Kitchen Table

Not everyone I know knows that we are going on this trip.  Everyday someone new learns about it, and asks me why we’re doing this and how it came about.  It seems that every time I answer, I have have a new reason.  The idea of bringing the kids to Greece to live was planted about two and a half years ago, when my mother and I were in Galaxidi, Greeece, cleaning out my grandfather’s childhood home.  My mother’s cousin, Argyris, had passed away the year prior, and the house had been left to her.  She made one trip the year before with my sister to begin the paperwork, pay the taxes, and clean the house.  Unfortunately they ran into one obstacle after another, so another trip had to be made.  When my mom and I arrived the following year, we realized that the key to the house was still in America!  We tried to get another key from the police department, but, again, things aren’t that easy in Greece.  Our lawyer told us try to get into the house through a window.  We were there for only 5 days and had a lot of work to do; waiting for the paperwork to get the key wasn’t an option. As my mom and I tried to pry open the windows, a little old Greek lady, who lived two doors down, walked up to us, carrying a 10 foot ladder.  Although she spoke no English, and our Greek was rusty, she was more than happy to help us break into the house! My mom and I spent the next 4 days hauling out trash, sorting through items to donate, and trying to tidy up the small home.  Our new found friend, Georgina, was an invaluable resource, bringing us brooms, buckets, and water.  On the last morning, we sat the small table in the kitchen, with the window and doors open, looking out at the sea, just as Argyris, had done most days of his life.  Georgia appeared at the door with a bottle of cold water.  We got down three small glasses and sat there in silence.  The breeze was blowing, and other than the sound of the water, there was a peaceful silence in the room. That’s when  I thought, “I would like to live here.”

The kitchen on our final day in Galaxid, Greece.


3 comments on “Kitchen Table

  1. AngelBurgher says:

    Jackie, I had no idea that we even knew anyone on that side of the family.

    • jandcfox says:

      Argyris is your father’s first cousin. His mother (Stelliani) and your grandfather (Elias/Louie) were siblings. Your grandfather came to America and married Grandma. His sister stayed in Greece and had two children– a boy (Argyris) and a girl (Kostoulia). Argyris was working on the Greek ships and when he got to America, he “jumped ship” and and found his Uncle Louie and his family in Pittsburgh. He stayed with them for a few months. My best guess is that your dad was just a toddler then, but I could be wrong. He was eventually found out and sent back. My mom and dad went to see him in 1971 or 1972 when they went to Greece. Neither he or his sister had ever married or had children (actually Argyris was married for a very short time when he was young). My dad visited them once again in the 1980’s. Dianna and Bill went to see Argyris in 1997 or 1998 and found out that Kostoulia had been hit by a bus and died. Chris and I went in 1999. That year he flew back to America with Chris and me, and he was able to see all of his cousins again (your dad included). From that point on, we wrote him letters and called him. He’d often call me and ask about the weather and what I was making for dinner. 😉 Dianna visited him again in 2006, and in 2007 my mom, Dianna, and I visited. The following summer he died. Our family in America was his only family. I have photos I can share with you as well! (and good thing I saw your photo on your tag, or I wouldn’t know who AngelBurgher was!)

  2. […] and the people who return, return because they have ties to the island.   I mentioned in the post, Kitchen Table, that there were many reasons I wanted to spend a year in Greece with my family,  and my family […]

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