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(no subject) [Jul. 17th, 2007|07:48 am]
Tuesday the 17th and all is quiet (almost). Nona’s feeling better, her leg still hurts but less each day. I went over today to color her hair with some new stuff I found locally – not sure she likes the result (it’s a bit lighter than that horrible stuff she puts every week) but this is supposed to last 4-6 washes. I helped her pack her stuff and we’ll pick her up on Friday. And good timing too, apparently temperatures are supposed to rise to 40 degrees C this weekend again. At least Lemnos has a nice breeze. Dad’s flying in a day later but he keeps trying to find a seat with us.
Things have definitely changed for the better since we are able to take off and go to the club every other day. It’s amazing what a calming effect the sea has on Dad.
The house is almost, almost done. The cleaning lady is here as we speak and the electrician is coming later today to hook up the last thing, a small chandelier for the living room. Olga came in yesterday and couldn’t believe the change to the place. Everything’s in its place or hung on the walls, there is room to move – I don’t keep banging on stuff all over the place. It’s livable, and is so for the first time since 1981!
Thursday is Mom beautification day, hair, nails etc. I’d rather do this here than at Lemnos.
Glad you guys had a good time in CA. Been too busy to miss home but once I’m back from Lemnos I’m sure I’ll miss it. Have been missing you two, of course. Goes without saying…Everybody’s very excited you’re coming over in December. I do miss my TV and the programs (things are pretty bleak here, either the stuff’s nonsense or the reception’s bad.
Love to both.
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Nona Adventures [Jul. 2nd, 2007|08:24 am]
Well, I’m back and writing sooner than expected. I’m telling you, that trip is jinxed. Saturday morning we woke up ready to celebrate our anniversary but when I called Nona she said she was in pain and that she had spoken to the doctor. Her leg hurt a lot but after walking around, it would feel better. Then she found some kind of growth on the top of her behind. I called the doctor who went to see her and thought it was a cyst but she should visit the clinic Monday morning. So we packed our stuff, changed – yet again – our boat tickets and celebrated our 35th with a sandwich on board the ship. Docked at midnight, went to bed at 1AM, woke up early in the morning on Sunday and went to see what was going on. She was chirpy and not that much in pain so this morning we went to the clinic and saw a few doctors. Did an ultrasound and it’s about 1 inch deep – the surgeon thought it’d been there for years, maybe the result of an old injection (your Nona used to inject herselt with vitamins daily for years when she was younger). .So she’s checking in tomorrow for her tests and then they’ll operate. Sounds like a simple enough procedure and they’ll take good care of her. Her doctor said she should be up and running by the time we go to Lemnos. Keep your fingers crossed on that. I’m hoping they’ll do a local so she can recoup quickly. It’s a superficial procedure so I’m not worried.
So now we’re back home, trying to get the kitchen finished this week so the house can go back to normal. The kitchen really looks great but I cant use it yet because we need the plumber to reconnect everything.
We called the local travel agency to see if we can get back something from the prepaid hotel stay in Santorini but I’m not holding my breath on that one. Oh well, what can you do, that’s life…
Nona checks in at 10 tomorrow and I may or may not stay with her all day, don’t know that yet but I’ll definitely be there for the surgery and afterwards. The temperature will be climbing a bit over the next few days and I’m keeping my fingers crossed it wont be that much – there’s no AC in Nona’s house except in her room.
We’ll call you on the 4th as scheduled (one of us will at least). I thought that maybe you could call Chris McGroddy and tell her (if she’s there) that you’ll be gone for 10(?) days. Her number is 353-1284.

P.S. Came home and moved the entire furniture of both living/dining room around (they slide on the marble floors). Looks promising but we have to dump a few pieces and then start hanging pictures, fixing things etc. Promise by the time you get here, it'll be in tiptop shape...:)
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Athens Heat and other Woes [Jun. 26th, 2007|12:52 pm]
[mood |frustratedfrustrated]

This trip is going to age us fast… First, the guy who came to install the new oven told us that even though he had shut down the electricity, he got zapped anyway. Luckily for him (and us) he was wearing sneakers so he didn’t get jolted and please remember that voltage here is 220….So we had to call Vassili and get him to send the electrician this week to replace the distribution board which houses the fuses.
