Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Friends and Neighbors

Friday, May 29, 2009

George the carpenter came in the morning. He says something else has come up for Monday and could we postpone the installation of our new kitchen sink/cabinets/drawers until Thursday. Yes, we can. The plumber agrees to come then. He has to come twice, once to disconnect the old sink, and later to connect the new. George, meanwhile, re-measured a few things a few more times, despite the fact that the work is all done except for the installation. I know for a fact it is, because we went to his shop to inspect it a few days ago. George showed us everything about it, proudly. He has even put on it a removable kickboard, so I can clean under the cabinetry!

Thomai, our downstairs neighbor, came later to visit. She had just been to confession, and was relating all the wonderful advice the priest had given her. It’s interesting how, when you’ve truly repented of your sins, you don’t mind other people knowing them. Well, that doesn’t mean telling everything is wise or prudent, but you lose much of the embarrassment.

Then she told us us, with great pleasure, all about the new, double-paned windows she and Zisis have had installed in their house in their village. The same man is going to replace their windows here, she said. He had quoted them a price that was just over half what anybody else has quoted us. So we said when he comes, please let us know so we can talk to him.

An hour later, Zisis came to say the window man was on his way. We phoned Demetrios, who was with Christos at their favorite kafenion and café, and he came right home. The man measured our windows. Zisis stipulated that we must keep the old shutters, to maintain the external appearance of the building. As he is the building “super”, his word goes. No problem.

Demetrios is now deciding if he wants to spend the money now or wait a while until we save up a bit more of it.

I went with him when he returned to the café and to Christos, and we all had supper there.

Christos drove us home, and as we arrived, I noticed that Vasiliki was back at her fruit stand after an absence “for reasons of health” of more than a month. The stand wasn’t open, but she was setting up some of the non-perishables, such as jams and honey, that she also sells.

“There’s Vasiliki!” I yelped. So after we had said goodbye to Christos, we went to see her.

Turns out she has problems with the disks in her spine, and so does Anestis. His pain is in his legs and neck, hers is only in the legs. The doctor told them to change jobs, as things like potatoes and onions and melons are heavy, “But what else are we supposed to do? This is what we know.” Then she invited us to have a cup of coffee with her across the street. We were tired, but this definitely seemed the thing to do, so we sat there with her for half an hour. We told her how worried we had been, how we had prayed for her, and she almost cried. She’s another one like Thomai, who does whatever she does with her heart, and her whole heart, too.

Shed said, as we left, “Truly, from my soul, it seems to me we are brother and sisters.”

It seems that way to us, too.


elizabeth said...


Confession is such a deep gift from God.

I really enjoy reading blog posts!