My Aunt Trudy passed away on Wednesday 🙁 I don’t know who Jacky, who wrote this, is but…

Screaming sirens of police and ambulance reverberating around Kini in mid-morning, first alerted us all that something was wrong. In a few minutes that combination of telephone, email and Syros grapevine spread the sad news. Trudy had been found dead in her bath. Her friends and acquaintances are shocked, they cannot believe it. How could someone who ran towards and embraced life at such full tilt, die in this way. But as the days pass, funeral arrangements are made and family summoned from America, we begin to realize that it’s true.

Trudy will leave a hole in many lives. She was an energetic dynamo rushing from one project to the next, exhausting her helpers and friends and bulldozing her way through problems. She added colour to our lives with her myriad ideas and restless energy. Her causes were many and varied. She started and was still working on a local breast cancer awareness campaign, she ‘cleaned up’ Kini on many occasions, working with children in local schools to raise environmental awareness. In this year’s carnival, she had made, a ‘Mother earth’ costume and paraded through the streets of Ano Syros spreading her message, later taking it into Syros schools. Her passion for animals that led to an early cat neutering programme caused a lot of ill-feeling among the villagers, but she carried on, getting traps and cages imported from Germany and inviting charity vets to stay. We were all press-ganged into action to help catch and nurse the recovering animals. She would not take no for an answer. Woe betide anyone who left a dog on a short lead or without water and she’d almost physically attack hunters when she came across them on her walks. Meanwhile she and Kuriakos dog-napped a beautiful collie that was being mistreated in Crete; Lassie had a long and happy life with them. Cats arrived regularly; they knew where the food and medical treatment was good.

Born in Germany and emigrating to the States with her parents when she was a child, she developed a facility for languages, so she could communicate with everybody; most recently teaching herself Spanish, to volunteer at hostels on the pilgrimage trail to Santiago, where she walked a different portion each year and made friends from all around the world.

Although she had lived in many different places, Trudy’s base was Kini, where she had just built a roof garden, experimenting with hydroponics and a vegetable garden nearby, to grow organic fruit and vegetables. She travelled at every opportunity, visiting friends, volunteering at the Tiger Temple in Thailand, running a Christmas party in Goa for the children of migrants, raising money to bring water to a Zimbabwean village and while working in Saudi, collecting and transporting clothes and blankets for Kurdish refugees, for which she won a United Nations award.

She searched for ideas too, visiting John of God in Brazil, Amma’s ashram in Kerala, Brahma Kumari retreats – some of them silent – how did she do that? She was always first in line with any visiting guru or group; hungry for new teachings. But she also joined practical things; Greek language and dancing, film evenings and more mundane events such as bazaars and dog shows. She was forever clearing out holding garage sales for her charities, but however much she sold, it didn’t seem to make much impact on the amount of things overflowing from cupboards and drawers.

Accidents were a feature of her life, as the scrapes on her car demonstrate, but a serious fall from her roof, several years ago, failed to slow her energy, even though she had to stay flat on her back for three months. Driving with her was scary, in her car or motorhome; there were just too many distractions along the way!

Her style of eating was to graze; nuts, fruits, vegetables, popcorn. She didn’t eat meat or drink alcohol, but was in to every faddy diet imaginable to detox and keep fit. However, her walking speed and daily treks to Delphini ensured she didn’t put on weight. She’d often stop by on her way home, reluctant to be an uninvited guest for dinner. When she acquiesced, which she nearly always did, she’d feast with gusto, happily coming back for second and third helpings.

Trudy had a big heart. She’d always help out and get more and more frenzied as she got busier and busier with tasks she had promised to do. She knew everyone and was always late because she met and talked to so many people along the way. Only pint-sized, she was fearless, there was nothing and no-one she wouldn’t tackle as the many scars she bore from ungrateful animals testified.

She hosted many parties; loving to put on a German-style Christmas Eve celebration. She filled the place with hundreds of candles and caused fires on more than one occasion. Easter was good with her too; up to Anastasi armed with candles, sparklers and ear-plugs for the midnight celebration, then roasting lamb the next day, overlooking the sea in Dani – although she never ate any.

