My Dad's side of the family is Italian. And when I say 'Italian' I mean, live across from Giovanni Cabotto Park, shop at Spinelli's, attend Santa Maria Goretti Catholic Parish and drink wine with an alcohol content resembling screech. I mean the dish-flinging, over-bearing mothering, plastic sheets on the 50 year old 'chesterfield', singing O Solo Mio while drunk at 400-plus guest weddings kind of Italian. When I'm with my Nonna and Nonno I love every minute of it. That is, until Nonna starts fretting over me and asking when I'm going to move back to Edmonton and why doesn't Leannie have a boyfriend yet and why isn't Jon in school and while we're at it lets talk about grudges that originated over 40 years ago but are still going strong.
Oh what the hell, I still love it then too.
One of the most distinct things about my grandparents is their house. All of their furniture is exactly the same as it was when I was growing up. Most of their belongings remain as well. They have blush pink couches bearing intricate dark wood detail. Their coffee table is a dark wood with space in cubbies for trinkets and little statues, of which there are many. The china cabinet, kitchen and dining room table, their bed and dresser have all been in that house since before my birth. Their belongings are so distinct, (tacky), that whenever I (or my sister or my mom) see "Nonna" stuff, whether that be decorative items or clothing, we always take the time to stop and point it out. Often, one of us will stop and cry out at a particularly sequined, colourful confection, "oh god, that is SUCH a Nonna sweater." And the rest of us will stop and admire.
Not having had this experience in quite some time here in Terrace, I had to stop and take pictures of these "bouquets" that I saw at a local shop here. Nonna has these EXACT displays in her home and I was shocked to see they still sell them....somewhere.