“If I could save time in a bottle. . . If I could make days last forever. . .”
-- Lyrics from Time in a Bottle, 1970’s, Jim Croce
Since I first heard this song way-back-when, I’ve loved the idea of putting time in a bottle and making some of my favorite days last forever. . .
|Mani - Greece|
This song was penned and sung by Jim Croce, to mark a milestone in his own life: he wrote it for his wife after learning that after many years of trying, they were going to have a baby.
|The Stone House on the Hill - Peloponnese, Greece|
|Pantazi Beach afternoon - our house on the hill in the distance|
|Tractors hauling fishing boats - a common sight here|
Facebook posts and news media (traditional media) have become our links with life back in the States. We’ve noted that aside from a couple of friends who write regularly, we have heard very little from friends and family ‘back there’ this spring. An occasional email is a pleasant surprise but I’ve quit opening the inbox first thing each day and then fretting over why we may not have heard from someone. Invariably, when I write to check on them, they respond 'been busy'. After awhile their message sunk in: it was time to get busy with life here.
So busy we have been with day-to-day life on a hill in the Peloponnese that those months that stretched before us with promise of a nice long stay are nearly over.
|The teeny-tiny olives are between those leaves at the top of the photo|
We've watched the baby olives make their appearance in the grove, new flower beds are filled with promise and other projects have been undertaken and completed at a leisurely pace. We've taken road trips. We've had houseguests.
‘Kalo Mina, Happy Month,’ we’ve called out in greeting – just as the locals do – at the beginning of each new month and how quickly those new months have been arriving!
|We completed the gravel pathway in the upper garden|
“I’ve become unabashedly wistful as I go about our routines here, thinking of those every-day times I’d save in a bottle while wishing our days here would last at least a bit longer, if not forever. We continue to add to our 'to do' and 'to visit' lists for the ex pat life.
But there never seems to be enough time
To do the things you want to do
Once you find them. . .
Time in a Bottle, Jim Croce
So, you are likely thinking that if we like it so much here, why aren’t we staying longer? Excellent question! We’ve asked ourselves the same thing several times, and it has come back to each time. . .
|Exploring the backroads of the Deep Mani|
That Road trip to Greek ResidencyWe’d originally planned this stay as if we were traveling on our tourist visa (doing the Schengen Shuffle with 90-days here and 90-days out). We scheduled our departure for this coming Friday, leaving just enough time per Schengen rules to make a stop in France and Geneva on the way back to Seattle.
We weren't counting on getting residency permits this spring; we’d anticipated our Road Trip to Residency might be a slow journey. So far it has lived up to our expectations. (We understand why they issue a year-long entry visa to allow enough time obtain a residency permit.) Our flight plans had to be in place to obtain the entry visa way back in February in San Francisco.
However, since I last updated you on our journey, we've inched forward. We were fingerprinted by Greek immigration officials, our electronic photos have been fed into the computer system. Our translated-into-Greek and apostilled documents have been under review for several weeks.
|The Scout receives his temporary permit, our attorney explains it to him.|
We have been granted a temporary residence permit – good for a year while the review continues. It is much like the entry visa we obtained in San Francisco, just a bit closer to the real thing.
However, with no permanent permit yet in hand and no promise that it would be issued (immigration officials can still require more documents or an interview before a panel) we decided to make the most of our temporary visa.
We threw logic to the wind.
We bit the bullet.
We paid the price to change our airline reservations.
We extended our stay in Europe until the end of June. . .exceeding that Schengen 90 day allowance by a couple of weeks!!
Our accommodations in France and Geneva are non-refundable so we’ll turn that segment into a vacation – we'll still leave Friday but instead of Seattle will fly to Athens on June 12th.
|Sunset from the Stone House on the Hill|
A bit of foreshadowing: Our attorney has sent an update on our permanent residency permit . . .I'll save that update for next week. . .
Linking this week with:
Through My Lens
Our World Tuesday
Travel Photo Thursday –
Weekend Travel Inspiration