Monday, March 14, 2016

Lent, Day 1 ~ unexpected local tragedy, Liebster Award and Focus

Well, the first, there was a murder in the vicinity of where I live. 
Horrible.  We are fine and were at home when it happened else where.
 I was able to talk to my godmother,
who graciously takes my phone calls.  
She reminded me of what I hoped she would,
of focusing on what is at hand,
Lent and to prepare for the services this week.
I am thinking of this beautiful song that we are going towards:
(sung at the very beginning of the Paschal vigil)
"0 Come receive the light from the unending Light/ 
That is never overtaken by night ... "
About me...well, I got to two churches as my main home church
is 1+ hr/drive/1way.
We got to both churches a fair bit.
I live near NYC.
Married 3.5+ years to my best friend.
No children. 2 godchildren, 1 Munchkin, 15 nieces and nephews 
and many other kids in my life.
I love homemaking, knitting, sewing, baking.
I struggle to get things done that I intend to do.
Like roasting vegetables today, or Lenten reading
(that first item of today rather disturbed me).
I lived 5+ years in lower mainland BC, 1 + year in London Ontario,
7 years in Ottawa Ontario, before I married Mr. Husband.
I grew up in Western Michigan.
I teach Sunday School and do the church bookstore.
I am an avid collector of books, China/tea items, chocolate,
tea and have a good collection of other words,
I am no minimalist on any level.
I am of Dutch extraction and am a Canadian and American citizen ...
....and love all the convenience of today
...but in a lot of ways wish I lived in a magical land where
there is no problems, more classical beautiful culture, books
and beauty...and all my friends lived near by and we had
tea parties and book readings monthly 
in beautiful old houses full of books - and icons. 
What, you too? :)
Here are Jenny's questions:

1. Why do you blog?

I began my blog so I could keep in touch with people from BC who I had left,
along with my first Orthodox church, about a year before this blog began,
over 11 years ago.
While this blog communicates things at times about the 
Orthodox Church that I joined over 11 years ago, and this impacts every
level of my life, I would say that I blog now for friendship, to create beauty,
to remind me of the reasons I love living, to write, to find others
who write, create, love and love beauty. 
And many of whom are dear friends of mine ... so I could say in ways the reasons
are the same but the people are different.
Yet, when I read a bit of Kathleen Norris,
like I did today, I would say I write as part of 
an intent to dwell on what is life-saving and to show others
what I have seen/found/read about.

2. What draws you to read others’ blogs?

Beauty. Real people seeking to live as Christians.  People who are creative in 
cooking, writing, photography or textile arts.  Honesty.
Sharing in each other's lives and struggles - community.

Some of the blogs I have read for many years now
and while I have not met most of them in person, 
I really consider them to be friends.

3. What is the last book you read? What did you think of it?

Just finished last night 
I loved it.
Very accessible, encouraging and giving suggestions that actually feel
like I can do instead of feeling like a mammoth effort that I quail before
in discouragement.
Highly Recommend. 

4. What are your family’s Pascha (Easter) traditions?

Still building them, but I have baked a basket full of
chocolate chip cookies with BUTTER for Pascha for years
and let me tell you, the kids love it, no matter what church I am in :)

I have about 3 Pascha baskets, 1 for cookies,
two for more traditional things.
We also get things like a bottle of something and sometimes honey blessed
at that time to give as gifts later on.
The Cheese Pascha and Kulich is something we love very much.

I use my Grandma's dishes, a white table cloth, have Pascha wooden eggs,
Paschal looking Rusnyk cloths for baskets and tables.

We take Bright Monday off to rest and have a special day together.

We usually visit our munchkin.

Last year we had just lost my husband's godson, the munchkin's Dad, so
this year will be a time of rebuilding and continuing in, I hope, more happy
Pascha memories and times.

The Munchkin and I of course pray together for his Dad at every liturgy.

I love how excited my Sunday School kids get for Pascha.

I love having meals from our Pascha basket for
Bright Week and we have lots of icons of the Resurrection.
Here's an example from last year: from Bright Tuesday and Bright Wednesday,
from which these pictures come:

I am hoping to buy a butter mold this year and a mold for making
a lamb cake.  

I love celebrating Pascha!

5. If you were offered an all expenses paid trip to somewhere, where would you go and why?

That is a hard call.

Romania - friends and monasteries.
England - Essex monastery, Inklings, London
Holland - homeland of my family and I've never been 
Holy Land - St Elizabeth's Monastery for one 
Russia, Ukraine - monasteries
Greece, Italy - culture, beauty, monasteries.

All or any of these, I would want Mr. Husband to go with me, btw. :)
that's that.  
I don't feel I have the energy 
(this day was super hard because of hearing (the gun shots of) what I mentioned
at the top of this post) to nominate others.
So...if you are still reading this, I know you and read your blog
or you are on my blog roll at bottom of my blog, 
or comment on my blog, then go for it.
I loved the 5 questions I was given and would do the same for you.
I started a short trip to the edge, the revised edition today.
I am enjoying it but at times feel tripped up by the constant use of 
'the perfect word' and just want to get on with the story.
But at the same time I am and am pretty sure I will continue
to enjoy it.
Tonight DV I will take a cab to church
(I had to explain to my godmother that our local church
has no parking as we are so urban here, with a city
planned before cars existed) for the first service of 
St. Andrew of Crete.
And that will be the beginning of Lent, 2016,
Day 1.


Pom Pom said...

I grew up an hour and a half south of Vancouver, BC. Bill and I took so many high school kids to camp up in Northern BC at Malibu Club and we spent months at a time there, working at camp. Our kids have the best memories of the beauty there!
I am so sorry to hear about the tragedy in your neighborhood, E.
Bill is going to Romania next month. If he sends me some lovely photos, I shall send them on to you or put them on Instagram (kmaston).
Susan Branch sells a lamb cake mold ( Did you know that? It's very cute.
Thanks for the sweet little bio. YOU are a star. I wish I lived close to you. I have a book filled house and lots of tea. Right now we are drinking Taiwan tea because our friend Yiping sent loads of it home with Bill.
Take care, good girl.

Juliana said...

Peace to you friend.

elizabeth said...

Thanks! One day I hope to g I to Romania! Love to you too!

elizabeth said...

Thanks ♡

Nancy McCarroll said...

I enjoyed this post and feel like I am beginning to know you, Elizabeth! Impressed you might be getting a butter mold...that should be an adventure in creating butter.

Thank you for your prayers. You are a kind soul indeed. God's blessing on you.

Your faith is inspiring, and learning about Pascha things through you and gretchenjoanna helps in my understanding. Thank you.

Tia said...

Oh, I'm so sorry about the frightening event in your area. While I know terrible things happen everywhere, it's so jarring and stressful when it happens close to home.

Making the butter lamb is always fun, so I hope you get the molds that you'd like. :)