# On Time

Time is a dimension, a non-spatial continuum for ordering events

Time is a measurable period during which an action, process, or condition exists or continues

Time is an appointed, fixed, or customary moment for something to happen, begin, or end

Time can be continuous or in intervals

Time is a moment for opportunity

Time is a period

Time is tempo, a rate of speed

Time is the past, the present, and the future

Time is a moment indicated by a clock or a calendar

Time can be a turn

Time can be finite or infinite

Time can be good, bad, hard, or off

Time moves on, but people can call a time out

Time can be a time for being or being on time

Things can be in time, on time, and time and again

Time can be a moment, a beginning, or an end

Time involves a traveling back to do something different

Time can be behind or ahead; something that we have or waste; keep, lose, give, or fight against

Time is a moment, an occasion, an epoch or an instant, wink or a stretch, and even money

Time is something that passes and does not stop, yet people try to manage it

Philosophers have sought to understand time

Einstein explained that time cannot be in isolation from space

There are connections over time, but only time will tell

“Time waits for no one, and it won’t wait for me” –The Rolling Stones

FYI: For this post, Steve selected the photos and determined the theme. I, without seeing the pictures, wrote the text to his theme, and then he inserted the pictures. Next time, I’m determine the theme, which will be Connections.

Steve is a long-time friend and a good guy. I encourage you to visit his site to see his photos, which are available for purchase. He will also respond to comments here when he can, so feel free to ask him questions.

Photos by Steve Ancik, LightWavesImages

# On an Old Bridge

When many think of an old bridge in Italy, Ponte Vecchio in Florence comes to mind. Although the name means Old Bridge, the covered bridge crossing the Arno River and housing jewelry shops is a picturesque icon.

For me, my special old bridge is Ponte della Maddalena (Bridge of Mary Magdalene) crossing the Serchio River just south of Bagni di Lucca. Built during the medieval period, this unique walking bridge made of stone is one I had to revisit. It’s specialness is partially due to its look and location between the lands of my paternal and maternal sides of my family, but I also have pictures, postcards, and a framed etching of this bridge. Interestingly, this landmark is actually better known as Ponte del Diavolo – Devil’s Bridge.

The ancient bridge carries a legend. My research shows various versions, but with commonalities. In order to complete the bridge, whoever made a deal with the devil, but in return, the devil wanted the life of the first to cross the bridge. The devil completed the bridge, so an animal was sent across – which the devil snatched, then angrily left and never to return.

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Even though this area is very scenic, like any river, heavy upriver rains can create a flood. As one can tell, even the torrent water of this late-2012 flood, the bridge remains standing.

Thanks to my second cousin for this great pic

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During my recent trip to Italy, I had to see this beautiful legend, just as I last did in 1964 – including a walk to the top for a wave from afar.

The 2013 wave

The 1964 wave

Now there’s a 1964 fashion statement

My second cousin gave me this beautiful picture. Unfortunately, I don’t know the original source.

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For more photographs for this wonderful landmark

Enjoy these pictures from Debra, a frequent visitor here: One, two, and three.

Cheers to the collection from Google Images.

# On Transitioning

In some odd way, late February is similar to Sundays. This time of year, we begin the slow transition from winter to spring, with many days delivering an unsure nature of the season. With another Monday upon us, it’s time to transition modes from weekend to weekday.

Our weekend included one night dancing, a memorial service (in which I was a reader), a neighborhood euchre night, handbell playing, and working on taxes.  How was your weekend?

My project still has two-three weeks to go, and it is anything but exciting – plus I’m wearing a helmet to protect my head from the frustrated pounding against the walls. Which also means only two posts this week and minimal chance to visit your wonderful blogs … and I’m not very happy about that! I will post Tuesday and Thursday this week, and again, thanks to everyone for their patience.

The outtakes from the commercial I used last week were funny, thus received many great responses. Unfortunately, due to an error I made, many of you didn’t get to see it, so I’ve included below this week’s Monday Morning Entertainment.

Getting back on track, February also serves as a time when the boys of summer are in spring training getting ready for the upcoming season. With baseball around the corner, Florida and Arizona serves as the backdrop for baseball fans energizing their optimism for their team’s upcoming season. With that in mind, enjoy this past hit from John Fogerty. Have a good week!

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# On a Heritage Walk

My desire to visit the small village of my paternal grandparent was different from visiting my maternal aunt and cousins. Besides, they didn’t fully understand my desire to go, plus they were unfamiliar with the winding road up the mountain – after all, there could be snow at 552 m (1716 ft).

My oldest cousin stepped forward, so the two of us headed into the valley toward the point of ascent. She is more than a bit high-strung, but with just the two of us, we had a wonderful day – and her personality did come in handy. We had lunch of wonderful tortelli at Ristorante da Vinicio in the beautiful setting of Bagni di Lucca. (This town is awesome!)

