January 29th, 2018
One of Seven
Last year, our daughter Alyssa and I went on her 20th birthday "Dream Trip" to Greece. We began our adventure in Flisvos and visited the islands of Hydra and Aegina. We rode public buses, glimpsed the Acropolis and drank in as much beer as we did sunshine and coastline. We rented an apartment with a balcony that over-looked the sea and ate and ate and ate. We tried a Greek cigarette together and quickly learned we prefer ouzo-mouth to ashtray-mouth. We boarded a plane to the island of our ancestry (called Samos) and drove the hour to Campos. The first thing we did, after connecting with family, was walk across the road to Votsalakia Beach. (Votsalakia Beach is the beach of our forefathers.) We dipped and splashed and dreamed. We walked and collected a handful of rocks and shells; the first rocks and shells of our visit to the family island...
We strolled the now inhabited Campos area, speaking to locals, learning about local specialties and popping in and out of shops. It was at one of these shops, that we had the first collected stones made into necklaces for our immediate family; me, Russell (my husband) and Mia (our other daughter) and both my parents, Ellen and Richard. There was one last rock that contained too much iron to be drilled and made into a necklace, so I carry it in my wallet. These rocks comprise the first seven rocks to be gathered from the Beach and connect us to our island and to our family. These rocks are a bond. These rocks represent family and love and connection. These rocks represent a clanship. In other words, all manner of Greek Sh!t...
Our dear friends in England, have been tasked with protecting a precious member of clan, Alyssa. Alyssa will be studying in England, at Sussex University, until summer. Without the love, guidance and protection of our English "clan," Andy and Lia, her time abroad would be far more difficult if not impossible for me. Not only have these two settled essentials needed for her apartment, braved the drive to Brighton and back in a day, they have willingly accepted honorary membership into our crazy Greek Clan and promised to watch over our girl!
Upon our arrival to Alyssa's new apartment, there was tea, pickle and cheese sandwiches, more tea and then biscuits, all lovingly prepared and packed by Lia. Then, there was a far too brief explore on the nearby pebbly beach. Our Votsalikia Beach was discussed as we collected first a first rock and then a first shell for Russell to keep at home. The seventh rock from Samos was presented to Andy. 'By accepting this, am I now part of some crazy clan?' Is the condensed version of what Andy said before I closed his palm about the rock. "Yes." 'You and Lia are now "One of Seven," Alyssa and I said with a chuckle. 'Baton down for some pretty crazy Greek Clan Sh!t!'
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