Saturday, May 19, 2007

Thrice Blessed

I had intended to post this a couple of days ago, but life kept getting in the way. ;-)

On Thursday, dh and I celebrated 38 years of marriage. We began the day by attending Divine Liturgy for the Ascension, and after Liturgy, I asked my priest if I could sing a Te Deum to give thanks for the reunion of Moscow and ROCOR. Interestingly, my very Greek priest didn't know what a Te Deum was -- and I didn't know what it would be called in Greek, or even if it exists in Greek -- but once he understood what I wanted to do, he was all for it. I know this nifty Te Deum that I had to learn for my courses at Jordanville, so was able to sing the whole thing through in Slavonic.

After that, we went out to breakfast, and then spent the rest of the day just knocking around Maine -- went to Kennebunk and Cape Porpoise, and then drove back along the coast to a place called Cap'n Simeon's Galley for lunch. Great seafood (even if it was a non-fasting day... Sigh). It's nice to be able to visit old favorite haunts now and again, and this has been on our list of favorites for 21 years now, which is as long as we've lived in New Hampshire.

As someone pointed out, the Ascension and wedding anniversaries occur annually. But rarely do they occur on the same date. And added to that the joy of the reconciliation between the two Churches of Russia -- yeah, thrice blessed says it all.

BTW, I notice that today is the birthday of Tsar-Martyr Nicholas II. I have often read that he knew he was born on the feast of the Prophet Job, and expected to have a difficult reign, filled with tribulation. Incidentally, Nicholas and Alexandra, by Robert K. Massie, is quite enlightening on the subject of the Tsar-Martyr. What I like best about this book is that it was written by someone with absolutely no agenda; his only reason for researching the Romanovs was that his son had hemophilia, and in searching for famous hemophiliacs, he came across the Tsarevich Alexei. Then he began to research the Romanovs. Up to reading about them, the only thing he knew about them was all the Communist propaganda ("Commierot") about how awful they were, but his book shows that Nicholas truly tried his best to govern. Sure, he made mistakes. That's the best of Orthodox saints: they do make mistakes. What's rewarded is their efforts, not their successes. Боже, царья храни!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The Apron Pic

Mimi had a great post about yesterday's having been Wear an Apron Day. With my usual Keeping on Top of Current Trends skill, I am a day late with this, but here is my apron pic. Note that, despite all the fussing I did over there about a real apron's having a bottom ruffle, mine doesn't. Sigh. What it does have is a gathered waist and a bib. If I were a lot thinner, the bib might actually cover something, but as it is, beggars can't be choosers, and at least this one has a bib and a pocket, the other essential for an apron.

I remember when these were standard wear, and no woman in any kind of mind, right or otherwise, would have been caught dead in her kitchen without her apron. On the other hand... Yesterday I was at a local cafe, where I go when I need to write (too many distractions at home), and I purchased a cuppa joe for the usual $1.00++. Some guy said to me, "Gee, remember when coffee was fifty cents?" And I had to laugh, as I came back at him, "I remember when coffee was ten cents." And I do.

I'm not kidding when I say I'm old.

Monday, May 14, 2007

OK, Why am I here??

No, this is nothing radically existential -- I just forgot what it was I wanted to blog about. The joys of aging.

Well, at least I have reconnected with an old blog friend. Bloglines, which is supposed to help me keep track of all my favorite blogs, has a nasty habit of dropping people on me, so I don't know whose blog is missing until one day I say, "Hey, I haven't heard from So-and-So in awhile," and discover that their blog is gone from Bloglines, and I can't remember their blog address. This happened with Paradosis, Catherine, Alanna, Philippa, and Emily. I was especially annoyed to lose this last because this girl belongs to my former parish, and only became Orthodox a year ago, and I'm very fond of her godmother.

Fortunately, she left a comment on my last post, and I was able to track her down that way. So now I'm back in touch with my young friend, and with several of my older friends, too ("older" in the sense of how long we've been friends, not in the sense of age -- as far as I know, I've got 'em all licked).

Well, so! I see that my former parish is getting a new priest. Mostly, I'm sorry to hear that; while this priest was a bit too "Catholic" for me personally (those girls on the solea, and in the Great Entrance, have always fried my excessively orthodox brain!), I know many people were horrified to lose him, and his going has been very divisive for this parish. On the other hand, there's always the hope that the next priest will be a bit more Orthodox in his practice, though I don't know: his rumored successor has a quote from St. Theresa of Lisieux on his current parish's website. Yep, another ex-Catholic, and if this quote is anything to go by, not ex enough.

Yes, this is my problem. I had fifteen years of the old Catholic Church, which was a lot like the Orthodox Church, and fifteen years of the new Catholic Church, which is a lot like any Protestant church, and this year it will be thirty years since I last worshipped as a Catholic. And I'm still hypersensitive to it. I guess it's freaking me out to realize that there's a whole generation of middle-aged people who have never known the beauty of the old Catholic Church, and seriously think that the claptrap that's around nowadays is Catholicism -- and the most recent priests at my former parish are among this group. OK, 'nuff, before I seriously tick off all my friends. Pray for me, that I get over this sometime before I die.

Sunday, May 13, 2007


Dear Philippa has a nifty new thingie on her site called "Menologion." I followed the link, and now I have it too! I think hers is for the New Calendar, and mine is for the Old Calendar, so between us, we have the bases covered. ;-)

Chris is home for the weekend, and took me out to dinner for Mother's Day, along with Jim. We went to a seafood place, where I had a chicken Caesar salad -- Jim said, "Don't you want seafood?" and I replied, "When you eat seafood half the year, you learn to appreciate the half the year you don't have to." Ah, Orthodoxy.

(And I'm dying to add a family anecdote, about the year my son and daughter collaborated on a Mother's Day card for me that was signed, "Happy M---er's Day." The knitters among us will understand that there are certain words best not uttered aloud among us woolfolk.)

My third book is finished, at least the first draft. I plan to let it sit for a month or two until it's thoroughly out of my system, then go back and look for the inconsistencies and start editing it, cleaning it up, tightening the plot, and all that. Meanwhile, I'm at work on the fourth in the series, "Russians Unorthodox." It's completely unlike any of the other three; for one thing, it's told in the first person, and for another, I'm hoping to make it funny, at least in spots.

Oh, and I expect to edit the one book, "An Unorthodox Spy," and break it down into two books, which it was originally, only I couldn't think of a title for the second book. So if you happen to see references to "The Unorthodox Christian," and have already read the "Spy" blog, you've already read the first two books. Clear as mud?