Living in an old house brings its own set of joys and challenges. It's easy to get cranky when thick mortar and stone won't warm up like drywall and fiberglass insulation. But it's amazing to see how stones, exposed through sand blasting, bring a touch of authentic age to a house, like the first few strands of grey on one's 40th birthday. There is a positive and negative energy to an old home, and one must accept both if one is to truly enjoy living in one.
We know some of the history of our house. We know, for example, that Pierre Luigi Parodi was born here in 1937, in the bedroom of what is now our suite. He is the oldest of the Parodi brothers, Sergio being the middle, and Franco, our best friend here being the youngest. I often think of that time, when water came from the well and the fields were tilled by ox. The Parodi family owned the house until the early 40s, farming Moscato grapes here.
Besides Pierre Luigi, I often wonder what other children were born here, and who died in the house as well. How many joyous celebrations were held, how many fights over bad harvests and lost money, how much love was made and love was lost. The house is over 400 years old. I am sure, very sure, there have been epics written here, small epics about the extraordinary nature of every day lives. While the Revolutionary war was being fought in the Thirteen Colonies, bread was being baked in the bread oven in our house. While Napoleon was retreating from Russia, women on my hill were tending their vegetable garden.
It is a strange feeling of continuum that this house keeps going. I touch the walls, wondering what secrets they hold, wishing I could know more. At the same time I know that my life, right now, is one of the secrets they will hold for someone else.