Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Monday, September 20, 2010
Saturday, July 24, 2010
So what are you doing today, enjoying cocktails or running on the beach, taking picture or wandering around the farmers market?
It is another night of chilled white wine, salty crisp Cheez-its and my favorite white porch. This is how I wrap up every night here on the ranch. Whether it is a day filled with checking cattle on the mountain or cleaning and sweeping, at mid-evening on any given summer night you will find me here with these three pleasures. The wine is for relaxation, the cheez-its are for satisfaction and the white front porch is for exploration.
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Saturday, July 10, 2010
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
"Missy, I saw you drop that onion behind the counter, " she whispers in my head, and I see her twirl her hand in a circular motion to pinpoint the exact area where it landed.
"Don't cry my love, and please get some rest, everything will be better in the morning," she comforts me as I shuffle through her closet to put away her dry cleaning as if she had work on Monday.
She is here, she is everywhere and I listen.
Yet still, the house whether it is empty or full is not a home without her. I used to like being home alone. That was before she left. That was before she left her home to me. And all those times before I wished for one moment that I would have the house to myself, so I could bake cookies, spread flour everywhere and leave the dishes for tomorrow...if I wanted to. Or take a bath for an hour, sit on the patio for another hour and well maybe lay in the grass for another... if I wanted to. All those times that I wished to be home alone to wander around carelessly, and yet I don't lay in grass or leave the dishes in the sink. No, instead I do exactly what she did when she was home alone, I prepare the house for everyone to come home. With beds freshly made, aromas of a perfectly marinated steak on the grill, the fire lit in the winter and the windows open in summer. Not because she did it or because I feel like I have to. I do it because this is when I feel closet to her. This is when I hear her wisdom, this is when I feel her flawless hands resting on my shoulder. This is when I can really be alone with her and just listen. So I guess when I am home alone, I never really am.
Tonight I made too much food, probably because I am used to cooking for five boys, my dad, my brothers and of course their posse. While most of the time I slap at their hands when they try to pick at the salad or the cookie dough, I miss the craziness of the kitchen when they are gone, even if it's just for a night. So on nights like this, when I am home alone, I cook for two. My mother and I.
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Saturday, June 26, 2010
Monday, June 7, 2010
Friday, June 4, 2010
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
I have always followed my heart and my gut instincts. For me, the two go hand and hand. And while some people map out a five-year and a ten-year plan by the time they are twenty, I prefer a different method when planning my career. My to-do list used to look like this: laundry, ten page paper, mach interview and English midterm. After my mom passed away I did some renovating to my to-do list. Now my to-do list looks like this: check-in with Dad, plan a trip to see YiaYia, make sure you tell Nouna (godmother) that I love her. I now concentrate on my special relationships instead of saying; “I’ll call you later”. I now surround myself with people who constantly inspire me and focus on developing myself first. Then I tackle my essays and tests, as they need to be done. I do one thing at a time. I believe that by doing this I will develop consistently everyday and my career will grow along with me.
Four years have come and gone. And it seems that when you are halfway through a good thing that is the time when you realize that it is almost over. In that moment you wish you could be back at the beginning. When it is your last time you wish it were your first. But that is part of living, remembering the past, seizing the present, and planning for the future. And sometimes the future plan is so close, that when something that you have always planned and wished for in your future suddenly comes before your eyes you panic, questioning whether you are ready. Life is a continuous gamble, a gamble on uncertainty. The beauty of this uncertainty is that we can wear many hats in our lifetime. Life is not a perfect straight line; there is plenty of room for mistakes and risks. I will wear many different hats in my lifetime and I know that these trials and risks will be worth every gain and loss that I encounter. We all race for the finish line, placing bets on our future or where we will end up. We place bets on whether we will become a doctor, a millionaire, a cowboy, a movie star or a stay at home mom. We place bets on which hat we will wear. Some of us stay inside the boundaries of the track never trying on another hat, never testing the uncertainty because this uncertainty might lead to failure. While some people are scared of this uncertainty, I am anxious to use my palette and color the world. I am a product of my family, my faith, my mother, my Greek culture and my education and one day I hope that my palette will create a beautiful portrait.
