Home is Where the Water Is

After winter I fret coming home to the Lunigiana. What could the bad weather (especially bad this winter) have done to the house this time? How many cracked roof tiles might there be? Is the little inline water meter busted yet again from freezing up, like it was last year and the year before that? Will the internet work? The pellet stove?

Everything looked, well, very va bene when I pushed open the door, dropped the luggage, and checked the internet. Yep, everything was fine. I have mail.

But, hmmmm, there’s a breaker blown. What could that be? Everything seemed to work. It was noon. I had no need to try the overhead lights.

But, you know, overlook something and it’s sure to bite you in the ass.

So…conundrum. The breaker kept…breaking—for no apparent reason.

So we called on Armando. Can he find us an electrician?

Of course he can. Our neighbors are like Supermen. Even the women. We didn’t even have time to go out for lunch; Luigi the electrical guy would be here pronto.

While we were waiting, Martha started checking some old clothing in the spare bedroom. She found water under a box of shoes. I looked under the bed. The wood flooring was spotted, like it had rained under there. The bed itself was dry.

We looked at the ceiling. There were telltale signs of wetness. I got a ladder to investigate. There was a thin line of rust making a squiggly little line down the ceiling light fixture, discoloring the opaque glass bowl that diffuses the light.

I slipped my finger over the lip of the bowl. It was cold. You could have kept goldfish in that bowl. Or maybe a couple trout to be simmered later in Vernaccia. The bowl was filled to the brim with rain water.

So we needed the roof guy. What do we do? Ask Armando. He’ll find one.

Coming right up!

Between the time we arrived around noon and before losing daylight we had acquired 6 new roof tiles and isolated the electrical problem so Luigi wouldn’t have to deal with it—but he arrives anyway because we didn’t have time to call him off. The whole deal, new roof tiles and all, costs us 15 Euro. To top it off, Armando gives Martha a big bottle of wine. Welcome home.

Italy is broken they say. Hey, you try getting an electrician and roofer on a moment’s notice in the “recovered” US.

Armando should give up his superman cape and become Prime Minister. He’s a natural. Things would get fixed. There’d be a pollo in every pot—an air chilled and tasty one, too, like they insist upon in Italy.

Home is Where the Water Is originally appeared on WanderingItaly.com , updated: Jan 12, 2021 © .

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