She lived almost on the beach, but hated sand, fussed about getting her hair wet, wore bright colours, lots of jewellery and strappy sandals when she wasn’t hiking, causing her to trip over regularly. She was noisy at a party or in a group and spoke rapidly to get her ideas across. But the ramifications of her death are being felt everywhere. Who will tell us which films are on, who will organize the group for the next International Women’s Day, who will care for the stray animals of Kini, the ducks on the beach? And across the world, what about those children she was supporting, the prisoners she was writing to and the Zimbabwean school needing books and a fresh water supply?

We can’t begin to fill the gap she has left, but maybe together, we can help some of her ideas live on and move forward, carrying on her positive attitude and approach, anywhere she saw a need. So ‘Bon voyage’ Trudy, wherever you are – we’ll miss you and our worlds will be less colourful without you.

‘Never send to know for whom the bell tolls – it tolls for thee.’


aunt trudy is volunteering at the thai buddhist tiger sanctuary that she visited last year. she’s been almost mauled by a full size tiger (teeth at her neck but then it only sniffed her) and bitten twice by the baby tigers. and is totally loving it. when i get laid off i’m going to travel with her.

and completely unrelated, headline: “Joe the Plumber turns on McCain over bailout support”….WHY IS HE STILL GETTING ATTENTION? who the FUCK cares?!


thanksgiving in detroit. we headed up wednesday afternoon and had a basic pizza dinner at my dad’s sisters house where we were staying. thursday we surprised ed and laurice who didn’t know we were in town and went to their house for a few hours and then back to my aunts. my 2 cousins arrived with their kids, 9, 7 and 3. i haven’t been out there in probably 5 years, and had never met the 3 year old. i don’t know what to do with kids but some how my bedroom became a dance party, where they figured out how to use cassettes (i didn’t think they even knew what they were!) and blasted rock and roll (disco really) and danced and jumped on the sofa bed. the little one announced he liked motley crue and that “dad has alot of loud cds” hahaha. he started dancing “like a cowboy” with his hands on his waistband, and doing what i would sorta call the “new kids dance” haha it was cute. the 7 year old was disco dancing like john travolta and i’m like, how do you know that, you’re SEVEN?!

back home early friday morning, so i could nap cuz i barely slept, and then work tonight.

haha trudy

i absolutely love my aunt trudy, and some of you have met her and heard some of her stories. she is the aunt who lives in greece, fell off her house, has been everywhere, played with tigers in thailand, walked some insane like 1500km through spain earlier this year, and just finished a week long silent retreat. i emailed her my new address for the house, and she writes back that she’s internet dating hahah. also, she’s 65. she used a michigan zip code, so she can only find people in a 250 mile radius of clinton township where my other aunt lives, and wants to know if i know any world wide dating sites. hahah LOVE HER! i hope to god i am that interesting at 65.

and because even tho i’ve been out of school for 6 years, i’m a master procrastinator, i work at 10 tonight yet i haven’t packed anything more. i’ve been playing stupid games and watching vh1’s i love the millenium. which i have to say seems kind of silly. only because we are now on 2007 which was…*drum roll*… LAST FUCKING YEAR! i love the 80s in all it’s versions was a great series, i love the 90s was not as good, perhaps because we haven’t forgotten the 90s completely yet…i know i definitely have not forgotten LAST YEAR. but i admit, this series seems better than the 90s one, and i can’t figure out why. it can’t be because the 90s had less culture than the 00s because we’re in a serious cultural void atm. i have to disagree with their statements about “guy-liner”…they say to stop because girls don’t like it. um no, it’s fucking hot, all guys should wear eyeliner hahaha


adr2 wants an update and i finally have some time.

went to chautauqua institute for wed/thurs to see uncle ed read his baseball haiku as part of their sport in america week. it was the first week of their season so the compound (for lack of a better word to call it) wasn’t too busy. my parents rented an “apartment” for the entire week. it was really 2 bedrooms and a kitchenette, interconnected with doors but by no means an apartment. for people who don’t know what the institute is it is very hard to explain. it is an old victorian town which was built around culture and music and i think religion, which is now gated and is like a summer retreat. there are lectures and concerts every day, there is a music school with little practice cottages where kids just go and play music all day alone. it’s on the lake so there is a beach and boats and stuff. there are no cars allowed except to drop off stuff. oh and you have to pay to get in. and pay alot. it pays for all the lectures and music etc. it’s not a swinging exciting place though, so people ask what we did, and i say nothing cuz you really just go and hang out. it used to be pretty famous for being overrun with bats, the sky would be full of them at dusk but i didn’t see a single one, which is sad.