Anyway, the kitchen is almost 100% installed – and it’s really very pretty, all pale yellow and maple colored sides and top. We still need to bring in the plumber to change the faucet and hook everything else up again, and the last finishing touches to the cabinets. That should happen as soon as we come back from Santorini.
We left the house to drop off the keys to Vassili and return the car and no sooner had Dad locked the door than the phone rang. It was Ileanna to tell us that the hotel in Mykonos had overbooked and the travel agent had put us in another one!! So then we had to call the new place to make sure we were registered and find out where it was (turned out it was close to the one we usually go to).
And let’s not talk about the heat – there was a hot wind blowing this afternoon which brought back memories of Egypt and its deserts. It registered 45 degrees but at least, it should start dropping after tomorrow. Poor Chandi did not sleep all night so Nona told her she’d get her an AC by the time she returns in August. I had said so to Nona anyway.
We have given up on the idea of a car because no one can tell us exactly what steps should be taken to buy one. So Dad’s flying to Lemnos a day later (returning same flight as us) and we’ll probably rent a car there for a week or so just to tour the island and see it well, for once. We’ll rent for the rest of the time in Athens and it’ll cost us but what can we do? Life is DEFINITELY not easy here. I’m starting to miss home already….I’m sure I’ll be fine once I start island hopping. Nona will be staying by herself for a week (Chandi is leaving earlier than planned) but Magda’s here and I asked her to keep an ear on Nona, and asked Nona to get someone in to clean and check up on her (don’t know if she’ll listen but that’s the best I can do).
I’ll write again probably on the 7th. Will send an email from there
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Last Hurrah [Aug. 16th, 2006|10:37 am]
The boat excursion adventures terminated on Saturday in a blaze of glory. Three outboards with about 22 people went on a long trek half around the island to a once pristine beach surrounded by sand dunes. The men used to fish around there and remembered it as a totally deserted place. Tourism however interfered, a road was built and by the time we arrived, there were cars, trailers, families barbecueing and worst of all, trash all over the long beach. It's amazing how dirty people are. We even took pictures of the mess - someone wants to send them to the newspapers... Anyway, some of the men went fishing and the rest of us stayed on the beach with only two small umbrellas. I finally gave up and waded to one of the boats that had awnings and nice cushions, took my book and stayed put till the sun stopped being so strong. The men came back with little to show for their three hour effort and we took off around 7PM. Then someone had the bright idea to go straight to have dinner at another beach area and so we went, all grimy from the sea and sand. I called Nona to let her know I would be in late and we headed back. Took a quick dip at one of a really deserted beaches (no road access), swung by the port to pick up gas for the next fishing trip out (Sunday) and landed on another beach around 8PM. We ate at a small taverna and then headed back around 11:30. Went to bed early that night.
Sunday, the men went on their last fishing expedition at Aghion Oros (the monasteries place). Repeated calls (we definitely need a cell phone next year) did not elicit any details about their fishing success but when they came back around 7:30, they had enough catch to feed more than 30 people. Small fish but still very very tasty. Gave them to a taverna at the port to clean and we all went and had some.
And that's it. Today, the first group is leaving and by Saturday, there will be fewer of us left. We'll probaby pile up in a couple of cars and go swim elsewhere for a change but all in all, the big life is mostly over.
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Update [Aug. 12th, 2006|11:11 am]
Quiet day yesterday. Beach, then a long one-hour walk in the evening with the girls (and one indignant male that kept claiming we were not speeding up to his level). In the evening, we ended up at the usual taverna across from the big houses. The "boys" had been collecting "petalides" (small clamlike things) for two days and Alice cooked them up in a sauce. We were twenty or so and had spaghetti with the sauce, drank lots of wine (as usual) which led to the usual sing-alongs till 1AM.
