Last Monday… and may the 10th of February 2014 be forever chiseled in History… incessant & heavy rains struck Genoa. Alerts were also sounded throughout Northern Italy, the Lunigiana included. OK. The Dogs & I could stay in. I must paint, write blogs, nap. Well, I could until those 2 Weimar-dogs refused to tolerate being cooped-up inside any longer and started to hound me. Their dual enthusiasm for going outside died as soon as they Sniffed & Saw what was truly waiting for them beyond the big doors to the apartment building. They bolted for the elevator and home, somewhere above. And, may I say to defend myself? Lined nylon rain-jackets are of little consequence to a Weimaraner, when it rains. What runs through their brains is… Rain is rain and is to be avoided. And, so be it.
While munching on a quickly made tuna-fish salad sandwich, I called several of Our Codiponte Friends to have first-hand accounts of The Big Rain Day 2014…
I punched… remember the days when you dialed a telephone number?… Our Dutch Friend’s cellphone… remember when the only phones were plugged to a wall socket?… and she answered while standing in an absolute deluge on a precipice overlooking rushing rain-water where once was the short-cut trail to her house from the state road below. I told her in a rather urgent, even dictatorial, tone of voice to head for drier territory, i.e. the safety of her home and rang off.
I next called Our English Friends. I had not yet caught them at home to confirm Our Attendance at a Sunday Luncheon with them on the 23rd of February. Calling at lunch-time and during a rain alert heightened the probability of finding them at home. They were.
The Friend who answered gave a very worrisome report. The rain was so intense, there was a background roar on the line, making it hard for either of us to understand the other. The Friend persisted, excusing for the noise from the rain pounding the roof & stone pavements outside the room’s only window, adding that she could not see a thing beyond the sill. She continued… earlier in the morning, she had gone out in her FIAT to buy some missing provisions, but turned around out of fear from the ruckus of the rain hammering the roof of her car… I couldn’t even think to drive!… and much less to see the road, with so much water pouring off the escarpments onto the state road. Just before I had called, a neighbor had braved the foul weather to come to tell Our English Friends of landslides blocking the state road in both directions thus, nearly completely isolating Codiponte. I said I had gotten the watery picture and rang off with hopeful words for better weather on the 23rd.
I then made the tactical error of calling a relative of one of You’s hospital colleagues, who also happens to live in Our Village of Codiponte at the foot… or would it be feet?… of the grotesque Commie House. Dire, dire, dire! Torrential & unceasing rains since the day before, the Aullela River cresting its banks, mud-slides everywhere isolating the village, rivers of water pouring down streets… all the way to describing how her garbage dumpsters were now nearly completely submerged with rain-water. Pretty agitated after the 10 minute spiel of Woe Is Me & The Sky is Falling… in buckets… I rang off whispering Thanks Be To God I was not down at Il Poggiolo.
The rains eventually ceased in Genoa towards what would have been the 10 o’clock News Hour, if I lived in the Midwest of the US. I don’t. And, I am very glad I don’t. Way too much COLD & SNOW for me. In the quiet and what was to us the dead of night, my cellphone rang. Who’s calling so late? It was the Colleague’s Relative calling to inform me there was also an earthquake tremor at what was the Italian News Hour of 8 o’clock PM. 2.9 on the Richter Scale. And with that, I said My Prayers and bid the world A Good Night. Gads.