call. Turns out we unfortunately misplaced the card. It has to be here somewhere! Somewhere . . . somewhere. But where? Oh well. We’ll surely see her again sometime soon.
Months later on a walk we did see her again. We all laughed and joked a little about our inability to make this get-together happen. Of course, as usual, no one had a pen or paper, so we came up with a brilliant new idea instead. Since we never know if or when our paths will cross, Angela said that she would simply pin a note to a designated tree we all agreed on. Their phone number would be on it—how simple is that? Sounded great! But frankly, we had our doubts that it would really happen.
Every time we passed that tree, we craned our necks slightly to see if the note was there. No. Not today. Nothing. Day after day, we checked. Week after week, we examined tree after tree, thinking we’d confused which tree we’d agreed upon. Then some weeks later after we had almost given up, sure enough, there was a small pink piece of paper tacked to the tree. We couldn’t believe our eyes! Of course the idea of it made us laugh out loud at how ridiculously wonderful it was. And even though we were sincerely interested in following-up with a rendezvous, winter arrived a little too quickly and before we knew it, we were back in the US, which meant that we left Tuscany without contacting Angela once again. Oops!
Now, here we are the following summer, and for a variety of reasons, we haven’t yet called (although we mention it to one another quite often). Then Cheryl left to return to the US and so more time slipped by. Feeling a sense of guilt and deep aggravated shame over the situation, I decided to take matters into my own hands and so I considered my options. What if . . . after all these months I mimicked her note pinning way to communicate? Would Angela actually find a message if I tacked it to the tree?
So, I made a little post-it note message saying: ” Non abbiamo dimenticato, we did not forget!” I folded it over and sketched a block letter “A” on the outside for privacy (ha, ha). I was ready to “deliver” the note, but I couldn’t find a push-pin to apply the post-it to the tree. However, in the cantina, cellar I found a rather large shiny eye-hook which would work just fine. So I headed out for my walk with post-it and eye-hook in hand, ready to issue our latest missive. The system worked beautifully, becoming a veritable piece of art by the time I was finished mounting it to the tree.
Cheryl has since returned and we look forward to finally giving Angela a call. But more importantly, we’re interested to find out how our communications have really worked. Angela never knew that we actually got her first note. Now, if she finds ours, she’ll probably be at home chuckling to herself while waiting for our call (we seriously doubt that). Whatever happens, we’re happy to have had first-hand experience with this new-fangled form of country-communication—”High Tack-nology,” Tuscan style!
p.s. Yesterday, we walked by to check out our progress at the tree. To our dismay, the nifty little blue note had been ripped from its position, apparently read, rolled up and reinserted into the eye of the hook. If it was Angela, she would have kept the note since it was personalized with her initial. Looks like we’ve been hacked!