Cortona celebrated Good Friday with a glorious procession Friday night,
which wound through the streets, reenacting the crucifixion of Christ.
The whole town walked behind the priest, who read scripture. The procession
traveled to four of the many churches in Cortona, starting with Santo
Spirito, then to the Duomo (the main church), then to San Francesco,
and finally to San Domenico. At each church they picked up a different
statue: Christ in the olive trees, Christ being flogged, Christ fallen
with the cross on his shoulder, the dead Christ, and finally Christ’s
mother Mary. The statues were about fifteen feet tall and were carried
by about ten to twelve people, all wearing cloaks and hoods so that
they wouldn’t be noticed. Not being recognized is supposed to
be an act of humility.
They all ended up in the main piazza, where the Bishop gave his blessing
and the choir sang a few of the Laude Cortonese, very old music similar
to Gregorian chanting. Everyone went home around 11:00 p.m. The whole
town came out for this ceremony, and the band played very sad marching
music that reminded me of a New Orleans funeral. Good Friday was my
last day in Cortona. What a send off!
I returned to Virginia Saturday, just in time to dye Easter
eggs with my grandchildren. Mary and her children Kate, Sarah, and Sean;
Ginny and her husband Corrado and children Picco and Chiara; and Chris
and his wife Lisa and their children Kristina, Diana, and Amanda joined
me in Mathews for Easter. My daughter Patty hid the eggs Sunday morning,
and the kids had great fun looking for them. Even the family dogs joined
Pat enjoys time with her grandchildren in Mathews, (from left: Chiara,
Kristina, Pat, Amanda, Picco, and Diana).
I’m looking forward to this weekend’s Barn
Show and Museum Open House and to seeing spring in the mountains
again. Everything is blooming and gorgeous. Isn’t it wonderful
to see how beautiful everything is that we all so lovingly planted around
I’m also looking forward to releasing Spirit of the Valley
at the Museum
this weekend. This print celebrates my lifelong love of horses as well
as my appreciation for the Virginia Horse Center in Lexington. The Virginia
Horse Center is nationally and internationally renowned and serves as
a venue for more than eighty events a year, including horse shows, clinics,
rodeos, therapeutic riding, and 4-H and United States Pony Club activities,
plus community events such as the Rockbridge Regional Fair.
Spirit of the Valley, to be released this weekend at the Museum
Show and Open House in Waynesboro, Virginia. For more information, call