Deke is Neat in Athens or Anywhere

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November 2nd 2014
Published: November 2nd 2014
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October 28th was our last full day in Greece. Deke continued to convalesce at the Electra Palace Hotel (not easy to be convalescing in a hotel room on one’s vacation after breaking a bone). Deke and I found out that October 28this a holiday in Greece. From what a couple of Athenians told me, it was the day at the beginning of World War II wherein officials from Italy asked Greece to turn over some land. Greek officials proclaimed a resounding “no,” and Greeks continue to celebrate the bravery exhibited on this day. There was a parade in the morning, which I was not able to attend.

I was able to get out for a bit later and walk through The National Gardens not far from the hotel. I found The National Gardens akin to Central Park in New York City with a big, beautiful designated green area in the heart of the city.

Like nearly everywhere I have seen in Athens, there were ruins on display, even just before walking into the park. Of interest to me was the Olympic stadium built for the first modern Olympic games (this was I believe in the late 19th century). The stadium is just outside of the park. Also outside of the park, I saw numerous consulates. When we first arrived in Athens, Deke made note of where the U.S. Consulate was; this was in typical Deke fashion—always thinking one step ahead in case an issue arises.

The Parliament building and other government buildings are located within the park itself. I didn’t see any signs indicating which building was which, and I was feeling a bit shy in asking when I came upon some armed men with semi-automatic weapons. The buildings were well cared-for and fenced off from the public. In front of one of them was a guard ceremonially dressed in a traditional Greek uniform. I thought it best to ask one of the armed men with semi-automatic weapons if I could take the photo of the ceremonially-dressed guard; the armed man said that I could.

The park itself has many species of plants, and I came across a little zoo as well. Amongst the plants that grow well in a Mediterranean climate, I saw oranges ripening on orange trees. It was again a gray day in Athens, but I enjoyed the walk anyway.

We awoke very early the next day to catch our flight to Paris. Our driver’s son had fractured his leg the same day that Deke fractured his patella. I believe, as I have mentioned, that the day that Deke fractured his patella was a hard day for most Athenians as torrential rains bombarded the city creating floods.

After checking in our baggage at the Athens airport, a young man met us with a wheelchair to take Deke to the gate. This young man, like Vasylis in Mykonos, was an unusually happy person and exuded warmth. I stated that he seemed very happy so early in the morning. The young man stated that he liked his job very much, and was also happy because he had just had a four-day holiday. I mentioned at the start of my blog that I wanted to find out more about the melancholy I have seen in some Greeks I have known in the United States; I did come to find this melancholy within the culture for sure, but I also came upon two very unusually happy men who love their work. As I appear to be having a midlife crisis regarding my future employment, I will try and bring back what these two young men possessed regarding their chosen professions.

Most Greeks with whom I spoke regarding a sense of melancholy within the culture, believed that too many wars in a row has certainly entered the Greek mentality, and one man believed that a sense of nostalgia, which is not easily conveyed outside of the culture, was also to blame. Overall, I found the Greeks to be very warm, and I felt comfortable in their presence. Perhaps the groundwork of my affection for them had already been laid by the Greeks I have known in America.

After taking off from the Athens airport, Deke was already uncomfortable because of his leg. A French flight attendant gently teased Deke about his grumpiness, it did make the flight more pleasant. However, upon our approach to Charles de Gaulle Airport, it was very foggy. Our pilot went in for a landing, and I saw the runway very close when our pilot changed his mind at the last moment, abandoned the landing, and brought the plane back up. We were shocked. The pilot announced that he had abandoned the landing because of unfavorable conditions. The pilot circled around and attempted a landing one more time. This time he was successful, and the passengers, including me, applauded.

The next leg of our journey, though in first-class, was not problem-free. From Paris to Salt Lake, Deke had bouts of not feeling well and real pain in his leg though we had medication for him.

Our home was more of a welcome sight than I thought it would be though I loved our time in Greece and the Greek people.

The purpose of this lovely, though complicated by Deke’s injury vacation, was to celebrate our anniversary. It has been three years now since we have been married. Deke and I fell in love quite quickly, and there was talk of us running away together after only a few months; however, Deke stated that he needed to know someone at least a year before marrying her, and besides, his sister would kill him if he made such a rash decision after only a few months. Cooler heads did prevail, and Deke and I married a little over a year after meeting each other. The realist side of me knew that waiting a few months to marry was best; however, it was for me in a sense a race against time, as the full range of my issues would be manifest to Deke the longer he knew me. Deke married me anyway. Thanks for marrying me Deke. Thanks for going through the day-to-day with me. Thanks for making our trip to Greece possible; there had been a few opportunities for me to go to Greece before, but none of them materialized until I married you.

It was Deke’s idea that I write my first blog, and he bought me a camera for my birthday that would make it easier for me to use (I’m not great at some of the new-fangled cameras). Deke, you have shown me that you love me over and over again in measurable, practical ways outside of romance. There is a sense in which I wish I had broken my patella and not you, for you brought me immeasurable joy by taking me to Mykonos, Santorini, and Athens. I hope that I care for you in a way that helps you to heal.

We see the orthopedist on Tuesday, and we’re hoping that Deke does not need surgery.

Thanks to all of you who read my blog; I hope that you received some enjoyment.

Here is the final Aristotle quote:

Well then, a man acts unjustly if he has hurt another of deliberate purpose, and he who commits such acts of injustice is ipso facto an unjust character when they are in violation of the proportionate or the equal; and in like manner also a man is a just character when he acts justly of deliberate purpose, and does act justly if he acts voluntarily.

May we all be deliberately just, and have the freedom to do so.

With affection,


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7th December 2014

What a great country. Love following your blog.
7th December 2014

Greece is Beautiful
Hi Mr. Binkley, Thanks for the comments and for following my blog. Greece is beautiful and so historical and interesting; I loved the people particularly in Mykonos. I have been trying to add travel maps (where I have traveled) and favorite photos to my blog like you have on your comprehensive blog. So far, no success in getting them to appear. I know that has had problems getting icons to appear in general. Any suggestions? Thanks, Monique

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