Bless this house or orto?

This week, after the rain had finally stopped, I had two unexpected guests. Although I didn’t see the first one I’m sure he was very small and furry with stripes down his back. He likes to dig small holes all over the property and this time he even had a stroll through my precious orto (veggie garden). We have fence all over the property, but the baby boar are small enough to squeeze through the wire holes.

Baby boar

I’m wondering if I am going to have to play the role of Elmer Fudd here and sit on the terrace every night with an unloaded shotgun pretending that I actually have the guts to shoot him if he gets near my tomato plants again. Clearly I’ve watched too many cartoons when I was a kid because now everything in my life seems to remind me of them.

My next guest was one of the locals, an old family friend Paulino along with a local Catholic Priest. I had heard of this sort of thing before where they go from house to house chatting with the townsfolk and then they offer to say a prayer and bless your house. Usually a small donation is offered in exchange.

I welcomed them both up to the house while trying to control my sister-in-law’s dog. He is the nervous type and will bite even me if I’m not careful. The Priest seemed fascinated with the tower and coat of arms on the wall and then he asked me if I was Catholic. After saying yes he offered to say a prayer right there on the patio with the dog barking wildly. Not able to release him I crouched down and tried to quiet him while the Priest did his thing. It was all in Italian so I couldn’t make out what the prayer was because I was too busy making sure that the dog was not going to make himself a Catholic Priest sandwich!

I don’t frequent church much and have to admit that lately I have wandered into most churches as a simple tourist. But I do have faith and quite often that is what has gotten me through the rough patches of my life.

The Priest gave me a very pretty paper with a prayer written on the back. On the front there’s a lovely drawing of Madonna and child with the words Nostra Signora dell’Orto. I had to laugh at the irony. Is it just a coincidence that this is my third attempt at planting an orto or was the Priest given a message from God to send help?


About lmarmstrong66

I'm a blogger, painter, writer, singer. For the love of all things in nature and creativity.
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3 Responses to Bless this house or orto?

  1. Lisa says:

    Wow! Amazing picture of baby boar! You really have wild boar in your neighborhood? Makes the old No. American fox seem decidedly tame. (Maybe due to our mild early winter/fall but there are many reports of foxes and kits in friend’s yards or on their land this spring…and I heard them barking the other night when I was at camp.)

    Let me know if you spot a wolf! I’ve heard that there were many tales of wolves in Ligurian mountains. (Land of my grandmother Dondero…though we don’t know where she lived exactly. I think that’s why I love reading about your time in the country there….) Anyway, real wolf reports, please. Not “Mirto induced” reports. Although, I think that the wolves are probably long gone….. Cheers! And congratulations on your legal status!

    PS My upstate NY “orto” only has herbs, spinach and greens at this point. We won’t dare set out tomatoes for a few weeks. I’m jealous.

  2. Hi, My husband told me that when he was a kid up here he saw a lot more animals such as wolves, but sadly they are all gone now. They were hunted to the point of non-existence I guess. The only thing left and now protected by the state are the boar!

    I wish I could take credit for the photo but it is impossible to get near the babies with the mom around. I’ve tried lots of times and they always run interference. I got this pic from the Internet. I would have supplied a credit to the photographer but wasn’t able to get the info I needed. The website is

  3. Pingback: Bless this mess! « Help! I live with my Italian mother in law!

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