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It’s sad to see the gang breaking up.

Three of my grandchildren have gone.  I think Cole was leaving in his mind the night before.  He was committed to enjoying every minute.  We would never miss our nightly passegiatta and gelato; but through the afternoon and evening he was packing, planning and acknowledging his own need to have all of his ducks in a row.

It has been such a treat having these three siblings.  They are witty and entertaining and yet nurturing.  Cole and Allyson had an endearing way of including me as if I were a peer instead of two generations removed.

Allyson and Miyako

Allyson and Miyako dancing through the line

Allyson is my first grandchild.  She is the leader of the girl pack.  She fits well into that role but at the same time truly an adult.  The younger girls tease her about being “old”. Yet, she is, perhaps, the silliest of the group.  Standing in line for the trampoline she began an energetic dance, including Miyako in her wild moves which raised eyebrows and caused a stir among the parents of toddlers waiting behind them.

Beach in Scalea

Cole at the beach

Cole was my first man.  The first time I got a call from him in his man-voice, it was more of a shock than when my own boys matured.  A grandchild with a deep and gravelly voice? Where did that come from?

Griffin being buried in the sand

And Griffin is the instigator.  We’re never at a loss for stimulation when he’s with us.  Be it a riddle, a joke, a political question or lyrics to a pop song; he has the word to keep the conversational ball moving about the room or the table.

All of my grandchildren have varying degrees of each of these traits.  And we miss that extra something that the three took with them.

And that’s another story…

Walking to the station

Early on our landlady was been kind enough to keep track of the comings and goings of the mob downstairs.  Our peripatetic movement has (I think) caused her to recede into her apartment more of the time.  Maybe she’s being polite.  Maybe she can’t stand the chaos.

Waiting for the train

At any rate we found ourselves on our own. We straggled in the midday heat up the streets to the train station. The last big hill requires extra strength pulling the roll-aboards, even though they are lightweight and lightly packed.

As usual, our group usurped a large area on the platform.  I was running back and forth making sure of the train time.  Then I scouted the perfect place to have a parting photo shot of all of us together in Scalea.

Scalea Train Station

Together in Scalea

We were on the proper binario.  Ready and waiting.

The train swooped into the station.

On the train

On the wrong train

The kids jumped onto the train with quick hugs and we snapped a photo.  It was all too quick.  The train was out of the station before we made it back to the main platform.

And then I heard the announcement, “Blah, blah, blah, binario due per Roma Termini.”


I went running to the readout and saw that Train 561 was arriving.  They were to be on it.  I quickly texted Cole.  “I think you’re on the wrong train.”

My phone rang, “We’re on the wrong train?”  He didn’t sound as panicky as I felt, but he was definitely paying attention.

Comparing the departing trains I found that first stop on the train which they had mistakenly boarded was the same as the one to Rome.  I double checked with the train station clerk and called Cole back.

“First chance, Praia a Mare in 4 more mintues.  You can switch there.  If you don’t make it off you can switch at Sapri.  Don’t panic.  It will work.”  (Sotto voce: I’ll do the panicking here.)

I was shaking and a bit shattered.  Grace convinced me to start walking back to our apartment.  “We can’t do anything from here.”

Well, I was perfectly capable of doing something: beating myself in all directions for not being present and paying attention.  I somewhat laughingly bemoaned the fact that they couldn’t trust their Grammy so they should be looking out for themselves.  The boys said they would call their parents and ask them what to do since Grammy wasn’t being responsible.  Funny!

Within minutes we received the wonderful words, “All good. We’re on the right train to Rome.  That was an eventful start haha:)”

We had a good lesson and will all be more careful.  This won’t happen to any of us again on this trip.

Arrivederci Allyson, Cole and Griffin. You are missed.