Goodbye 2016

I think many people will be pleased to see the end of 2016. So many of the people who have been part of our lives in so many ways left us this year. For me the hardest to say goodbye to were Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher. Perhaps it was just that they were the last in a long line of people lost.
I was named after Debbie Reynolds, I was born around the time of Singin’in the Rain, the movie that made her famous. I have loved her movies and the bits of her life she shared with us. She really packed plenty into her 84 years.
I remember taking my 4 year old son to see Star Wars in 1977. I was as hooked as he was as soon as those letters appeared across the screen…and what was not to love about Princess Leia? My son grew into the nickname Chewbacca. He is very tall and has long dreadlocks and does excellent Chewbacca impressions.
These women and the other famous people who died this year will leave lots of people with happy memories. For most of us, friends and family will remember us for a while and that will be it. It must be intesting to think that you would leave lasting recorded memories through movies or songs or good (or bad) deeds.
Possibly the only lasting thing I might leave behind will be our garden at Casa Debbio. It is now 3 years old. The blackberry bushes that covered the property were torn out by the very strong and hard working Alfredo.
Alfredo clearing brambles
I reluctantly had some large trees removed from around the house. The people from the village reported that pines are not native to the area and have shallow roots meaning the trees can easily be blown over in strong winds.

Our lovely friend Bardhi planned the first part of the garden, on the terrace beside the house.
Casa Debbio
Filippo and Rocco cleared the terrace below the house.
Casa Debbio
Casa Debbio Filippo and Rocco
It has been a delight to plant things and to watch them grow. I particularly love the weeping cherry that turns pink each spring, with more blossoms each year.

I am excited that peonies like my garden and put on a spectacular show for me. I just want to stand and stare at them when they bloom.

Our latest terrace is coming along very well. I think it will be even more beautiful next spring and summer. It will be years before it is looking the way I want it to, we keep adding bits,  but it will be fun to watch the progression.
Casa Debbio

One day the 60 fruit trees we planted will grow tall and bear lots of fruit. We already have figs, cherries, pears and quince. This year we will plant another 100 lavender and some more pomegranate trees along the driveway.
The residents of Vergemoli love to come up and see the progress. They are happy to see the property live again. I hope the garden continues to delight for many years to come. I hope someone will love it when I am gone.
Have you thought about what you might leave behind?
I hope we don’t lose too many treasures in 2017.
Happy new year anyway…get out there and do it while you can…and may the force be with you.