Our neighbor Lina – RIP

I learned today the sad news that Natalina Zafferri, better known as Lina Nizza, died yesterday.  She was in an RSA (nursing home) since 2014.

lina_obit

Guests of Casa La Pace from 2011 – 2013 may remember her as the old lady who sat in our courtyard and spoke very loudly.  And Lina didn’t care that our guests didn’t know Italian, she would have a long, loud discourse with anyone.

When Pepper and I first arrived in Ghivizzano, Lina was in the courtyard to greet us.  She seemed to be there always: any time we walked out the front door or walked into the courtyard returning home.  She had a sixth sense about new arrivals, coming out of the passageway from her house just as our guests were rolling their suitcase to the front door.

For a very long time, I tried to avoid her.  Lina had a severe face, a loud grating voice, and a ‘blue’ vocabulary that few other Italians could match. When she saw me, she’d yell “O, Americano”, and then follow with a long discourse. I would respond politely – and then make a quick exit.

One day, as we were loading our dirty laundry into our car, she rushed to the gate and yelled, “Where are you going?” in an accusatory manner.  I responded that we were going to the laundrymat to wash our clothes.  There was silence for a moment, and then Lina yelled, “Why are you going there? I have a perfectly good washing machine that is going to waste. Use mine!”

From that point on, we were fast friends.  As she became less mobile, I sometimes dropped by and sat in her cozy kitchen to chat for a few minutes.

Our neighbors told me we were lucky to have met Lina in her declining years, when she wasn’t so cruel and annoying.  I am lucky to have known her and to have been a friend.

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Pepper e Lina

 

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