Blustery Winds, Wet Floors, and a Very Fine Breakfast

My landlord told me high winds were coming. He told me to close and latch the shutters. I didn’t. Not until it was too late.

This morning, out of eggs and running very low on cheese and produce, I made a quick run to the stores. Laden down with bags while trying to maneuver a fragile umbrella, my lower legs wet from cars splashing as they drove by, and my eye glasses foggy from breathing through a rather damp face mask, it occurred to me that shopping in a small Italian town is far more gratifying when the weather is warm and the sun is shining.

Finally home, stripped of my shopping clothes and all my purchases washed by hand (Covid-19 guidelines), freshly showered and my hair carefully dried, I set to the task of breakfast.

Fresh strawberries, ripe bananas, and a bottle of honey in hand, I made myself oatmeal. And then the added delight, the perfect Italian compliment: I made myself espresso. My first espresso in an Italian Moka pot. Now, I must tell you, I don’t drink coffee. Well, rarely, and not much when I do. Decaf mostly, maybe a dollop of caffeine. Here in Italy, however, I’ve imbibed. How can one visit this country and not? And asking for decaf seems a sacrilege. Honestly, I’m not sure it’s even available. So, when I kept bumping into the Moka pot in my cupboard, I almost moved it to a hidden spot. I wouldn’t need it. Ah, but there in the grocery store, with five others waiting in the rain for me to finish my shopping, the coffee called out to me and I couldn’t resist.

Sitting down to this delightful breakfast, all cozy and content, I suddenly realized: there was a puddle the length of my living room. My landlord was right. This building is lovely. And, like most buildings in Italy, it is old. Time to close the shutters. In 43mph winds. Amused at myself, I managed. But not before my hair and my clothes took a beating. Towel-dried and sporting a fresh shirt, I sat down to finish my now cold breakfast. And then I saw it. Another large puddle in the kitchen. Same routine: me hanging out the window, battling the wind to unhook the shutters and pull them tightly closed. Another change of shirt. As for the hair: forget it.

Lesson learned. Always listen to the landlord.

Now it’s dinner time. The wind is relentless. I have a large beach towel propped along the doors of the balcony and another in the kitchen. It’s time for a glass of wine. Tomorrow morning I’ll try again. And maybe, regardless of the weather, I’ll feel a bit more like Goldlilocks with warm porridge in my belly, ready for noonday nap. Because after all, when in Italy, under quarantine…

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