I finally understand the true meaning of your name. I have seen snow!! Not just one time but three times this past week. The first time I saw it was at my home in Poggio San Marcello. There were some flakes mixed in with the rain, and when I stuck my head outside the door, I rapidly turned around and went back inside. I thought those cold, wet drops were annoying as they fell on my head. Then, suddenly, there was no rain just lots of those white flakes calmly floating down to the ground. It was rather peaceful and pretty. It snowed pretty hard for a few hours. When it started to stick, I went outside and licked it up. YUMMY!!! I like the icy cold feeling on my tongue. It is almost like eating frozen green beans (my favorite) without the green bean flavor. It had a more earthy flavor. Maybe that was because I was getting a little dirt with every mouthful. Anyway, we did not have much snow that time. It only lasted a couple of hours, and it was gone.
My second snow experience was in the city called Bologna. I had to take a train to get there. I do not like trains. When we got on the train, we got on at the wrong end of the train, and it was about to take off, so we had to walk between the cars. Walking between the cars is loud and scary when the train is moving. I did not like the strange noise of the wheels on the tracks going clackety clack and the whooshing sound of the doors between the cars when we tried to open them. We went from car to car, and it turns out that our car was the last one on the train. So I had to endure going through lots of doors - whoosh, whoosh, clackety clack, clackety clack. Gee I hate that sound. I was starting to feel like Walter MItty and his "ta-pocketa-pocketa-pocketa." Unfortunately for me, this was no daydream. I started to shake. I think I shook the two hours to Bologna. Unfortunately, the next day I had to get back on the train again. I hate trains.
Bologna was sort of a bust I think. I did not see one slice of bologna. I actually think they call it something different here, mortadella. Well, I did not see that either. But I did meet lots of friendly dogs, and I tried to play with a couple of them. That was the best part of the trip for me. The second best part was the snow. It was Maree's birthday, and we walked a ways to a nice, well-established restaurant. Much of Bologna center has covered walkways, so we walked under the cover of arches, and we watched the large snowflakes drifting down into the street. It was very pretty. Even though it was snowing quite heavily and sticking to the ground by the time we returned to the hotel, in the morning there was virtually no sign of the snow. I really don't understand this whole weather thing I am realizing. Why is it colder here than California? Why does it snow one day and it is sunny the next? What is this thing called fog?
While there was no sign of the snow in Bologna, when we returned home to Poggio that morning, unfortunately by the train, there was about 8 inches of the white stuff everywhere the eye could see. We were supposed to stay in Bologna for another day, but unfortunately, Jim was sick. So we never got to the French Christmas Fair. Gee, I really wanted to meet those French Poodles. Oh, well, I guess I will just have to wait for our trip to France. I sure hope it is not by train though because even the prospect of French Poodles does not outweigh my now growing phobia of trains.
Riding in the car as we drove the twists and turns in the road up to our little house, I was rather freaked out. Where was the grass? What is all over the tree branches. It keeps falling onto the car making loud clumping noises. Every time something hit the roof of the car, I jumped. The landscape did not look like anything I remembered. All I could see is white humps and dips. The hills and valleys had lost their contours, so I was not sure where we were. I really don't like not knowing where I am. It makes me very nervous. But what was even worse is that as we got closer to home, it became quite foggy. Between the fog and the snow covered ground, the world was veiled in white and very spooky looking. I was beginning to feel like I was in a Scooby Doo movie and that the ghosts and ghouls were about to appear before me. Actually, I have never seen a ghost or ghoul and I am not sure what they are, but I am sure that I would not like them.
On our way from the train station in Senigallia back to Poggio, at least the roads had been plowed quite well. So that was not a problem. Well, it was not a problem until we got to our street I should say. Some of our street is a municipal road, but before you arrive at our house, it becomes a private road. From that point on, the road was not plowed. Jim was ready to just stop the car and walk down to the house, but Maree encouraged him to try to drive through the snow -- after all, we have new snow tires so what else are they for??? It turns out that snow tires actually work -- sort of. After a tiny bit of tire spinning, we made it to our parking spot in front of the house.
I was very glad to be home. Home is the place I like best, and I don't understand this need to go traipsing all over the place to see different places. What does Bologna have that I don't have at home? Well, there were a lot of dogs I will give it that much. But, in general, there was a place to sleep and food. What more do people need in their lives? People should be more like dogs, I think. Our needs are very few, and they definitely do not include the need to wander all over the countryside looking for the best tortellini in brodo - whatever that is.
At home, I had my first attempt to try to walk in the snow. When I stepped into the yard, I was in snow up to my belly. I had a very hard time dislodging my legs. They were encased in the snow and stuck. I pulled and pulled and finally got one free and then another. I learned that if I ran, sort of with a jump, I could get through the snow more quickly and without being so stuck. But it took trial and error to finally figure out how to move through the snow with any dignity. Eventually, I decided that I liked the snow. It is fun to eat and dig in. I dug through it and found one of my toys. That was like a treasure hunt. Next time I go out, I will have to use my nose and see if I find anything else. Of course, by tomorrow or the next day we probably will not have any snow left as the temperatures are rising. But, I guess there is still a lot of time for more snow this winter.
As the cold is settling in, I am definitely missing California weather. There I don't need to wear this stupid coat they bought me with little elastic bands round the back legs that make me look like I am walking bowlegged. Oh, the embarrassment of it all.
Happy Holidays, Snowy to you and all of our family.
Your brother, Dino
I am Maree, the voice of Dino - or at least I am the one who does the typing. For more information about me and my life in Italy, you can follow me at theproseccoproject.com.