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A view down to the sea as the lightning moved off.

A view down to the sea as the lightning moved off.

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This is the front of our building. You can see the shutters that protect from the blazing sun.

It was a dark and stormy night…well, not really…but it was overcast and the sky was a bit ominous. It was our second night in Scalea and the weather was not what I remembered. But, it was sunny in patches. And humid.

So what! We were here, living a stone’s throw from our little corner of the Mediterranean, the Tyrrhenian Sea. We knew that plenty of sun was coming in our month-long stay.

Here’s a bit of background:our apartment is a third floor walk-up facing the Lido. What we hadn’t realized is that the storm doors which are backed by wooden shades and french doors, have a purpose.

Clothes getting wet on the line.

Clothes getting wet on the line.

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Drying out our money that had flown around the apartment sopped up the water.

When we were wakened in the wee hours of the morning by lightning flashing followed by immediate thunder, we understood more. The winds seemed hurricane force. All of the windows and doors (which we had left open to cool our rooms) were crashing and banging. Let alone the drenching rain, the lightning was so fierce and so near that we were afraid to go out on our balconies and latch the storm doors.When we tried to dash out into the storm, the wind held back the doors and we worried about breaking them.

Sharon was sopping up the water in her room. I was almost to her hall door.

Sharon was sopping up the water in her room. I was almost to her hall door.

As a last resort, I rang the doorbell of the landlord who lives on the next floor up. She came down and helped wrestle the storm doors into position and then gave us a gentle lecture. Seems we were to have closed the storm doors at night when the weather was iffy. She pointed out one missing pane which was the result of neglect by a tenant in July.

I wish I had photos of the lightning.

Trying to immortalize the lightning. Note the pants, wet from my walking through our apartment.

Trying to immortalize the lightning. Note the pants, wet from my walking through our apartment. Nancy M.’s photo

Although I huddled inside the door trying to catch it as it moved away in a flash of glory, I never timed it right.

The river formerly known as the street behind our apartment.

River formerly known as the street behind our apartment.

What the storm left in it’s wake was water on our floors which we were mopping at 5:30 a.m., a river/street below through which people waded on their way to work, and clothes on the line which were much more wet than when hung.

Oh, and did I mention…chastened women with stories to tell each other throughout the next day?