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Over the past month, my life has made a drastic change. She was my rock, the only person I cried to. She was my biggest fan and biggest critic. She was my storyteller and my interviewer. My life started with her. But I believe that my journey started when hers ended. It seems that each lecture, lesson and heart felt conversation I had with my mother were preparation for her departure. This is the reason instead of starting at the beginning and tracing my life up until this point, I find it most appropriate to start at the present moment, because the most important thing to me now, is the now. Now what am I going to do? Now where am I going to go? Now what do I want to do when I grow up? Now. Now. Now.
“Your cross is beautiful hun,” he said as his dark and daring eyes stared at me from behind the counter.
“Thank you it was my mom’s, I got it for her in Greece,” I remarked.
It was my moms’. My mom was… and then I fill in the blank. She was a fighter. She was a friend. She was an inspiration. WAS, the word itself still makes cringe. I still struggle with the idea of putting her existence in the past. My story starts at the symbol of the cross, of her cross. As a child my family and I would go to church nearly every Sunday. My mom and I always sit next to each other in church. She cradled her warm elegant hands up against mine and pressed my three fingers together to make a point. And then she would guide my arm up to my forehead, down to my stomach, to my right shoulder and then to my left. And I would practice this motion over and over before I went to bed. I would hold my gold cross in between my hands and rubbed it gently until I finally fell asleep. I was terrified as a child to sleep alone and this routine calmed my nerves.
Once she finally fell asleep after an 11-year battle with cancer, I grabbed her cold elegant hand and pressed her three fingers together to make a point. Then I guided her arm up to her forehead, down to her stomach, to her right shoulder and then to her left. In my head I could hear her say, “Pass it on”. Now, I wear her gold Grecian cross across my chest to remind me that she lives within me and her spirit will never have to be associated with the word WAS.
I hear her little lessons and axioms everyday, proving that even though she is a heaven’s away, her lessons will never cease.
“Pass it on,” I heard her say. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, pass it on. Do everything in moderation, pass it on. Always take one thing at a time, pass it on. Who you marry is one of the most important decisions that you make, pass it on.
Now, the most important goal that I have is passing on her lessons.
Thursday, May 6, 2010
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
‘Don’t forget to pack your Soniccare toothbrush Missy’, ‘Do you have your I.D. and your laptop’, ‘Make sure you fold that shirt nicely Mari Katherine’, ‘Are you sure your flight is at 4 p.m’, I heard her say as I packed up our memories in my little red suitcase for my return to San Diego.
I make this trip often, nearly every holiday weekend or celebration. And no matter the distance I always end up at home with my family. Coming home is always easy and leaving never gets easier. Today, I purposefully forgot most of the essentials when I packed, like socks, shirts, pants and my toothbrush.
Yet my bag as usual bordered the weight limit.
“Wow, what did pack in here mam?” she said.
“Well everything but the kitchen sink.” I joked with the flight attendant.
And too be honest, if feasible I would have brought the kitchen sink, because to her the stainless steel appliance was just as important as any other possession. I can remember coming home from college and walking through our front door, the blinds would always rattle as it closed. This noise was my mom’s cue that I was home.
“Honey is that you?” she yelled.
And even though I couldn’t see her, I could hear her vivacious smile in her voice. Usually I came around the corner to find her hovered over the kitchen sink either rinsing fresh vegetables and fruit or just finishing up the last dishes, always with a smile. Nothing was a chore for this woman, she made even dishes look fun. This is the reason I would have brought the kitchen sink with me to San Diego, because her loving memory is instilled in nearly every aspect of our home and lives. And I am determined to find a suitcase big enough to carry all these memories along with me.
When packing for San Diego, instead of the essentials I brought the memories.
I brought the 21st birthday card she gave me where she thanked me for coming home for the summer to be with her.
I brought her 25th wedding anniversary ring that my Dad gave her. He commented when he saw it on my finger today, “it still sparkles like it did when she wore it”.
I brought the holy icon that she always kept in her purse. She would pull it out about every hour and pray for someone or something. As one of the most competitive women I have ever known, my mom religiously prayed to her icon during our sporting events. And as one of the most selfless women that I have ever known, she rarely used that icon to pray for herself.
This time I zipped up my suitcase with a smile, to know that I wouldn’t have to say bye to her at the airport. Instead I would be carrying her love with me, from Craig down to San Diego.
“Don’t forget your little black dress Missy and call me when you land,” she said.