I took the day off from work yesterday, and spent the better part of my morning at a beautiful spa. I scheduled a grapeseed scrub, followed by a massage. It was wonderful. So wonderful in fact that at one point when the massage therapist placed a heated pillow under my neck and a warm pack soaked in flaxseed oil over my eyes, I almost cried. The wonderful aroma, the peaceful setting and thinking how blessed I was to be able to do this, it was pure bliss.
That blissful feeling lasted about 29 seconds before feelings of guilt crept in.
Did I really deserve this? How hard do I really work?
The person who really deserved something like this was my Yiayia Kalliope, my grandmother. Now she worked. Raising five children, tending to her vegetable garden, getting up early every morning to clean the church and fill it's furnace with coal. She fried the best chicken. Back in the 60's we thought she should take Colonel Sanders on. Seriously. When she made her chicken it was to feed about 20 of us. She would take walks with us, always cutting down a switch from a tree before departing. She would carry it along the way, swinging it lightly back and forth, brushing the ground. Although she made it look like it was to brush mosquitos away, it was really a kind of a warning what we had coming if we chose to misbehave. Can't remember her ever having to use it.
Yiayia grew enough tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers for the whole family, the whole neighborhood and possibly more. Spending many summer hours in her garden. I wonder if she knew she could have used those cucumbers to soak her aching feet, or refresh her tired eyes? I can still picture what the look on her face would have been if I had told her to slice up some of her cucumbers, place them in a large bowl of cool water, and to place her feet into the mixture!
What would she say now if she knew how I spent my morning.
Knowing my Yiayia, I think she would say - go, do your thing, you know what's better than I do. Not true of course, she knew what it was all about. Family and faith, for her pure bliss.
And who knows, she may have been indulging in cucumber foot soaks on her front porch on Cherry Street long before they were brought to the masses. This would surprise no one who knew this Kalliope!