I Saw the Sign: On Feet and Fate

Yesterday we lost power, and I thought it might be a sign that the Lord wanted me to get a pedicure. I know this is the kind of thing that only a crazier-than-crazy person thinks, much less says out loud. I know that the Lord probably does not spend much time thinking about my toes, […]

Away, in a Manger

Some people are social conservatives; I’m a seasonal conservative. I insist that my family strictly adhere to every holiday observance, from putting the angel on the tree on Christmas Eve before attending the Christmas pageant at church, to stuffing stockings for every member of our family even though the youngest is over 30 and therefore […]

Say Yes to the Breast!

I never thought I’d be so obsessed with anyone’s pooping schedule, including my own. But now that I have a new full-time job–dairy maid–basically all I do is breastfeed and write down how often Amalía poops or pees. In between I do manage to fit in the occasional writing of an article and attending of […]

Of Holy Mothers and Floating Babies–or Waitin’, Wishin’, and a Hopin’

We’re officially on Amalía Watch 2011. I guess since she’s only going to be born once, it’s Amalía Watch, period, but I like the way Amalía Watch 2011 makes it sound that much more official, like an election or a hurricane. At 35 weeks, one of my doctors told me that given Amalía’s size, she […]

Swing High, Fiery Chariot

I hate to miss a good party. Tonight, in Greece, is the eve of the festival of the Prophet Elias, the patron saint of our village, Lia. There will be roast lambs and goats on spits, there will be pitas made by local ladies, there will be clarinets wailing and villagers dancing and various and […]

Burn, Baby, Burn: Folklore Inferno

It’s going to be a long day.  And I mean that literally. Today is the summer solstice, the longest day of the year. Twice a year the sun goes to extremes as the Earth tilts on its axis, tilting away from or towards the sun and giving us the longest night of the year at […]

It’s the End of the World As We Know It…and I Feel Fine.

So, tomorrow’s my nameday. But I wouldn’t rush out and pick out my gift just yet. Because tomorrow is also, according to some, the beginning of the end of the world. So you probably won’t live to see a thank you note. If you don’t know what a nameday is, it’s the day the saint […]

The Sacred and the Profane–Holy Weeks I Have Known

This Palm Sunday, Holy week started off with a bang. Actually it was a kick, more of a kickline, from the party-girl-in-utero. We had gone to church to observe the holiday and the choir was singing a hymn for the Blessing of the Palms service. This apparently inspired a frenetic, religious dance from the little […]

I Come in Peace–or How I Learned to Stop Fearing Palm Sunday

Many parts of Lent are solemn, and some are downright sad; I once saw a woman crying so much during a Good Friday service on the island of Corfu that I whispered to my mother, “You should tell her it has a happy ending.” Because that’s the whole point of Easter, right? The Resurrection, the […]

Saint Joseph and the Heavenly Hash

So, this weekend we were way down yonder in New Orleans. And I apologize in advance if I feel the need to quote any more cheesy old standard songs. Because if I do feel so inspired, I will go right ahead and quote them. Why? Cause I did it my way. OK, enough of that. […]