The wind is howling outside the house. It has been battering the windows, the walls and the tiles on the roof since Wednesday night. Today is Friday. It seems to be getting stronger and stronger. Now I understand why giant rocks purposefully sit on so many tile roofs. It is incredible to me that our house doesn’t move. Not one shimmy, shake or shuffle. The force of this wind feels almost like the hurricanes of New Jersey. There, I would feel our wooden house tremble and I would hear the shutters rattle. Here, I hear nothing but the wind. It is screeching around us. Leaves, nuts and fruits are flying off the trees. Hmm, I wonder if the olives and grapes are OK?
I’m not quite sure why I feel compelled to write about the wind. It’s keeping me inside in a way that the snow or the rain never did. But simply walking from our house to the attached house next door was more than my body wanted to handle. It’s interesting how the weather here has an impact on our lives. I guess I could be watching television. Oh no, the wind is jiggling the antenna on the roof. I guess I could be on the internet researching where to pitch another play. Oh no the wind is dancing with the big Internet dish on the balconey.
I keep thinking of the three little pigs and I’m so glad that we lucked into a house made not of brick, but stone. Not just some pretty decorative stone, giant rocks stacked into two-foot-thick walls. The rock bones of the house go back generations and have withstood earthquakes.
Apparently, in the town center the wind wreaked havoc on businesses. Doors were smacking you as you tried to open them. Car doors flapped like eagle wings. Yesterday, we heard that the elementary school kids could barely make it from their parent’s cars into the building. Jack asked did they crawl? I thought perhaps they tied them together with ropes and dragged them in! In reality, children clung to parents and like hearty hill people wouldn’t let the wind keep them home.
Not being a hearty hill person, I chose not to leave the house on Thursday or Friday. Not to go to the piazza, not to go to the butcher, vegetable store, and not go to visit a soul. I was waiting for the wind god to get tired of puffing his cheeks out.
Listening to wind that sounded like huge waves pounding the New Jersey Shore, I shuddered and got comfortable with an Elizabeth George, Detective Linley book. Just as Linley was finally going to propose to Lady Helen, the unlocked interior connecting door between the houses crashed open. In burst next door neighbor, Zia Vittoria carrying a huge tray. She has a hurricane force personality. During yesterday and today’s windstorm I sat, read a book, and stared out the windows at the dancing trees. During yesterday’s windstorm my neighbor made taralli (round breadsticks.) Then she got bored and made a stuffed bread with broccoli. The wind was still blowing so she made another sweet bread. She became a whirling kitchen dervish. Obviously, she couldn’t eat it all so she burst into our half of the building to share the carbs. I was happy to see her and gave her a hug. The wind was making her feel a wee bit lonely, she said, and cooking and cleaning kept her sane.
Why is the wind forcing me to sit in a chair all day? What is it about the sound that makes me want to bury myself in blankets and do nothing? One would think the energy of the wind would pump me up and send to the kitchen or computer or close that needs cleaning. But no. The wind sent me to a book to read and an early drink to drink.
The lights started flickering. The digital clock on the oven when berserk. Darkness. Light. Darkness. Light. The electricity went in and out until it tired of toying with us and stayed out. Jack played with the breaker box. Nada. I went next door and Zia Vittoria was in darkness too. Hmm, was it just our house? What if my iPad runs out of battery – what will I read? Thanks to functioning cellular towers – they must be made of real sturdy mountain material – WhatsApp messages raced from house to house! No one on my street – which wends it way in a circle though the hillside – had power. I dashed out a message to pals Mariann and Jeff further up into the hillside. Nope, senza corrente there too. Emojis flicked back and forth around the hills even if the lights couldn’t. The power did return and I decided to be productive. Hence, today’s little tale.
In honor of my husband’s heritage- An Irish Blessing – May the wind be always at your back, may the sun shine warm upon your face…
This is the 20th anniversary of 9/11. Think about sharing a copy of my play, E-Mail: 9/12, published by Next Stage Press with your book club, history teacher pals or friends. CLICK HERE FOR THE LINK.