Monday, April 19, 2004


Guess what happened yesterday? It rained. Again. Still. More. Hard. Continually. It’s getting to the point where rain is expected. It’s the norm. Gray cloudy days now symbolize spring, not just the dreary days of winter. We’re glad we live at the TOP of the hill, and not the bottom. We’re also glad we’re on a base of volcanic rock, not just soil. We’ve seen the pictures from California, where the hillside collapses and the houses just slide down it. At first, when the rain seemed to go on and on, I was glad for the farmers who had already plowed, and even more glad for those who had planted. Now I’m wondering if anything can grow…no, I know it can’t. I know that anything that’s planted must be struggling to survive, to keep from drowning. The rains are needed, but only with an equal dose of sunshine mixed in. I’ve taken the saucers out from under all my pots and sat the pots directly on the gravel, so they can drain, rather than sit in the water. But when the rain is so continually, even that doesn’t help much. It’s starting to get depressing. The only good thing is that we got the majority of our plants in the ground before the rain became a daily event. Now I know they won’t dry out…I just hope they don’t drown.

It seems that ever since we moved to Italy, people are apologizing for the weather, saying, “oh, but this isn’t normal!” The fall was unusually short, and cold. The winter was very cold. And wet. And humid. Lots of fog. Unbelievable amounts of snow. And now spring just refuses to arrive. Last summer there was a drought, and unusually high temperatures. There is no such thing as “normal” any more. Normal is a thing of the past. Average no longer applies. The seasons don’t seem to be what they used to be. Spring is no longer wet and warming. Summer seems to be ferociously hot, or unusually cool. Fall, once such a beautiful season, now gets skipped entirely, as summer heat gives way to winters’ cold. And winter! No longer just cold and gray, winter now swings back and forth between extreme cold and wet rainy days. I don’t need a degree to know that something is terribly wrong. Those who say that global warming doesn’t exist obviously have their heads stuck somewhere other than outside their door.

As usual, it’s been warmer in Louisville than it has here. It’s been like that for most of the seven months we’ve been here. And now, as we prepare to go back to Louisville, we see that the weather will start to get cooler and wetter, just for us. Great. I expect to come back to Italy at the end of May and find that summer has arrived full blown. If there is a spring, it will happen while we are gone, and I’ll miss it. I’ve already warned Art that he’s going to have a tough sell next spring when he want to visit Louisville during May.

We picked up the stones for the patio today. The company hadn’t had a delivery in our area yet, and we need for the stones to be here so they can be laid while we’re gone. Although I’m a bit nervous about having this work done while we’re not here, I’m hoping for the best. If Gioberto were doing the work, I wouldn’t be worried at all, but since some man, name unknown, work unknown, is doing the work, I’m a little apprehensive. I’m sure it’ll be fine…I’m just such a control freak. I have plenty of other things to worry about, so I’ll try to relax a bit on this one.

Luckily for us, the stones only took two trips, and on the first rip, it hadn’t yet started to rain. We were able to take a little more than half the stones on the first trip, and got them moved to the backyard. The second load of stones is still sitting in the car, waiting for the rain to ease up a bit. I hope there are a few minutes tomorrow when we can move them to the backyard without getting drenched.

Of course Art requested one last stop at Ternana’s. He pointed out that it would be an entire month without one of Marco’s pizzas, and what could I say but okay? Luckily for us, we were there early enough to be able to talk with Marco, Marushka and Pino for a few minutes. Marco asked us to bring him back a belt buckle, and told us that he collects them. He offered to pay, but we wanted to bring him back something, and didn’t know what. Now we have the perfect gift. For Marushka and Rita, Marco suggested silver earrings, but we still have no idea what to get for Pino. For the boys, maybe something like Bionicles, but I’ll ask Nicholas for suggestions once I’m in Louisville.

I don’t know if I’ll blog while we’re in Louisville or not. Doubtful. The name of this blog is, after all, Barb and Art live in Italy, so blogging about things that happen in the states seems somehow inappropriate. Should I feel the need to record some special event, I’m sure it will end up on the blog, but generally, when I’m in the states and surrounded by English speaking people, the need to blog is considerably lessened. Blogging while in Italy lets me “talk” and share my thoughts, feelings and opinions with someone, everyone. Art is quite patient, and lets me ramble on and on, and most of the time he even listens, but I know that my need to talk is much greater than his ability to listen.


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