On making impractical life choices – a personal specialty

This is something I seem to excel at on a grand scale. On a small scale I tend to be quite practical: buy the cheap car, use a hot water bottle to keep toasty rather than heat a whole room, go to bed at a reasonable hour, stop eating when full and so on. On the large scale of life choices, I have no common sense at all. I won’t go into my imprudent choices of romantic partners, or my silly, mistaken ideas about what was a good course of action in terms of career and post-secondary education (with the exception of now; I think I have finally made a good choice education-wise), but trust me when I tell you, my track record in these two arenas is deeply flawed. I could write a what-not-to-do book based on sound (im)practical experiences. 

My most recent foolishness on a grand scale is to book a trip to Greece to house-sit. The reason this is not sensible is financial.  I am a student, at the beginning of my student-hood, with 19 months ahead of me, and negligible income. But I tell myself it’ll all work out somehow. When this woman who I house sat for before on Chios asked me if I’d be willing to come back this January, I hemmed and hawed for week or two. The thought of cozying up in that little house, 5 minutes from the Aegean, olive trees outside the windows, wood-stove burning away, cup of tea in hand… How could I resist? Also, I can be mind-numbingly sentimental and prone to falling head-over-heels for most 4-legged, fur-adorned creatures, and with 7 cats and 3 dogs, well, I will be in a kind of swooning heaven. 

So, with fond memories, not yet 5 months old, of drinking my morning coffee in the garden under an olive tree, with cats and dogs gradually congregating around me and a loud, bossy, but sweet, grandfatherly Greek man wandering about tending his plants, appearing periodically with gifts of fruits to be eaten and ordering me around in Greek, I went online and bought my ticket back to Chios. 

The Aegean and the west side of the island

Big fancy Greek Orthodox church in the next village along. You can actually see it from Volissos, perched way up on a mountain… The island is littered in churches, but unlike this one, most are very small affairs, the size of a single car garage, but much prettier.

our temporary farm animals. The cats used to tear around in the field, getting underhoof, chasing each other, chasing bugs, but the horses and the goat took it all in stride

Castle ruins at the top of Volissos village

The dogs, tucked in for the night. It turned out we were famous (and I suspect in a ridiculous rather than admired way) on the island – word had even reached Chios town – for this business of putting the dogs to bed at night.

Mom, in one of the many fields of daisies blanketing hillsides in the spring.

Sofia and Yiannis. Doesn’t this sight just make you want to put on the kettle for a cup of tea and cozy up with a book?