|Agios Nikolaos, village, December 2015|
“We’ll be here until December,” we announced with finality to friends both near and far.
|December display at a grocery store in Kardamyli village, 2015|
|The Stone House on the Hill, far right|
|The Stone House on the Hill, December 2014|
|The Stone House on the Hill, December 2016|
|Our lemon tree frames Agios Dimitrios and Agios Nikolaos villages in the distance|
We are just beginning to let go of that American approach of timelines and deadlines (something we both lived by in our professional lives and therefore struggle with giving it up). Things here get done when they get done. Days may pass while we wait for that promised mason, electrician, plumber or delivery of materials. . ..then as if they were falling dominos, one thing trips another and within an hour or two, suddenly everything is done.
|We've added color to The Stone House on The Hill|
Loving life is easy when you are abroad. Where no one knows you and you hold your life in your hands, all alone, you are more master of yourself than at any other time.
-- Hannah Arendt
Time isn't segmented with the hourly precision that dictates American life. We seldom make ‘plans’ in advance of a few hours here; a quick phone call or text suggesting an evening out together or alerting someone of a visit is the norm. No calendars or 'day-timers' needed.
|October far left, November, and December|
|Olive harvest at The Stone House on the Hill marks season's end|
“When abroad, boredom, routine and ‘normal’ cease to exist. And all that is left is the thrill and the challenge of uncertainty.”
-- Reannan Muth
|The normal way to buy vegetables in the village is from the traveling produce seller|
|Doing the Schengen Shuffle at London Heathrow's airport|
So on this third December at The Stone House on the Hill, we’ve just started the journey through the permit bureaucracy. . .it is a journey that will take us to Olympia, our Washington State capitol, then to San Francisco to meet with ‘our’ West Coast Greek consulate. If he grants us an 'entry permit' we can pursue a resident visa the next time we are here. . .90 days from now!
As you’ve probably gathered by now, we are packing up and closing this chapter at The Stone House on the Hill. The Scout found us a great airfare back to Seattle from Cairo. So we are off to Egypt (not a Schengen Country) this coming weekend. We appreciate the time you spend with us and so enjoy hearing from you! Until our next get-together, safe travels to you and yours ~
The loneliness of the expatriate is of an odd and complicated kind, for it is inseparable from the feeling of being free, of having escaped.
-- Adam Gopnik