Italian thrift



waiting to become diapers…

Originally uploaded by nonsonoitaliana

The rain let up for a couple days, as demonstrated by our eating on the balcony. I was also able to ride my bike over to Carvico, to the old villetta where Sandro and Francesco work every morning to prepare things that will go to their mission in Africa.

You may remember that Italy, or my area of Italy, anyway, is devoid of thrift stores of any sort. This is a cause of despair and agony for me. One of the great things about urban living in the states is the ease with which one can live with minimal impact: second hand clothes, household items, everything; farmers’ markets; public transportation and maybe bicycle lanes if you’re lucky. . .

Well, my partial solution to some of these challenges is Sandro’s mission work. People bring him almost ANYTHING and EVERYTHING you can think of, and the villetta on the edge of Carvico (donated space from the village) is a cornucopia of second-hand stuff, all carefully organized and neat as a pin.

So Tuesday morning after getting Ilario off to work and straightening up the house, I pulled my blue bike (salvaged from the metal scrap pile at Sandro’s by Francesco) out of the garage (newly fitted with huge wooden shelves, a combination of Sandro’s salvage, his brother’s welding skills, and Ilario and Francesco’s labor), and rode off to Carvico via the little side roads.

There I spent the morning sorting through dozens of boxes of used clothing with Francesco. Sandro’s mission has nothing to do with clothes, but folks don’t realize that and bring him tons which he then has to take to the donation centers, where there are groups that apparently deal ONLY with clothes. And I have become a little step along the way, sorting out cotton t-shirts and anything else that catches my eye, with the idea that if something is needed here at home, better that it be used here rather than sent thousands of miles away.

Sandro was refreshingly supportive of my making cloth diapers, or more precisely, of my intention to use them, taking the news in stride and nodding his approval. He seemed pleased and amused that I was riding my bike, too, something that people seem to take offense to now that I’m pregnant, even though I’ve only gained a couple kilos and certainly it does me good to be out and about. Not like I’m sweating up and down mountains on my road bike or anything, just a little jaunt to Carvico on the trusty blue, or the daily commute to the train station.

Anyway, I collected enough t-shirts for about 14 diapers, which I’m working on in the evenings after reading albums during the day. I guess I will be headed to Carvico several more times before November rolls around. . . 36 is the goal for each size. I also got 4 wool sweaters and have felted them; they will become more soakers. And last but not least, the cotton print skirt you can see in the “17 weeks” photos. Ahhhhh. . . Italy isn’t so bad after all.

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One Response to “Italian thrift”

  1. anna thornton-taylor Says:

    yay! you are leading the new italian revitiization revolution. italy is fabulous and you are definitely brightening your corner of the world. love you

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