August 7, 2018

“Was the weather in Greece pretty good?” Maga asked.

“Depends on your definition of good.”

“To me, that’s sunshine and warm weather.”

“Then, yes.” Not wanting to alarm or cause envy, I didn’t expand upon the suffocating heat or gloriousness of a country that focuses on finding the best angle for the sunset each evening.

“What was your favorite part?” Maga asked.

“Probably the island where J and G got married.”

“That was Paros?”

“You got it!”

“Very good, yes.”

“It was big enough to be interesting, yet small enough not to be too touristy. We spent five days there so we got to know the island as well. It was wonderful.”

“And G’s father. Did you make it up to northern Greece to see him?”

“I did yes. He is such a lovely person.”

“Does he speak good English?”

“He knows about 5 words of English, while I know about 3 words of Greek…”

“So you didn’t have many heavy conversations?”

“Not really, no, but he was so welcoming and generous and you’d be surprised how much you can convey over a table full of food and wine and smiles.”

And it’s true. You can have entire conversations through the lifting of a glass of ouzo or the pointing at a dish of squid with raised eyebrows. There are lessons available within the slices of honeydew and chopped bits of figs he brought to the table. I may have only learned 3 words of Greek over two weeks, but I learned infinitely more with the use of my other senses.



July 31, 2018

“That must have been a very special time in Greece,” Maga said.

“Beyond. Special. Amazing. So so fun.”

“How’s your jet lag?”

“Not good, actually. I’m having a terrible time getting back to a normal schedule.”

“You’ve been home a week already?”

“Not quite. Not yet.”

“Oh, well these things take time. At least a week. At least they did in my experience.”

“What tricks did you use to get over it?”

“Oh, well, probably sleeping pills which would help me finish out the night.”

“There’s an idea.”

“Just know that good, normal times are ahead of you.”

“I’ll keep that in mind!”

“What time is it there?” Maga asked, “8pm?”

“No, 11pm.”

“What?!? Where are you?”

“East Coast.”

“Oh that’s right, of course. Oh, my goodness you should get to bed.”

“I’m already in it.”

“You are?! Now there’s a smart girl.”

With a brain functioning not even remotely on full capacity, I’ll take the compliment and wrap myself up in sweet dreams, too, while I’m at it.


July 25, 2018

There was a wedding and a dance floor that was packed from beginning to end. There were family members, both immediate, extended, and chosen. There were hot temperatures. There was very little shade. There were sunsets galore. Basically, there was a trip and it was, as the kids say, epic.

“I thought about you all then and how and what,” Maga said as I described some of the bigger events that took place over the past two plus weeks and then again over the past 24 hours of travel. “What a crazy, mixed up day.”

I’m not sure if it was the jet lag or the familiar voice, but everything she said made sense and even though I haven’t yet unpacked, I felt like I’d arrived home.


July 4, 2018

Yesterday’s temperatures scorched every last one of my brain cells and, as such, I was unable to properly manage my time between activities and missed my nightly call with Maga.

Fortunately, today’s a holiday and I made better use of my time outside the office. We chatted about fireworks and upcoming trips and family and sports. Her voice was slightly hoarse, but instead of a cold, she complained about her back.

“I guess that’s just one of the reasons why I can’t go with you,” she said.

“But the good news is that there will be pictures and postcards galore.”

“Oh, good. I’ll look forward to that.”

As we discussed when our next phone call would take place (since I’ll be out of touch during our regularly scheduled time), she said, “If you get a chance to say goodbye, please do, but if you don’t, that’s okay too. I love you.”

I’ll admit this display of generosity caught me by surprise because more often than not, it’s a guilt trip she lays down, and guilt is a heavy load to bear. And with the continued scorching temperatures here, it might have been too much. But this little act of kindness was like a breath of fresh, cool air.

“I love you too, Maga,” I said. “I’ll talk to you on Monday.” Not out of guilt or habit, but because I want to.


June 26, 2018

Two ladies. Talking. Chatting. Sharing. Caring. Speaking the same language (English), and yet not (generational, occupational, geographical).

“Good for you. You’re gaining a bit of experience,” Maga said. Her words skimmed over the previous 11+ years I’ve spent at my current job, 15+ in the industry, glossing over the bumps and bruises and learning curves.

“Did you ever have a formal job?” I asked. It was a clumsy attempt to convey I know being a mother and housewife is the hardest job because my question only used the words I (a non-mother/housewife) have in my professional arsenal.

“Bringing up four children was quite something to keep you busy,” she said, matter-of-factly.

It was. It is. It always will be.

She changed the subject. Neutral ground. Intentional? Unintentional? Bored? Unstimulated? Curious? “Have you gone to the index and seen how many dozens of stations there are?” She meant the TV, but all the same, she could have meant my publishing job.

Is this what it means to be family? To be speaking the same language even when you’re talking about different things and have separate agendas and varying vocabularies…?