This is the second installment to the Five Photos/Five Stories challenge from LolaWi of Simply Beautiful.
There are many churches in Greece. If you go to Santorini, you’d see several church domes in close proximity to each other. They are not necessarily big, many are chapels. It turned out that many built personal chapels to commemorate a deceased loved one or as a gesture of thanksgiving.
My former boss of 30 years is Greek and I had an occasion to visit his birthplace one summer. He came from a very tiny village, almost isolated in the mountains of the main island of Peloponnese. In their property is a tiny chapel dedicated to her only sister who passed away as a child.
Then there was the church above. It was a short drive away from their house. He explained to me that his father was in the army during the war and just when everyone thought that he probably got killed he suddenly showed up one day. Remember there were no cell phones then and we know communication was very difficult. He was so grateful that he survived and was able to return to his family that he pledged to build a church in their village.
I was not able to get close to the church to even see its interior because his car broke down. I took this photo with my SLR while waiting for one of his cousins to come and get us while a passing acquaintance repaired the car right there. Aside from taking pictures, with his niece Katherine and my boss’s first cousin, John, who was also my good friend, we kept ourselves busy picking wild berries and figs.
It was a very rustic place. Very sedate and not too many houses. My boss had the biggest house in the village and the only one with a pool and the newest as they had rehabbed their old house. Cable was spotty and so was internet. It was a great place for day dreaming, perfect place to get away from the hub-bub of the city.
And I was very tired from island hopping before I got there that I fell asleep on the patio chair and missed taking a photo of the old shepherd with her herd of sheeps despite the reminder from my boss’s daughter to watch for it. The murmuring of the river down the mountain was like sweet music that lulled me to sleep. And then there were the smell of lavender, sage and oregano. When I woke up my boss had left a plateful of figs for me on the table from the next door neighbor – his cousin’s. The fig tree actually had branches with fruits that went over their property which were so easy to reach.
We had dinner one night at the next village which was a short drive from their house. It was a family restaurant and the fare very simple. We had a couple of trays of grilled baby lamb chops, crusty bread, olive oil and slices of watermelon. Of course the local wines. And yes, stewed rabbit too!
They told me what went on in the village square – the most happening place. Greeks spend their summers in their hometowns and that’s where they all meet and congregate. It was the place to look and be seen, where many courtships happen.
I spent almost three weeks in Greece that summer, attending a friend’s wedding and island hopping but I wish I had spent more time in that tiny village. I had taken several hundreds of photos and I had given the negatives and hard copies to my boss. I kept a CD for myself and hard copies too.
When Jim’s dad passed away a few years ago, I saw the enlarged copy of the above photo next to his remains at the funeral home. I felt so humbled and at the same time honored.
End of story . . .
Yesterday my first nominee was Ompong. Ompong it turned out was a former executive in the Philippines of the company I work for. Small world indeed. He considers himself a media warrior but he’s not only a good photographer, he might just find a new calling in this challenge, as a story teller. Please visit his site and tell me if you don’t agree.
For today, I would like to nominate Michael Lai of Retiree Diary. Michael is one the most well-traveled photographers here in WP, including his wife, friends and other family members. I hope Michael would join us in this challenge as I’ve not only enjoyed his photos but also the stories he told about his friend’s dog. Thank you!
Rules: “Post a photo each day for five consecutive days and attach a story to the photo. It can be fiction or non-fiction, a poem or a short paragraph and each day nominate another blogger for the challenge”.