An Italian-American living la dolce vita in the Deep South

An Italian-American living la dolce vita in the Deep South

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The End ... But a New Beginning

May. We have spent almost this entire month thinking about graduation, planning graduation, buying
for graduation, practicing for graduation, and then (finally!) the actual graduation this past weekend. It's been a whirlwind, but now that the graduation dust has settled I'm finally able to take it all in. 

And it was all wonderful.

First came a succession of guests: Papa arrived Thursday from Virginia Beach, Aunt Lisa arrived Friday from a business trip in Orlando, and Uncle Bill flew in from Maryland on Saturday. My sister and her family arrived on Sunday, and i Nonni ... well, they're always here. The only person missing was my brother and his family, but they were busy with a newborn (Welcome to the world, Carter!).

It's incredibly humbling that so many of our family made travel arrangements and rearranged schedules to come for a graduation, especially considering that (and let's be honest here) graduations can be long. And sometimes a little boring. Just ask the two littlest guys in our group, Timothy and his cousin, Thomas. (Mass took forever; I was scrunched in the pew and couldn't see anything; Jonathan kept making faces at me.) Doodling helped ... thank goodness for printed programs with wide margins and the two pens I found at the bottom of my purse.

But graduation is more than the actual ceremony, and with a houseful of guests it was just fun to be together.

I think one of the highlights of the weekend was a two-hour sunset cruise down the Savannah River which I had booked for Saturday night. Through a series of fortunate events we had the entire pontoon boat to ourselves (there were supposed to be five other strangers, but lucky us! they never showed up), and with perfect weather (not humid, but mild and breezy) and a picnic-made-by-Bia (homemade muffalettas, chips, strawberries in lemon juice, wine) it was all very relaxing ... until the family secrets started spilling out.

You see, before embarking on the cruise I had everyone write down two things about themselves that NO ONE ELSE KNEW, and during the cruise we read them aloud and tried to figure out who wrote them. By the end of the evening we learned that SOMEONE in the family once drove his car at the breakneck speed of 130 mph, that SOMEONE (when they were five years old) stole one of Snow White's Seven Dwarfs from a market stall, that SOMEONE'S favorite dance was the cha-cha-cha, that SOMEONE once won a NASA award for making a wind tunnel for a science fair, that SOMEONE'S all-time favorite movie was The Prestige, that SOMEONE had a bunion under their left foot, and that SOMEONE didn't have a car (poor baby, the graduate dropping a hint).

There was a lot of laughing and finger pointing, and I couldn't help noticing that SOMEONE who was thoroughly entertained was the captain.

Sadly, by Monday morning poof! everyone was gone, including Joe who had to fly out to Albuquerque on business. Now, with the other two still in school, it's just me and the graduate who, by the way, is snoring away upstairs. Graduation festivities, being the center of attention, a new job ... he is wiped out.

Either that, or he's avoiding all the thank you notes he has to write.

Nicholas and a proud Dad.

Photo: Here we are with our nephew, Nicholas, who graduated today!
Nicholas with Aunt Laura, Uncle Patrick,
and cousins, Christopher and Thomas

Nicholas and his Uncle Bill
Sunset Cruise on the Savannah River

Graduation luncheon

Graduation luncheon

Nicholas with i Nonni
(a LOT of orange gifts ... thanks Aunt Laura and Uncle Patrick!)

On his way ...


tiziana said...

Che bella esperienza e che belle fotografie.
Purtroppo in Italia non si fa questa cerimonia.
Bravo Nicholas, anche noi siamo orgogliosi di te e brava Maria che sa organizzare tutto alla perfezione.

Ray V. said...

Congratulations to Nicholas on his graduation and ranking!

Cathy Keller said...

Heartiest congratulations to you all!!!! Cathy