Stefano arrived right on time.

Our favorite vivaio, gardener came walking up the steps toward the front door. But rather than watching where he was going, he was looking around at the plants that had grown up since he was last here. As Em walked out the door, Stefano looked up with a surprised grin. “Em-air-sone!” he enthusiastically called out, his Italian voice drawing out the sounds. This is Stefano’s characteristic greeting. I was only a few steps behind and he quickly rushed in for kisses on both cheeks, once again daring to say the hardest word for any Italian, my name. “Sheh-reel, sempre piu giovane! Cheryl, always younger!” (I like this man.) (more…)