During lunch, my hyper-cousin couldn’t resist mentioning my last name and that of my grandmother to the very nice man at the restaurant. (Debra, you may know him.) Interestingly, he quickly responded by saying those names are in San Cassiano, the place we were going.

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San Cassiano from a distance in 1964, but this time we drove there from the other direction

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After lunch, up the mountain we went. As we reached the main road’s peak, I exited the car and asked my cousin to drive ahead to meet me at the church – thus I would walk my own journey back in time.

I started my downhill walk from here

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I recognized the first house as it served as the background for when my dad accidentally met a former classmate and long-time friend from Missouri. Interestingly, they didn’t know the other was vacationing in Italy. In this day, the owner was outside, so I started a conversation with him – which was very enjoyable, but I received only a few useful snippets of family information.

Dad and his long-time friend from Missouri (1964)

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As I walked toward the church, my eyes wandered as my brain kept retrieving memories from long ago. Meanwhile, (and unknowing to me) my cousin’s personality was working the people at the bar, so she set the stage for when I arrived.

San Cassiano is the highest village on this side of the mountain

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The woman behind the bar introduced me to Alvaro, a retired man probably in his late 60’s-early 70s. He was a true pleasure, and he eventually directed us to a house of one of my grandfather’s brothers, which two of my dad’s first cousins (who live in Scandinavia) still own and visit in the summer.

From the bar, it was down the street to the main church and an important town monument across from the church.

The church ahead is dated 772 C.E.

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Unfortunately, the church was locked, but I discovered the sign that dates the church back to 772 – that’s a long time ago!

I had to see the monument across the street from – the monument for the fallen WW I soldiers from this town. I knew the majority of the last names, including

• My family name
• My dad’s uncle after whom he is named
• My grandmother’s maiden name and the maiden name of her mother
• Family names of those who lived in my home area of rural southern Ohio
• The family name of my dad’s friend from Missouri
• The family name of a man I didn’t know, but will soon meet

There are more names not captured in this photo

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From the church, down the path I went searching for the house of my grandfather’s brother. Again, my cousin came through by asking a person who also just arrived in the parking lot. He led us to a British couple, who led us to the house, which was only two houses away.

Path beside the church leading to the lower neighborhood

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While talking to the nice British gentleman, a slow-walking elderly man came along – the one whose family name is on the monument. Interestingly, he happens to hold the keys to the house for my Scandinavian cousins. He not only mentioned by grandfather’s name (who died in 1976), but also recalls meeting my dad. What are the odds!

I don’t know how to describe the moral of this story. Perhaps this small town is a magical place – after all, how else would two friends separated by two states on a different continent meet on a street across an ocean and up a hill to a small village meet in 1964? How else would I have so much luck on this short journey? What kind of luck would I have had if I had a family tree with me?

Thanks to the magic of San Cassiano di Controne, this day was extra special for me.

Enjoy the view cross the valley from the town of my paternal heritage. Ciao!

Note: For more pictures, visit this past post by Debra.

# On a Bridge Walk

Regulars may recall this past post (when I returned from Italy) opening with a picture of my mother standing on a small bridge in her hometown. I eagerly anticipated walking across that bridge toward the apartment and strolling through the city center, but my cousins kept us busy – besides, I started each morning by visiting my aunt.

It was day 8 and my time was running out, so I declared the morning as mine, and solely mine. I was out of the house by 9 AM for my journey, and after a short walk, the bridge stood before me. I quickly saw the sign for one-way traffic, and noticed drivers using is as a shortcut. Knowing the aggressive nature of many Italian drivers, I carefully watched and waited for a few minutes and recognized that alertness would be paramount after crossing the street.

Suddenly, there I was – standing on the bridge looking around at the fast-flowing stream, the surrounding hills, the valley, the small town of my grandmother above, and the walk ahead – all with tears rolling down my face.

I walked down the street toward the old apartment building. Besides asphalt replacing gravel, it was just as I remembered – greenhouses were still there, as were some houses, and a large old factory behind the apartment. Some carnation fields were still present, but olive trees now occupied some of their space.

In a short time, I arrived at the apartment. Today, the U-shaped structure is vacant and the courtyard entrance is blocked – but the blockade did not hinder my view of the third-floor windows (not the top) where I had images of my handicapped uncle spent much of his day – or where my grandmother lowered a basket to receive something from below.

I climbed a small wall to see the courtyard where I played and the stone opening that led to the walk upstairs. As tempted as I was, I didn’t go further.

The house across the street still stands, but the small lot of carnations is now a grove of olive trees.

The emotions of this walk along were many as I thought much about my family. I looked at the small village on the hill knowing that my grandmother, an aunt and uncle were smiling from the cemetery I earlier visited – as were the family members from the city cemetery across town.

On this day, I came, I saw, and left feeling content. Because I had my peace, it was time to continue my walk away from the apartment toward city center. Ciao!