Nona's fine. I find there's an established routine to her eating habits. She eats well one day, goes overboard with something or other the next, has a stomache ache on the third and ends up eating just "fide" (angel hair pasta) to recuperate. That's happened at least three times so far.
She also regaled her old family friends with more stories from our dark history past (this time about my aunt Depy who was married to a very rich guy ( details when I see you). Everyone was very entertained but I'm beginning to wonder when she'll stop. Her take is that the stories are over 50 years old so no one minds. I guess she's right in a way.
Today's Saturday and the sea appears calm so there may be a boat excursion somewhere. THis is the last weekend when we will be at full strength. After the 15th, many will start to go back to Athens and the group will shrink down a bit. Two of my friends have cars so when things have quieted down a bit (traffic jams in Myrina etc!), they promised to take me for rides to see the rest of the beaches and some villages. Should be fun.
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hair dresser experience [Aug. 10th, 2006|11:48 am]
Quick fun entry. Aliki and I went to the hairdresser first thing this morning. I walked in with my NY dyes and explained as best I could how to add the stuff. When it sent on my hair, I sort of looked at it and it seemed pretty dark to me but then, I've never really seen what the actually color is because Ginnie covers it and puts me under the dryer. As the time went by, I sort of started panicking because it looked almost black and I had this vision of emerging with ebony color hair. I held it back and waited for the rinse. Amazingly enough, once the color was out of my hair, it looked just like Ginnie's. I wish I had known beforehand before frantically figuring out how to redo it to get it lighter. She combed it through and I have straight blondish hair with lighter streaks throughout. Actually looks pretty good. Can't get hair wet today so I'll pull it up with a clip and cover it with those bandannas we bought in Mykonos.....
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Parties, house and beach [Aug. 10th, 2006|11:37 am]
Tuesday night, we were invited to Georgie's house in St. Paul. That's where the family has their extensive land holdings. It was magical. You drive through the usual greek hilly roads and all of a sudden in the distance, you can see a huge bay (Aghios Pavlos), and a series of lights illuminating a gigantic rock with jagged edges and the house. That used to be the old kehagia homestead; it was been totally renovated in the old Lemnian style (thick walls, red brick roof). Beautiful verandah in the back, the front facing the bay (about 50m away). But the most amazing site is that rock, it rises over the house which abuts it like a lunar landscape, volcanic edges piercing the sky, like a lunar landscape. Georgie has illuminated it and the surrounding area - it's absolutely beautiful. I spent most of the evening just gazing at the site. Right next to the house is the little chapel (Mykonos style) that gave the area its name and all around it there are valleys - huge fields and fruit groves that belong to each of the family members. Eventually I think that they will all build houses there and move out of Myrina which is becoming more like a little city every day. Daphne has her plans ready and plans to break foundation in the spring.
The party was great fun, lots of wonderful food and they danced the night away. Me, as I said, I just sat there and soaked in the view.

Yesterday, it was full moon and we decided to take an evening dip at a nearby bay and then have dinner on the beach. There were thirty or so of us, most of which went there by boat. The moon rose over the sea and gave it a silver sheen, we sat under the awnings of a small taverna and spent a few happy hours talking like crazy and singing along with the music (Daphne's going to send me a CD with Dallara songs that are really very good).
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Friends and boats [Aug. 8th, 2006|11:32 am]
The parea is almost full strength. Some old friends from my high school years are also arriving. The result is large noisy tables at night during dinner. Several table combinations have been tried (Rectangles, squares etc)so far none are satisfactory. There are also about 3-4 boats to go on excursions. The sea is so much better on the deserted inlets and there is shade on the boat. Two days ago, we ended up on such a deserted bay where the water was crystal clear. We had packed cheese, tomatoes, bread lots of ouzo and beers (the usual fare) and spent hours swimming. Ouzo was consumed and the resulting kefi had us singing for hours all the old greek songs that our parents used to sing. Stupid me, forgot to take my camera with me that day but I have this indelible image of some of my childhood friends waist deep in the water, a cigarette on one hand, an ouzo glass in the other singing falsetto at the top of their lungs. Life is easy these days.