so wed afternoon just walked around with the parents, got dinner, and met up with ed and laurice and a friend of theirs on the porch of our house. the concert that night was chamber orchestra, which cracked alot of jokes, and brought out a speed painter who did a portrait of beethoven in 5 minutes. they were amusing. thurs carol and eric arrived, and ed read his poetry with 2 other writers that afternoon. followed that with a book signing and a big dinner with the family and the few friends and writers at a place off the grounds. there was a ballet that night but we missed it at dinner. then more hanging on the porch, and celebrating birthdays (mine, mom’s and eric’s). left friday morning back home, and slept the rest of the day. sleeping there was not fun, too many noises to wake me up constantly.

saturday was the winefest at the terminal. it was already more successful than last year’s before it even started haha. there were lots of people when i got there, more than i expected and it seemed very well done.

oh and saturday was my birthday. i worked after winefest. exciting!

sunday brought looking at the house again, and putting in an offer. it was accepted 4 hours later, so…i guess i’m buying a house lol.

that’s all i have to say.

Merry Christmas

i should probably post something. merry christmas.

to me holidays are all pretty uneventful. once you’re past a certain age and don’t get toys anymore, it’s just another day. monday was dinner with the parents and aunt trudy and gifts. among other things i got the wide angle lens for my cam i wanted, and an ice cream maker. i worked monday night. tuesday was dinner with parents and trudy again. adr came over later that night, as i had the day off. wednesday was a trip to the casino for lunch, and i managed to find some cheap tickets to the sabres game… (yes i have seasons, we had sold them, and then adr wanted to go haha). the game was fun despite the loss. adr and i hadn’t been to a game together in like…4 or 5 years probably. thursday i didn’t leave the house 🙂 friday was back to work.

i’m a 10-6 tonight, for the first time in months. the ice bowl is tuesday, and of course, i get scheduled 10-6 on monday as well. so my plans to call in on tuesday have been foiled and i’m being forced to call in on new years eve instead. there i just no way i’m working the late shift, then getting stuck over time because there’s no way i won’t get stuck on new years eve, and then going to the game on zero sleep. so screw you guys i’m calling in on the busiest day of the year. you did it to yourself, as i would have gladly worked my normal 8-4. i may just call in after the game as well, it’ll only give me 1 point and i finally have zero points, so it’s not like they can fire me or anything 🙂

now seeing that i’m giving myself new years eve off for the first time in 5 years, i should really do something other than sit home. but i really just can’t bring myself to go out to a bar or something like that. if i had more than 2 friends here who wouldn’t be at work, maybe a house party would be in order, but it’s not. and again, new years is just another day to me…

i think i’m going to go try the ice cream maker now.

aunt trudy is spending christmas with us. i’m excited. she’s by far my most interesting family member, and i didn’t get a chance to meet up with her when in europe.


my mom is not dying. she doesn’t have any kind of cancer in any of the locations they tested. clean bill of health. so that’s good.

i feel like every day there is some crazy shooting up a school, or friends at a party, or amish. seriously. i don’t read a lot of the news, mainly just headlines on yahoo but i’m not kidding, EVERYDAY there is something about a shooting. what is happening?!

so my mom and aunt when cleaning out my grandma’s house found a scrapbook under the couch. my mom asked if i ever remembered grandma talking about how she was mad at grandpa for calling up an ex-girlfriend molly and talking to her for like 2 hours on new years some year. i said no. never heard that one.

my mom often would find random words cut out of newspapers and magazines around the house, stuffed in books, and always thought it was weird.

the scrapbook contained paragraph after paragraph, each different, completely formed out of cut out words and letters, by my grandma, about this woman molly, and how she was a slut and a whore and a “good time charlie”. obsess much?

my mom wonders now if my grandpa maybe had an affair. not that it would have surprised any of us.

but my grandma was completely and crazy obsessive about it. i asked if i could have the scrap book and mom said they threw it out. WTF?! that’s EXACTLY the kind of crazy shit that i like!