Summer, 2014

 

As we roll into Labor Day weekend in the US I thought I would write a little bit about the weather here in Italy this summer.  We have actually had rain.  About every 10 days or so.  And not just a few drops or a quick shower, actual puddle making rain.  In the past I have seen summers with 60 to 70 days of no rain.  Instead of the usual ‘Tuscan Gold’ that this place normally is, it is green.  (Where do you think paint makers get the names for these colors?  The over whelming impression of this place in summer normally, really is, gold and dried up dirt, terra cotta colored)   Grass is still growing.  I am so glad that I don’t have to cut grass anymore because it just did not stop growing this year.    

And the temperature has been cooler.  All the windows in our apartment have interior shutters.  I keep them and the windows shut all day long.  Somewhere between 7 and 8 in the evening (depends on the clouds and how far the sun has set) I start opening windows and shutters and turn on the ceiling fans.  (smartest thing we have done all year, buying and putting ceiling fans in every room).  That brings the cooler air in.   At night when we go to sleep I turn off the fans and close every window in the place except the two in the bedroom and that fan.  Some nights it has even been so cool that we have closed one of the windows or turned off the ceiling fan in that room.  Yes, it’s cool.  (I think the highest daytime temp around here has been about 90 degrees and many nights in the mid-50s.)   Then somewhere between 7 and 8 in the morning when the sun rises over the roof of the garage I stick my foot out from under the covers and give the shutter a whack so that it swings shut and blocks the sun.  And we start the whole thing all over again.  Trapping our nice cool air inside; moving it around during the day with the ceiling fans if we need to.  I am sure that it helps that we don’t put a lot of humidity into the house during the day by running the dishwasher, washing machine or taking showers.  I don’t turn on the oven,  Inside, neither one of us does anything too strenuous so that we are breaking a sweat.   So all and all it has been a pleasant summer.  But,  I have to qualify this by writing that we are on the ground floor of a free standing house in the country.  That means we have windows on all 4 sides.  Folks in the city or even in a village where the houses share a common wall so that there are only windows on two sides are probably much hotter.  And even last year when we were upstairs we were much hotter just being close to that clay roof baking in the sun.  I never understood why the woman who lived down here always had the place shut up tight.  Now I know why.  It really is much cooler with the windows shut during the day. 

 

mid august 2014 037

 

And you can see, I manage to combine two very American activities, tailgating and grilling.  I use the back of the car as my work area while grilling.  That way if I need to walk away, I can pull the back down and keep out inquisitive chickens and cats.  Plus there is a handy shelf for my glass of wine.   Hope everyone has a wonderful and safe holiday. 

 

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