summer flashback :: discover olympia


I figured since you/know/who was headed to Greece this week, I'd take a look back on our trip there this summer. I'm not going to lie. It's been hard to look back at these pictures. As you know, we lost our Violet while we were traveling, and I've said before that this trip we took was not the best for me. Our trip to Delphi, which came the day after we got the news, passed in pretty much of a haze. A tear-filled eye phase, for me.

And that's a shame, because look at this place. The museum, which was reorganized in 2004, is stunning. It's not huge, and its size and relative intimacy makes you feel connected to the amazing works they have showcased there. I was particularly struck by how well lit the statues were. Compelling.

We were early in the season, just at the start of June, and our day was threatening storms. Because of this, when we got down to the actual ruins, our group of scientists (and their families) had the place to themselves. Cal and his friend Sam ran a footrace in the stadium (that profile shot of him above is from there) and we were free to wander to our hearts' content.

I was struck then, as I am now, how nature takes over. Grasses covering columns. Flowers finding purchase. Looking at these pictures now, I'm struck anew at the majesty of the place, but also, look how sad my boy was. We all were.

If you're interested in reading more about the history of the Olympics (More? I didn't even touch on it here! But you can see where the torch is lit every four years for the modern Olympic Games and that's pretty awesome sauce.) I can't recommend this book, The Naked Olympics, highly enough. Cal's Latin teacher recommended it to me (warning me that it was a bit bawdy, but I persevered), and it was great to have such a thorough background before our trip. Honestly, I recommend it even if you're not headed that way soon.

We headed up the mountains to dinner after our tour, and I'll be back on Thursday with some photos from that amazing meal. Nothing heals like food, you know.

puppies {still + life}

So with tons of pictures still to edit and lots of thoughts still to process, I tried to figure out a way to pop up a sneak peek into my weekend. The tread that tied everything together? All the aspects of farm life and kitchen life and the people and the animals?

It was the dogs. As soon as I pulled up, there was a bevvy of (intensely muddy) pups surrounding me, and shortly after I pulled up, a couple came in behind us saying, "We're here for the puppies for sale?"

For sale?

There were at least four lab puppies (it was hard to keep count) and three adults, in all colors, and the puppies (all 14 weeks old) were indeed for sale. Every time Cal asked me, I said, "Hmmm... not sure. The owner isn't here any more."

So. There's that.

But the pups were pretty much ubiquitous, and that was wonderful. They went everywhere, alone or in their muddy, slobby, happy pack. Sometimes they'd fight, and I'd get a whiff of a PTSD feeling since our dogs fight, and it's not pretty. But these dogs fight the way dogs are supposed to fight: someone gets their feelings hurt and teeth snap until someone finally submits and then everyone will lie down together panting happily. Peaceable kingdom.

They pretty much lie around all day unless they're playing, and if we ate dinner outside, you'd shift your foot and realize, "Oh, there's a dog under me." So well mannered and quiet, if you hadn't moved, you'd have never known. On occasion, you'd be working away in the dining room, thinking all was well, when suddenly a pup would jump the gate and bolt into the room. They just want to be where the action is. And the food. The owner told us if this happens to simply say, "Pups out!" in a happy, friendly voice and they'll move. With the older dogs it totally worked, but the puppies looked at us like, "But I want to be with youuuuuuuuu."

Hard to convince them.

Our first morning there, I was one of the first up and I went to get something from my car. I think the pups thought I had breakfast because they all surrounded me: tails wagging, tiny puppy teeth nipping. The followed me en masse to the car and swarmed around me as I tried to open the door. And they stayed swarmed around me, all sloppy, muddy smiles as I wondered if I needed to get in the car just to give myself a break.

(We later looked up the hash tag #pupsout, and turns out the meaning is entirely different from what we were expecting. Go see.)

In the end, I almost came home with that little brown guy with the light eyes. But the thought of taking him away from his home and the farm and farm life and a four hour drive with a muddy lab and what my beagle would say. Well. We said good bye.

What joy to have them near me, even for a little while. Pups out!