One of the best gifts I have ever received is my rain gauge. My second best gift was my night-lights that turn themselves on and off. The rain gauge sits on the small table beside my bed where I keep my alarm clock. I check it daily and even more so on days when we have rain. Yesterday was a banner day for rain gauges in St. Petersburg, FL. We had 2.36 inches of rainfall before the day was over, and I watched the gauge rise steadily. The gauge doesn’t change numbers one at a time but, when it is raining heavily, adjusts itself sometimes in .10’s. If it is raining more slowly, it usually adjusts when there is another .03 inches of rainfall. The best thing about yesterday’s rain was that it was a record breaker for my gauge–I had never before seen the rainfall top 1 inch in one day. I understand that that happened several times during September, but I was away from home at that time so today was my first day to celebrate seeing a rainfall of more than 1 inch on my rain gauge. I hope it’s going to be a wet winter.
If you have been following my blog, then you know that this past year I have been dealing with a melanoma skin cancer on my forehead. It was discovered by my dermatologist who had removed another melanoma from my back. This one required the help of a cosmetic surgeon. The surgery was scheduled in time for me to make my trip to Greece with my partner on August 12. After the surgery, I was told to buy a product called “Scar Away” and to use for up to ten weeks, which I did. It was flesh-colored so didn’t really call attention to the spot. Of course, the main reason for the surgery was not cosmetic but for healing. I met again with the cosmetic surgeon who looked at my scar eight weeks after the surgery was performed and suggested that I have another surgery to remove the scar tissue and replace it with a smaller, less noticeable scar. My partner and I talked about the additional surgery and decided not to have another operation. Although the scar is certainly obvious, my health has been restored, and I am grateful.
In Greece, where I spent the last seven weeks, I learned right away that anything ordered from a menu comes with French fries, including the omelet I had for breakfast this morning. Maybe the Irish who fled the potato famine arrived and convinced the Greeks to serve potatoes with everything. Fortunately, Dimitris told me that sometimes the potatoes are negotiable–rice may be substituted. How about some vegetables such as green beans or broccoli? How about preparing my steak medium rare? Sorry! Greeks serve food only their way.
I love to travel although getting there can be tedious. I know that I love to see places that I have never seen. However, I also enjoy returning to a place that I have particularly enjoyed, such as the island of Santorini. I first saw Santorini in 1994 when I took a cruise of the Greek islands with friends. Of all the places we visited on that cruise, Santorini has stood out in my mind as the most different and intriguing place I have ever been. This summer, I returned to “paradise,” taking a SuperJet boat from Athens to Santorini. When we first approached the island, I was disappointed. It didn’t appear as beautiful as I remembered. When I realized that, because we were not arriving on an ocean liner, we were approaching from a different side of the island, I calmed down. The three days and two nights were spent exploring the island. All of the grandeur was still there–the breathtaking scenes of cliffs plunging into the sea, the blue and white architecture which makes the island unique, and the awesome sunsets. Returning to Athens by plane, a twenty-five minute ride, instead of the four hours by boat was also an additional plus.
While I was in Athens, Greece, staying in the flat of my partner who was born and raised there, I was counting on sharing his laptop computer as I had done during a past visit. The only back-up I that was available was my little iTouch. When the word processor on his laptop began to malfunction early in the visit–lines erasing automatically, the cursor jumping back and adding letters to words I had already typed–I knew that my only alternative was to communicate via my iPod. While I have watched young people pump out messages using both hands, I am not that dexterous. Therefore each communication I sent and each blog that I wrote, including this one, was a laborious process–one letter at a time.
Since writing my “Dull House” blog in which I excoriated Bright House for failing to live up to its promises to restore my services when I returned from a seven-week vacation, I have received word from that company that they are reimbursing me for the trouble they caused. The message also included an apology. I graciously accept their apology and once again join the chorus of those who responded to my blog and defended this cable service. I have been a loyal patron for many years and often have complimented them on their services. Evidently the problems this time were a combination of my going on vacation and their updating their system and losing information regarding restoring service. It’s good to be back as a good Bright House user and recommender.
Reader, you will have every reason to think scandalous thoughts regarding my partner and me, but believe me they are all a figment of your imagination. During my recent European trip, Dimitris and I spent time in Helsinki, Finland, and also on the Greek island of Skopelos. In both places, the beds collapsed in the middle of the night. The fall in Finland resulted in a night of sleeping on a steep slope. On Skopelos, we got up and repaired the bed well enough that one of us spent the rest of the night in that bed. Needless to say, that person was not me.