I am writing this, somewhat sheepishly, from Verona, Italy where I am visiting my son and his family.  Those of you who have been reading my blog have heard me going on about how old Sparta is and how my restoration of her is akin to bringing back an ancient artifact from olden times. Hah, we Americans don’t know shite about old, at least I didn’t.

Take, for example, two of Verona’s more popular and venerable attractions, the Arena and the Verona Cathedral.  Pictured below, they are nearly 2,000 and 900 years old, respectively.  They are both in active use – the Arena for world-renowned operas and the Cathedral for religious services  (I understand it hosts a gorgeous Christmas Eve candlelight service).  My Sparta is about 60 years old which, in human terms, means that compared to the Arena, Sparta is just now breaking in her first full set of teeth or, via-a-vis the Cathedral, entering kindergarten.

Any American visiting Europe realizes at once its relative antiquity compared to the States which, at least for me, is both humbling and enlightening.  I woke up this morning and began writing this from an apartment built in the 16th Century.  I will try to keep that in mind next time I start waxing on about Sparta’s age.  She’s a toddler.