Yesterday afternoon, there was an American-style summer thunderstorm here in Loutro Elenis. Complete with hail, lightening ground strikes, torrential downpours, and thunder, the storm represents (to my mind) another example of American cultural imperialism. The Corinthia, typically, gets very little rain in the summer and thunder storms are relatively rare.
The nice thing about this storm is that it seemed to tell me that I should be going home. And I am. Tonight.
It also brought to mind a nice reminder of summer field seasons in the past. In 2001, I was doing an extensive survey with the Eastern Korinthia Archaeological Survey. This involved hiking by myself through the mountains of the southeastern Corinthia and noting what I saw. One late June afternoon, I came across the barely nucleated settlement that we now call Lakka Skoutara. Just as I had finished doing a little walking tour of a few of the abandoned houses -- the very abandoned houses that we prepared for publication this summer -- a late June thunder storm rolled through the mountains. I panicked and tried to find the biggest (but shortest) olive tree for some shelter when I caught the slightest glimpse of a tiny, whitewashed dome. My keen, Byzantinist-trained mind immediately realized that there is only one kind of white-washed, domed building in the Greek countryside. A church!
It turned out to be a small, rural chapel dedicated to St. Katherine who is not particularly known for protecting wanderers, extensive surveyers, or travelers, but she obliged my immediate needs nonetheless and provided me shelter from the storm.
As I look forward to going home and returning to my more normal routine, I couldn't help but think that the rain yesterday put a nice bookend on our work here in the Corinthia. First, it evoked my first experience of the Lakka Skoutara basin, where David Pettegrew and I concluded almost a decade of observation and documentation this year. It also foreshadowed my return to the US with a quintessentially American weather.
So, thank for the patience with my somewhat erratic blogging schedule. Once I get back to the US and settled in, I'll return to my normal blogging routine and post updates on my summer fieldwork, plans for the fall, and various other topics.