It's a little sunnier today in Italy, though a cool wind blows on the beach. The waves were a bit rough, but we were there to do a family walk and to assist Baby D with sandcastles. On the drive down the hill from Sant'Elpidio to the "Mare" we saw flags hanging from balconies and quite a number of shops shut.
Today marks the 150th year of Italy being a republic and it is a national holiday. Road repairmen were working and the grocery store was open, but many people seem to be taking this one-off holiday as a day-off. Italians usually celebrate a national day in the summer, but this is a special day given as a no-work day in honour of the one hundred and fifty years of a unified country.
We are back up the hill now, and our exhausted sandcastle builder is sleeping while his parents and grandparents start the first BBQ of the year on the terrace- summer is coming!
When we stood on the beach earlier today, we eyed the waves and talked about the Tsunami in Japan. One of the expats here has a son who is married to a Japanese lady. Like many in the world, families have been grateful this week for skype and facebook and mobile/cell phones. When my sister and I spoke earlier this week, we remembered that it took two weeks for our mother to hear that her sister, brother in law and our cousin were alive after the huge earthquake in Chili in 1960. Today, I think of and pray for families who would love a day off to connect and build sandcastles.