Nona's literally blooming, she has discarded the wheelchair for now and trots with me through the streets onto her visits. I usually drop her off at one house and pick her up an hour later. Since it's very hot, no more walking, instead we take yet another dip in the water in front of the houses then I rush to pick her up, shower and off to dinner. Today's Sunday and things are quiet, so I'm heading back to the hotel to prepare her lunch and then I'll take off for the beach for a couple of hours.
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Lemnos update [Aug. 2nd, 2006|10:30 am]
Ok.. since it took me a while (and some help) to figure out how to access this journal, I'll give you a brief rundown of my first week here. Some unforgettable sights; None getting forklifted into a bus at the Athens airport because there are no tunnels that lead directly to the plane doors. She and two other wheel-chaired people were literally lifted off the ground and sucked into a special bus that took them to the plane. I thought for a moment, she was going to be hanging out in mid-air till we reached the plane...
Nona's Nona. She's gone through ten books in 6 days, discarding most of them as stupid (or unreadable - i.e. she cant catch the american lingo). I've been combing for more - Marina's mom has a stash of summer reading romance novels (bad bad) and some french books that I'll tackle next.
There's a group wheelchair here that has made the rounds of the elderly and I was lucky enough to claim it for Nona. She can walk but the hotel is pretty far in (if you remember next to the Maroula movie theatre) so I push her around for part of the journey and she scampers along for the rest. She has friends here so we make the rounds. She has a really nice friend very close to our old home but lately, it's been taken over by another retired schoolteacher friend of theirs that Nona has taken into dislike (surprise, surprise). Apparently, that woman takes over the conversation and lets no one else talk. Of course it didnt help when Nona first met her. Seems that woman's father used to know your great-grandfather (the lawyer) and his brother( the dentist). So None enthusiastically embarks on an update of the rest of the family and loudly proclaims that the two sisters (your great-grand aunts) were whores. I was mortified...It's true apparently, they ran through their husbands' money and when that ran out, they became kept women or whatever. I was desperately signalling NOna to stop right there but then she went on to say that one of them had a son who went to jail then moved to Athens where he opened a bordello and brought his mother over as a madam. By then I was ready to pluck Nona out of her chair and wheel her away. The funny thing is that I dont know how true that story is... Dont forget your great grand father was such a strict authoritarian and honest and with such high morals that for all I know, they may have had a couple of rich lovers... we'll never know but I'm sure that those particualr Lemniots wont forget that story for a while. When I gently tried to explain to Mom that some dirty laundry it best kept to ourselves, she airily waved me off with a "that was eighty years ago" statement. Oh well...
Any way, things are fine. Most of my friends have arrived and it's like we've never been apart. We go to the beach together, right after the little bridge, there are some umbrellas and quite a few pine trees so we all sit together and yap. Those of use who feel like it (myself included) put on swimming fins and to all the way to the end the beach and back. That's our 1/2 - 1 hour swim exercise (the younger ones do it in the PM too). I get Nona out of the house by 7:30 PM, park her at someones' house and then walk for 45 minutes. She's back at the hotel by 9PM at the latest and then I go out to dinner. One of these day's we'll go on an excursion. There are quite a few cars and speed boats so once the men start arriving this week (they all come in August), we'll visit some other places too.
Things have changed but not that much. There are many more restaurants and cafes on the Romeiko Gialo and lots of cars. The town seems to have expanded in the back and has engulfed some of the closer villages. There are many more hotels and rooms to rent but the port, the road leading to it is still the same. I've met some locals that I hadnt seen for twenty years or so.
I'm off now, time to go finish my errands. I'll write again soon.
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(no subject) [Jul. 9th, 2006|09:44 pm]
Hi this is my first entry! I am getting ready to go to Greeece for two months.
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