Artistes in (one of my versions of ) Paradise

Today I got to watch two artists at work. My two cousins, Takes and Avraam, have been in and lut of the handbag business for decades. I wish I had thought to take pictures of their progress, from design, to cutting, to shearing, to sewing. Their final product was a buttery soft Italian leather laptop bag that will sell for far less than what such craftsmanship is worth. Between the start and finish, there was swimming, and a birthday dinner that should have all of us full for the next few days. The obligatory midday nap, then, more cafe sitting with my brother George and his family. The impish 4-year-old kept getting his older brother in trouble, but I could not care less, since I am just so happy to be around them. At the end of the day, around midnight, my mom, Fanis, Paula, Chico and I went for a swim under the full moon, and to check the turtle nests on the beach. Jennifer Lally Sargeant, I might need your help figuring out duo’s and don’ts of that.

Except for the dinner, which was with about15 of my favorite people on the planet and was 30 years removed from the last time I was able to celebrate my cousin’s birthday, it was a rather ordinary day. At least it would be, if it didn’t happen entirely too infrequently. I don’t know that Greece is everyone’s idea of paradise. You know about the economic crisis, and maybe the driving style could be calmer, but the sea, the food, the language (the fulfilling nature of the swear words alone is worth the trouble of learning it), the family members, and the vibrancy of the seaside nightlife make pretty close for me.

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