Ada is the lady that took care of me when I was under 5 years old. My mom still had her business and needed someone to watch me while she was at work. She lived with us because she was from a village located about two hours by train north of Lecco, called Samolaco (on the Italian Alps). This was mainly a farmers’ village where homes did not have running water or bathrooms. Buckets of water were filled at the communal village fountain, taken into the home, and hung on a hook, near an aluminum ladle that everybody used for drinking. I can still taste the aluminum. There were cups, now that I think about it, and they were made of aluminum too, and colorful. But they were not used every day. The food was cooked on a fire in the fireplace and served in wooden hand-carved bowls.

I remember using the bathroom outside, in the open behind the building, and grape leaves were used to wipe yourself clean. Fun….. 🙂
The electricity was only in the kitchen and consisted of a hanging lightbulb. In the bedroom, you had to use a candle.

I have fond memories of Ada.
(in the photo she is getting married to Agostino).

One summer, Ada had to go home to her village and she took me with her. I had the best time, that summer. The family of Ada owned cows and sheep that had to be walked to the higher pastures for the summer (transhumance). And so we went up to the highlands.
I helped cleaning the cows’ stalls; I talked to the sheep and gave them salt when they were getting sheared. I was very proud of myself.
I was Heidi, there! and happy.

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