Giacomo Just Shows Up

ape work truck

Our good friend Giacomo Martini just arrived in his three-wheeled truck, the Ape (say ah-pay) which means “bee” in Italian—since that is how it sounds. He has started cutting the scarpate, slopes around the olive trees. Good-bye to the fading yellow wild flowers and poppies. Hello to a well manicured hillside.

Giacomo is a quiet and gentle man. It’s nice to have trusted friends you can count on to help do the things that are difficult for you, yet easy for them—what they really enjoy doing. We never have to ask him to come over to take care of the tough slopes. He always watches how everything grows and then he just shows up one day to quietly and  independently do his work.


The fun comes when he is finished and we all have a chance to talk and visit awhile. One day he brought a small viper in a jar sloshing with formaldehyde for us to see. What a great conversation starter! Other days we talk about his family or the weather or sometimes he makes suggestions on how to take better care of the plants and trees. After about 15 minutes of chatter he pulls out his little spiral notebook, tucked neatly into his hip pocket. He slowly flips through, studying each page of numbers until he comes to ours. He has carefully kept track of each hour spent. After looking at the figures for a few seconds he  announces the total with surety. One of us scurries off to retrieve money while the other talks on. He always insists on giving us the exact change as he knows he charges a fair price. Giacomo is a good man who is honest and trustworthy—that’s how he always shows up.

You may also enjoy visiting our other websites:

The Journey – The Ride of a Lifetime

Uncommon Promise Video Channel

Uncommon Promise Story, Music and Art

The UP Side Lowdown by Cheryl

New Music – Virtual CD

In Touch In Tuscany


About cheryl & emerson

The Ride of a Lifetime! After sixteen years of trying to live in Italy as "true Italians," we set out to write a book about our experiences. As it turns out, we ended up doing a lot more than just writing a book because we decided that to capture the essence, we really needed music, poetry, drawings, videos and more. So, that's exactly what we did. You can find our complete body of work at We hope you can visit us from time to time—let us know what your personal adventure looks like. Perhaps we can all glean some inspiration to go out and write a new chapter in our own stories! Wishing you the best, Cheryl and Emerson
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