Saturday, May 14, 2016

The Beginning of a Memorable Summer


Where to begin. Argh. Let’s start with the yay and whoopee part.  I leave for Mykonos on Wednesday!

Now what?  Well, two of the chimneys on my farm have been repaired, but my mason told me the third one (with the double flue) needs some serious attention—and no, Evka, a skinnier Santa isn’t the answer.  On the other hand, my County Forester did say during his inspection last week that I’m doing a terrific job battling the invasive species trying to take over my land.

He couldn’t say the same thing about the Republican party.

Though my state forest fire fighter buddy who’s helping me drive the barberry and Russian olive from the land, did say he believes the Democratic front runner will look very attractive in an orange jump suit.

Yep, from a political point of view it’s a terrific time to move on.  Now, if only CNN weren’t available in Greece, life would be perfect there.

Okay, not perfect, but at least linguistically obtuse.

And obtuse applies in full measure to the current state of Greek politics. The Prime Minister—well known for having flip-flopped more dramatically on his promises than a traveling salesman on his to the farmer’s daughter (think about that one, folks), is now confiding in the electorate that his 180 degree overnight reversals of promises that got him elected were the product of “self-deception.”  Whatever that means.

Not sure how many are believing him because he’s now confronting violent demonstrations of the sort his party was accused of fomenting in order to gain power, and combatting them with at least as much force as did those he once opposed.

And, oh yes, Greece is back in its “We’ll promise you anything as long as you give us further bailout moneys” routine.  This time it’s for a 5.7 billion euros prize.  Frankly, from the rather restrained dramatics and protests coming from the creditors’ side, I’m getting the impression they no longer care.  It’s behavior akin to writing off an addict cousin after years of trying to help him save himself, by simply giving him the money he requests without even listening to his never-kept promises to straighten himself out.  

Ultimately those situations end in tears. I can almost hear the EU, EU Central Bank and IMF creditors trio saying, “Poor Greece.  You all know we really did try to help, but you can’t help those unwilling to change their ways.”

All I can say is we shall see if there is sufficient political will and commitment to change the national dynamic.  Tourism is expected to be robust again this season, what with so many fearing Mediterranean basin travel east and south of Greece.  And the first quarter 0.4% shrink in Greece’s economy is triggering both positive and negative spins depending on which side of the aisle you’re in.  But one thing’s for sure, the sun will be shining and the Aegean inviting.  That’s two things. And there are more, but I’ll keep them to myself for now.

What I’m looking forward to most of all this trip is that I’ll be leaving behind an edginess I’ve not sensed in America since the height of the Vietnam War years debate. Sadly, I’ve no doubt it will intensify greatly.

And, so, dear friends, as I leave a place in political disarray for one that may soon politically implode—though hopefully not before my new book comes out in September, he said selfishly—I wish you a happy and healthy summer far, far away from the cable TV news (?) shows. But don’t worry, I’ll be back here next Saturday….hopefully with the start of a suntan.



  1. Remember, Jeff: YOU control the vertical, YOU control the horizontal... when you hear the calling of CNN, just get horizontal for a while.

    As for the sun shining and the Aegean inviting, you'll also have Barbara behind you every time you feel like a selfie.

    Umm... maybe I should rephrase that...

    1. Far too many directions for my selfie driven mind to follow... and yes, maybe you should, though none expect you to.

  2. Replies
    1. I shall not hide! Looking forward to seeing you.

  3. Bro, with great restraint, I by pass that straight line you handed me about your selfie driven mind, and in the interests of family unity, merely wish you Buon' Viaggio as you join the most invasive species on the planet: summer visitors to Mykonos

  4. Summer in Mykonos sounds a LOT better than staying here to watch the presidential fiasco, even with Greece's economic and political issues. Travel safely, and I'll see you in the online spaces until Bouchercon!

    1. For sure on all counts. See you come September.

  5. I share your dismay. Your farm is lovely, and so is the setting. Enjoy1

  6. Thanks, Lil, and for sure this May is one for disMay.