Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The Lamb Chop, the Lemon and the Tablecloth Clip

"I happen to have a lamb chop in my purse," I say to the man in the English bookstore. A couple of dogs sniff my handbag; they don't beg, just glance hopefully in my direction. The shopkeeper doesn't seem surprised. I tell him I brought it from a restaurant to give to the first dog I saw without a collar, i.e. dependent on the kindness of villagers and strangers. "If only I could split it," I say. He produces a knife, and we divide the meat between the grateful dogs.

A lemon wedge lies in my purse as well, meant for a cup of tea in our tiny white adobe-like house hanging off the side of a cliff overlooking the caldera.

My husband Ron and I are in Oia on the island of Santorini, Greece, a quiet village with fewer services, and more peace, than the main port of Fira. Santorini is a volcano that blew its top about 1500 B.C., leaving a bowl-like body of water that empties into the sea. It is this caldera that we gaze down on from our balcony at the beginning and end of each day.

Walking for miles along the edge of the bowl, we see why they say "blue is the color of Greece." Blue water, blue sky, blue shutters and doors brilliant against the whitewashed houses and churches that climb up the hills behind us. Even our Fiat Panda is bright blue.

Oia is just waking up from winter as the villagers renovate shops and repair pathways, using donkeys to haul cement up and down the narrow passages. At one of the few open restaurants, we eat fava beans and feta and drink white wine as we listen to the strains of Greek music.

The tablecloth clip attaches to Ron's pocket as we get up from the meal. We return it to a laughing waitress the next day.


At April 1, 2007 at 3:29 PM , Blogger Erin said...

Thank you so much for setting this up! Your writing is wonderfully evocative and I am eager to read more. Looking forward to even more stories once you're back in Seattle...

At April 6, 2007 at 5:12 PM , Blogger Karen said...

As someone who has also been to Greece, I concur that "Blue is the color of Greece" - if it isn't November and raining!

At April 10, 2007 at 6:17 PM , Blogger Peggy said...

Greece sounds wonderful and I can imagine that amazing blue. But my favorite image is Ron's face when he discovered the tablecloth clip. Happy travels!


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