Written byPatricia Kiyono
Growing up, I wore a lot of homemade clothes. My family didn't have a lot of money, but my mom knew how to sew (Grandma was a kimono maker by trade) and Dad bought her a Singer sewing machine soon after we moved to America. When times were really tough, Mom made my blouses out of Dad's worn out dress shirts. But when she had extra money we would go to the fabric store and pick out material for a new dress. I loved those times. She taught me how to check the fabric for quality.
By the time I got to junior high school, our financial situation had improved and my wardrobe included items purchased at the department store. But for special occasions like Easter and Christmas, and later on Homecoming and Prom, we went to the fabric store and picked out the most beautiful shiny fabrics. I felt like a princess in my gowns. It seemed there was always a sewing project on mom's sewing machine cabinet.
So I guess it was natural that I learned to sew and create things out of fabric. It wasn't as much from financial need, since I worked full time. But I enjoyed it, and I made Halloween costumes for my own daughters, as well as dress-up clothes. For a short time I had a crafting business and my machine hummed at all hours of the night. It got so that the clerks at JoAnn Fabrics knew me by name because I was there every week. Of course, being a busy working mom I often had more projects than time, so some of the material piled up.
Now that I'm retired I have more time to sew, sort of. Every week I spend time sewing with ladies at my church. We create "comfort quilts" which are distributed by the parish nurse to people who need them. I'm still surrounded by fabric because I often work on quilt tops in between the quilting days. My sewing table is piled high with quilt pieces waiting to be pieced together, and the floor around it is covered with pieces of other projects – scarves, tote bags, stuffed toys. I'm still guilty of collecting more fabric than I could hope to sew.
The strange thing is I don't have to purchase much fabric any more. The quilting group gets lots of fabric donations every week. But not everything can be made into quilts, so after we separate what we can use, we bid on the rest. I don't take EVERYTHING home, but it seems like I've brought home a lot. I can't bear to see good fabric thrown out, so if no one else takes it, I often do. If it's in good shape, I figure I can find a use for it, somehow, sometime. Canvas and burlap can be made into sturdy tote bags. Flannel makes wonderful pajamas for the grandkids. Stretchy knit fabrics are a bit more tricky, but I've used some to make seat covers for my daughter's car, exercise pants, and burp cloths for baby gifts. I brought home some pretty lacy stuff and made curtains for the basement windows. But some of it has been sitting in the stash for a while because I haven't quite figured out what to do with it.
Every once in a while my husband or one of my daughters will make a comment about clearing out all the fabric and burning it. That's my cue for spending a lot of time at my machine so I can use it up. And what I can't get to right away goes into a hiding place. No, I'm not telling you where it is. My family might find out and then I'll have to find a new one!
Someone has been stealing priceless Greek artifacts and it's Alex Leonidis' job to uncover the thief. His prime suspect is beautiful archaeological graduate student, Francie Vasileiou. His plan is to join in an archaeological dig and catch her in the act. All he has to do is keep his mind on his job, and not on the way his lovely suspect warms his heart. He's learned the hard way not to trust fragile-looking women who seem to need his help.
Francie wants to get her PhD and become an archaeologist, like her famous father. The sudden invitation to participate in a dig on the beautiful Greek island of Paros is a wonderful opportunity. She has no time for distractions like Alex, the handsome Project Director. Experience has taught her to stay clear of handsome, charismatic Greek men.
On the shores of the Aegean Sea, Alex and Francie work together, searching for treasures from Greece's past. While pursuing their goals, they discover some of the truths they had believed to be carved in stone may have been flawed.
He was staring at her again.
She knew it, despite his outward lack of interest. His long, lean frame was draped casually on the wooden chair in the outdoor section of the Appolon Grill. Dark shades covered his eyes, but the jet-black eyebrows above them rose and tilted her way every time she moved. Unlike locals, who occasionally threw friendly greetings her way, this man stayed in his seat and silently watched her.
Francie Vasileiou bent her head and focused her attention on the textbook in front of her. Inwardly, she was flattered by his interest. But she reminded herself she was here in Athens to further her education, not to find a man. She sipped her water and
struggled to ignore him and concentrate on the words on the page.
The warm breeze calmed her nerves as she sat at her usual table in the back corner of the restaurant. Most tourists preferred to sit at the outer edges of the seating area with a view of Mount Olympus and the spectacular sunset. But here, next to the kitchen, she wasn’t distracted by the conversation and the view. The light from the kitchen allowed her to continue reading until Kostos closed down for the night.
Her job here at the restaurant was perfect. She worked enough hours so she could pay her living expenses, and when she wasn’t cooking or waitressing, Kostos allowed her to use one of his tables for studying. Even with the commotion from the kitchen and the restaurant patrons’ conversations, this setting was much better for concentrating than the noisy apartment building where she lived.
It took some effort, but finally the words on the page became concrete ideas, and she was transported back in time to the world of ancient Greece, to the time of the patricians. The structures on the Acropolis were not ruins but proud, gleaming works of art. Toga-draped people walked the dusty streets, while the less fortunate hawked their wares from makeshift stalls.