We got back from Tuscany late last night, back from the land of former brutal city-states now reduced to an idyllic gold and green and romantic adult Disneyland of leaning towers, Uffizi galleries and Pitti palaces, tree-covered walled cities and charming many-towered villages. My mother was obsessed with the blooming of the wisteria growing outside the little stone house where we stayed in a little stone village tucked away in a valley that looked out toward Lucca on one side. My father drove like an Italian maniac, making my mother gasp. The husband and I fought over bringing home an obscenely large salami that I know we'll never eat.
I only received two calls from work while I was there. Everything's a mess at the office. Our company was bought by another, my favorite employee is moving back to Finland and taking his girlfriend and highly competent co-worker with him, and the new magazine that we're starting in record time has gone to hell and I'm going to have to pull it back up to the land of the living.
I sometimes wonder if vacation is worth it.
The Swedish word for the day is tillbacka. It means back again, more or less.
- by Francis S.