We've moved from Baltimore, Maryland USA to Venice, Italy in pursuit of living our dream!

Monday, January 17, 2011

My borrowed Italian cane

One of my blog readers recently sent me an email and requested I include more of what my daily routine is like, and what our apartment is like. Here's something that might just begin to satisfy her request.

Our apartment here in Santa Croce was rented furnished, which was exactly what we wanted. We weren't ready to ship all of our furniture over here, in fact, we anticipated liquidating most of it. So something furnished fit the bill. When we arrived, we discovered we got a bit more than what you would expect when you think "furnished".

The landlords (Padrone, in italian) are a sister and brother, who inherited the apartment when their elderly parents passed away a few years back.  They told us their father and mother were in their early 90's when they died, one shortly after the other.  It seems they could not quite deal with clearing out their family residence.

They left all the paintings on the wall, all the knick-knacks on the shelves, and even family photos in the desk drawers.  We've found their mother's shoes in the armoire, her sewing basket in the hall closet,their father's tool chest on the attic stairs. And, an umbrella stand by the front door filled with umbrellas .... and six or seven old canes!  These must have belonged to Mom and Dad.  One cane has the head of a greyhound beautifully carved in the wooden handle, and another has an ornate silver handle. The others are just plain wooden handles.  And one of them is a bit smaller than the others, clearly this was Mom's. 

When I had my recent knee surgery, we had to go buy crutches at the farmacia. This past Tuesday, my therapist graduated me from crutches to cane.  I came home from therapy thinking I would need to go out later in the day to acquire a cane for me, when I remembered that umbrella stand and the collection of canes we had.  Sure enough.. there was that smaller one.  The handle, made of plain wood, is worn a bit. When I put my hand on the handle and tried it out for myself,  I couldn't help but think of the Venetian woman who lived here before me.  Just perfect for me!

This whole week, wherever I've gone, I've carried her cane with me.  I don't have to use it all the time, it's more a safety net for getting on and off vaporettos, or down some stairs.   I like to think my safety net comes with the added benefit of a guardian angel. Thank you, Signora Bortoluzzi, for the use of your cane.


Michelle said...

Ah, Bella Karen (aka Margaret), you are becoming more Venetian every day. I told some friends (one who had hip replacement surgery not long ago) that you had your surgery in Venice. The response was "Why?" I just looked at them like they had no clue and said "Because she lives there".
I can't begin to imagine some of the treasures you may have discovered in that apartment.

karen said...


When my other reader told me she wanted more of my daily life, I realized I had LOTS more to be writing about. The apartment is full of someone else's life, but the odd thing is, Mike and I dropped right into it and it fits us like a glove.

And the why?, besides that we live here now, is that a) once we we able to be part of the Italian health system, we gave up our health insurance in the US. So if I went back, I'd have to pay 100%. Couldn't even begin to think what it would cost. I'd probably have to go to India to afford it. And b) I couldn't dream of leaving Venice for a month. Had to do it here. I live here now. Lock stock and barrel!!