31 May 2013
portuguese tiles & relationships
When I first started teaching in Italy (in Naples) I had a couple of colleagues, a husband and wife teacher team, who quickly and naturally became among those I considered friends. It was Jayne and John who hosted a lovely baby shower for Young One in the month before her arrival. These two experienced teachers (music and English, like us!) were quite a pair, and I relished their company because they were both great talkers and storytellers. When our lives intersected, I was new to this overseas life, and they were on their way out after illustrious careers across Europe. They had lots of great material; I had so much to learn.
They spent a part of their careers at a little school in the Azores in Portugal, and if Jayne told me once, she told me a thousand times about these gorgeous tiles she found in Portugal, tiles she purchased all those years ago and then moved across the world thereafter from duty station to duty station. I never saw the tiles, but I heard of them again and again. By the time we met, the tiles were continually on her mind as they finally were going to be used in their retirement home on a lake in Indiana. Had she been a relative, I would have politely said, "Enough already with the tiles!"