Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Frozen in Time
We stayed at this heritage home in Mytilini, the capital city of the island Lesvos in Greece. It belongs to my husband's family who made this house a home from 1984-1989. I learned that there are several families who emigrated to Canada, then missed home and brought their children back to the old country. Some families realized that their "new" life was in fact better, and made a more permanent move to Canada.
This has meant that some family homes in Greece are stocked with "vintage" North American goods from the 70s and 80s. Because the homes remain in the family but are not necessarily occupied full time, much of the kitchen wares and textiles are preserved in great shape, and not thrown out and replaced.
I love the attention to detail that you see in older homes. Even the mouldings around a door are something to stare at in appreciation of the work that was put into it.
Speaking of work, my father in law spent countless hours in the 1980s restoring the interior of this house. He tells me that the woodwork on the staircases and interior doors were painted over and over like an old boat. He used a torch and scraped all the paint off by hand to recreate and salvage the natural beauty of the house's staircases, banisters, and interior window/door frames.
We stayed at the house for about two weeks, admiring the details and using appliances from the 80s. The North American washing machine for instance, had a mailing address for any customer service enquiries to the General Electric company - these days we'd pick up the phone toll free or just email!
It was a great experience to live like a local in a place that felt like home and was full of surprises and delights behind the cupboards, in the attic, and in the travel trunks. The view outside our windows of the orange and lemon trees out back is something I won't soon forget.
Thanks everyone for indulging me in my vacation report - next post will take a look at what I found behind the cupboards!