Monday, April 20, 2009

Bright Monday

Yesterday near the end of Agape Vespers, the skies opened up and it poured. I got drenched getting stuff and kids into the car and shivered during the 45 minutes back to my mother-in-law's house. Part of the fun: I discovered that while I had been loading everyone up, Pickles had climbed in the driver's seat and rolled down the window. Ha ha, Mommy.

Father had a sixth grade Sunday school class from a local Methodist church coming to hear about Orthodoxy last night at 6. Apparently, this was the best time for them. I was to get everyone packed, fed and loaded and meet him at the church at 7 to begin the 2 hour ride back home. Fortunately it stopped raining while I loaded the van. Normally I would have checked the weather radar but I was pretty tired (and sleep deprived), short on time, and just wanted to get home. Besides, the rain had stopped and the weather earlier had been only a rain event so I was Unsuspecting.

I started 15 minutes late and called him on the road to let him know we were coming. He said that a crazy person had stopped by the church as the class was leaving and told him that he was a top government assassin and had a microchip implanted in his forehead. After a bit of prayer and money the man was persuaded to go away and Father locked himself in the church. Just a few minutes before we got there, I looked off to the south and saw a nice grouping of mammatus clouds amidst the lightening. I was excited (it's been a while) despite the sure knowledge that we were going to be heading in that direction within 10 minutes. We got to the church, Father hopped in his car and we headed off. Over the phone we discussed that he needed to stop for gas. I wanted to stop at our usual place, just on the other side of the Tennessee River, but he said he was pretty low and so we stopped very close to the church. I got out of the van when we stopped and as I did, I could hear the tornado sirens starting up. I looked around. It was pouring and pitch black. The guy in the convenience store had no knowledge of storm location so we called Father's mother. She checked and said that there was a tornado on the ground at Lacey Springs. Lacey Springs is just on the other side of the river... and has a really nice, inexpensive gas station.

We got back in the cars and drove North for about 5 minutes and pulled into a parking lot, listening to the local radio while waiting for it all to pass. There was quite a lot of tornadic activity in the area, all the way South. We drove slowly South, listening to the radio all the way and managed to drive just behind the main storms. It took us 2 1/2 hours and I had a splitting headache when we got home, but I'm VERY glad to be here despite the four hundred loads of laundry to do today.

The children slept through the whole thing. Fifteen minutes before we got home, Ribby woke up and asked:

"How come it's taking us so long to get Papa from church?"

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Palm Sunday

True to my promise, the posting has been light, but I DID take pictures. We decorated the church with palms yesterday evening before vespers and blessed them at the end. This morning we processed around the church with our palms at the end of liturgy. I'm not going to write out a blow-by-blow can look at the pictures instead.

By raising Lazarus from the dead before thy passion

Thou hast confirmed the universal resurrection O Christ God.

Like the children with the palms of victory

We cry out to thee O vanquisher of death:

Hosanna in the highest!

Blessed is he that comes in the name of the Lord!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Countdown to Pascha

Next week is Holy Week! Hard to believe. I had to sit down tonight with Father and make lists of all that must be done before then. There are things to do for the church (buy tulle for the iconostasis, check the foam frame for the Resurrection icon to make sure it fits - I can't buy the white flowers for it until Holy Friday or Saturday, buy the white cloth and make the icon stand covers, reconfigure the choir books), things to do for us (finish putting together the children's Pascha clothes, get stockings for all of the girls, the boys need new Pascha baskets - they were a little hard on them last year) and things to do for Ribby's birthday...which is on Pascha this year!

Now that I've written that all out, I'm exhausted already. Somebody wake me up when it's Bright Monday!

I'm taking Holy Wednesday through Bright Monday off of work so we can travel to church. We'll stay at my mother-in-law's house as usual. Of course, that means PACKING for everyone too. (Sigh)

My posting over the next two weeks may be spotty (so you may not notice any difference!) but I'll take lots of pictures and try to post them during Bright Week.

Here are some pictures from past Paschas: (Flopsy was baptized at Holy Protection Monastery in Pennsylvania on Bright Monday 2002 so we have pictures from that too.)

To all of my non-Orthodox family and friends: Have a good Holy Week and Easter!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Super Outbreak

I have not forgotten that today is the 35th anniversary of the tornado super outbreak of 1974. My husband, who was three months old at the time, was living only about 30 miles from one of the F5 tornados. In memory of the 335 people killed in 13 states by 148 tornados, here is an audio recording made "accidently" in Xenia, Ohio that day.


I've noticed it feels lonely sometimes when looking at other people's blogs. I see mothers doing neat crafts with their children, frugally redecorating their homes, cooking well-balanced meals, sewing their own clothes, etc. I have this ideal in my head of the life I would like to lead...and I come nowhere close. I actually did go out (several weeks ago) and get a dress pattern and the fabric and notions to go along with it...and I haven't even cut out the pattern. I have several nice cookbooks...and I use them so seldom. I can barely keep the house clean let alone do any much-needed painting. I feel like my children are neglected and my poor husband over-burdened with homeschooling them. I wonder what my children will remember from their childhood. A mother they seldom saw who was chronically tired and frazzled? A never-quite-cleaned-up house? I don't know... I know this comparing is pure and simple temptation and won't lead to anything positive. On the other hand, like I said, it sure does get lonely. UPDATE: Thinking about the post above sure does make this seem pitiful.