Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Worth Repeating

He wanted to take that old lantern and smash it up against the thief's head. It didn't matter that it was an old oil lantern, not worth much of anything, or that the thief was a neighbor whose house lay a few feet from his own, or that the lantern was alway returned unharmed. The whole situation irritated him beyond relief. Stealing is wrong and thieves should be punished. It was logical reasoning for an eight-year-old and as an adult, my husband, Nick recalled the events, remembering a sense of grave injustice.

The neighbor, we'll call her Yitonia, would bring the lantern back to Nick's mother, Chevi, a few times a week and apologize for her son who had taken it.  Chevi would invite the neighbor in.

"Oh, kids are that way," she'd say in her light manner, as if it were nothing, but young Nick fumed with anger.

And then Chevi would give Yitonia some of her bean soup she'd made or some olive oil that was stored in the back room. Yitonia knew Chevi didn't have much, barely enough to feed her own family.

"Oh, no, no, really.  I can't," Yiotonia would say, but Chevi would insist and the other woman would leave with her loot.

One day, as Chevi was getting ready to go to the farm with the children, Little Nick came into the house with the oil lantern.

"What are you doing?" his mother asked him.

"Hiding this from Yitonia's son," he said wondering for the first time why his mother had never thought of that easy remedy.

"Niko," she said, "Don't you think if the boy were actually stealing it, it would stay gone?  We'd never see it again."

Nick listened. Yes, it did seem logical. He nodded in agreement.

"Yitonia sends her son to get that lantern whenever they run out of food. Go put it back in the store room."

Young Nick walked slowly back to the store room feeling more at ease, knowing his family's possessions were safe.  He did not climb up on the carving stump to hang the lantern on the peg where it usually hung. Instead, he placed it carefully on the floor, just inside the door and then he joined his mother as she made her way to the farm with the children.

“Give what you have. To someone, it may be better than you dare to think.” 
― Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

* Reprinted from 11/2014 blog post.

Your Own Kind and The Nifi are available in paperback or ebook. And they're free if you have Kindle Unlimited. I hope you will give one of them a try!

Among the Zinnias will be published in March 2017. It is a tale of love and deception where the truth is often ignored, bringing devastation for some and for others, joy.

Eighty-five-year-old Giovanna Boeri awaits the return of her daughter, Angelina, from a place in America called New Jersey. She cannot understand why Angelina has left from their small Adriatic island when anything anyone would ever want is there on Incompresso.

Angelina and her husband, Pasquale, are struggling to maintain a pizzeria in the small American town of Robin's Nest. Their son, Rocco, has just been released from an Italian jail at the age of twenty-five, after having served ten years for murder. Rather than have him return to their small island, they’ve bought the pizzeria in hopes of giving Rocco a new beginning. The pizzeria is supposed to be their catalyst to a happy life, though life rarely follows one's expectations.

Gina Ziti, an American customer, dealing with the grief of a parent and uncertainty about the direction of her marriage, finds herself several times a week visiting the pizzeria, enamored by the young Rocco.

In the meantime, back on Incompresso, Giovanna struggles to care for her ailing husband who is beset by memories of war and murder, one he himself committed and then realizes years later that it’s his grandson, Rocco, who will pay the price. As Giovanna comes to terms with her husband’s deteriorating mind, she throws away her age-old beliefs and realizes she cannot wait for others to decide her fate.

Come travel between the little Italian island of Incompresso and the rural town of Robin’s Nest. Experience passion, sorrow, laughter and love in a tale that moves between two cultures, a tale that will hold your heart and spark your desire to know what is happening. . .

Among the Zinnias!

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