Sunday, February 22, 2009

Torture Toss-Up

There are millions of things to say, but little time to say them. So, here's a quick story:

Both the air and the water at the monastery are heated by very expensive oil. The way it works, the oil can only devote itself to one or the other at a time. So, when our rooms finally reach a bearable warmth level, the water has to be cold. As a method of saving money and getting around this weird situation, the whole system is on a timer so that the heaters only come on for pertinent periods of the day and only in specific areas. We have to time our showers for when the heaters are not on. That means, when you're finally cozy in the air, a warm shower to top it off just isn't an option; and when you finally get a semi-warm shower, you're stepping out into frigid air. Believe me, we're as confused as you are. Nonetheless, we're learning to appreciate monastic life, shivering and all (and by shivering I mean shaking so much that you can barely squirt the shampoo into your hand without flicking it all over the shower walls)! Though, when you finally finish, dress and head out for the day, attending Mass at a church built in 1004 pushes shivering right out of the mind...


  1. So sorry about the heat. Take comfort in the fact that each day as we move closer and closer to spring, the days will get warmer and warmer... except those days when the temperature drops down below freezing, and ice forms on the window panes (you Do have windows, right?) and the water in your glass beside the bed freezes solid. Yeah, that's cold. Today is our 35th anniversary eve. I think I'll go stew some hot chocolate, pop some corn, tune in the Oscars and cook a blazing fire in the fire place... the kind where it gets so warm that you have to REMOVE a sweater rather than trying to find one to put on.

    My suggestion: Be Italian. Take one shower a week and go a little heavier on the cologne.

  2. Oh, dear. This sounds remarkably like our Irish cottage in January. Perhaps your 3-day weekends will be important for finding warm hotels for taking hot showers...

    Would you like me to mail you a snuggie?


  3. brrr- sounds like our shower situation in Peru!

  4. Ahh, but unlike your fellow students, you and Penn have each other for warmth...

    Maizie and I spent one morning on We discovered that her grandfather, Antonio Lambo, left Amalfi, Salerno in the spring of 1887 at age 15. His parents were Francesco and Angelina Lembo (with an e). Maizie loved her virtual tour of Amalfi...I'm hoping for a real tour of Orvieto...

  5. Here's a suggestion:

    Shower only once a week with a snuggie on. That way you are always warm in your room, and in your shower. No more problems with that shampoo bottle due to the handy sleeves.

    Plus, you get a free booklight.

    Oh, and Dana also found out that Antonio Lambo's father -- Francesco Lembo -- was born to Alfredo and Clementina Limbo. Alfredo is most famous for the dance w/ the stick. Virtual Tour here: