Tuesday, July 18, 2017

What You Find In a Greek Garden

In Greece, everyone's heard of construction projects that've been halted due to unexpected artifact finds. It's usually a tale of woe as the building project is kept in limbo waiting for a governmental decision -- to proceed as planned or to halt work permanently thus claiming the property as an archeological site. For this reason, it is rare for citizens to report any ruins they find while undergoing independent construction projects. Instead, such sites are often covered up and left for another era.

Likewise, gardeners in Greece have similar experiences. A mere generation ago when Greece was still struggling to meet the modern world, artifacts in one's garden were common place.

When my mother-in-law found an ancient coin while she was digging on the family farm, she
showed it to her children and asked, "Can we use this to buy something?" The answer was "no" so she tossed it aside and it lay unclaimed until many years later when it was put on a chain and worn with pride.

Remnants of war also tend to surface now and then. Take this belt buckle, for instance.

It was worn by one Greek teen throughout the 1960s after he'd found it half buried on the farm. For him it was a prize to show off with swagger. But as time went on, the belt that was attached to the buckle began to deteriorate. The buckle was lost and forgotten, only to reemerge some fifty years later in the family vegetable garden. Nostalgia for the teen-turned-old-man, melancholy for me. . . his pampered American wife, never having experienced war or the survival of such. So, with that belt buckle and with the Italian and German WWII helmets that have hung for decades in the family storehouse, the thoughts that encompass me as I listen to the discoverer tell his rendition of his childhood archeological finds, are of those soldiers who never came home.

Yes, I know, the German and Italian soldiers hurt many Greeks, maybe more so . . .  I've heard it many times. It's just hard not to feel the human side of it, though, when you have the luxury of standing on the sidelines.

Independent authors often have quite a challenge in getting exposure for their work. I hope, dear reader, you will consider writing a review on Amazon or

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Margariti's Morning March

Currently there are two of us in this group. I am the not-so-fluent Greek speaker, making up Greek words that seem like they should be in the language and Toula is a do-or-die, won't-stop-until-I-get-the-point-across, barely-able English speaker.

But we are both fluent in grunts, groans, eye rolling and gestures. Thus, our morning conversations are both enlightening and somewhat confusing.

All are welcome to join us! Young, Old, middle aged, male, female, Greek-speakers, English-speakers, non-speakers etc.
However. . . and this is a big however. . .

No dogs, please.

Why no dogs?
Here are 4 reasons:

1. 1962, First Encounter with a Dog: I was playing at Little Jimmy Sorkell's house in Hicksville, NY. His puppy, which to my 4-year-old mind was a ferocious lion, jumped up on me and started barking. I peed all over the kitchen floor. His mother said something like "You make more of a mess than fido!" and then she got me a pair of Little Jimmy's scratchy boy-jeans to wear while she laundered my clothes.

2. 1987: Margariti, Greece . . . My brother-in-law thought it would be a good idea to keep a ferocious man-eating dog outside the door of our small 2-room house. I was terrified all that summer, especially at night. What if the dog got loose? It never stopped barking. My in-laws tried to reassure me. The dog would never hurt one of its own, they said, which I found completely unnerving. That dog was trying to get at an unfamiliar scent: American. I barely slept a wink that summer.

3. 2007: Hauppauge, NY . . .  I was jogging through my neighborhood when a dog decided to give chase. His owner behind him on a cell phone was screaming "Fido, no!" which I interpreted as "Fido, don't kill that woman who is jogging ahead of us."  I, while running at the speed of light was screaming back to Fido's owner, "Is he friendly!? Will he bite?!" She, unable to process what I was saying, I'm guessing because she was alternating her screaming to the dog with talking on the phone, did not answer me. I went home and bought a treadmill and did not see the jogging-light of day for 4 years.

4. 2011: Hauppauge, NY . . .  We had house guests from Greece. I did not want to disturb anyone with the sound of the treadmill, so I took to the streets again. Half way around the block, a dog coming from an unclear location, was barking profusely which I translated to be: "I'm behind you and I'm going to rip you to shreds as soon as I catch you." I twisted my foot in a pothole and broke my fall with  my face and the road. Then I spent the day in the hospital emergency room and haven't jogged outside since . . . not in the U.S. anyway.

. . . so, please, no dogs. In fact, my plan is to get as many people around me as possible so that when a dog does approach, I can throw my fellow walkers into its path while I escape.

Independent authors often have quite a challenge in getting exposure for their work. I hope, dear reader, you will consider writing a review on Amazon or