People who love traditions are always charmed by old habitations and what they can contain.
In a village as small as ours, it is often possible to meet people dressed in dusty clothes walking down the roads carrying with arms old objects found in some old deserted property.
A few years ago I personally lived this experience when I entered into an old property of my grandfather's. Encountering several objects on my way, I remembered the things which had been told to me about that house and its inhabitants.
The ancient atmosphere which only some habitations can keep made me go back to my ancestors' times when the house was a place where every member of the family had a precise awareness of his role: the elders were the holders of the wisdom and had powers of decision, the women attended to the house and the family, the men worked the fields (they often did it together with the children) and everyone contributed in different way to the good trend of the household.
Suddenly I remembered many things of the past: the place of "the basin" with water, where people kept the animals' harness, where the dogs slept, where the hens scuttled about, where the brooding hen was kept. I almost relived the intense days of work in the fields, the cold winter days, the scorching heat of the summer, the flies, the parasites and the daily dramas of illnesses and those, unfortunately frequent, of deaths. People would die for a trifle: an appendicitis, bronchitis, a rheumatic fever or dysentery and all that was accepted with resignation as something unavoidable.
I remembered that that room had been shown to me as the double room with its very high couch and that, on the upper floors, there were the bedrooms of the other members of the family. On the walls the ancient signs of the pictures with the portraits of the saints were still visible, as were those of the forms of the furniture: there I recognized the sign of a trunk, on the other side the trace of a wardrobe. At the back of the room, a door led to the larder and whole generations had certainly appeared at that window, covered with cobwebs, turning their glance towards the surrounding fields and the mountains so immutable and yet so changed with the passing of the time.
In a corner of the cellar, the tools for the job in the fields were still piled up: three hoes, two "bidenti", a pick and a big axe with the consumed handles because of the use and testifying to a very hard life.
At the back, near pieces of a wrecked barrel, there was a wood box still well preserved. It was full of "treasures": an old document concerning the sale of a ground, a letter (written in labored Italian) about an emigrant's vicissitudes, a booklet of prayers (faith often was the only refuge of a life made of privations and hard work ). There were also an old military knife used for hunting, a flask of a some "ancient " war, a stamp with a piece of sealing wax and, to finish, a big black and white portrait of a child in whom the somatic features of my family were very recognizable.
Then I remembered a song of the seventies: