Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Away From Home

When we left CO I was not sure what to expect. We had our route planned out and the stops along the way, but I had no way of knowing what would actualy happen. Jay was sick most of the time, Katherine got a cough that still has not totally gone away, but it is hardly there at all. We made it to the Holy Protection cathedral in LA for services on sunday and it was a beautiful church, sort of mission style and the incense permeated the walls, or so it seemed. Jay and I went down to the pier the night before he left so we could have a mini date. I like being with someone who is so easy to walk and talk with, or not. We are a good match, in my humble opinion, no one else could be more perfect for me. Katherine and I had a rough patch getting ready to leave for the trip, but once we got on the road, things smoothed out. We went through New Mexico and Arizona, I have not been to these states before...well, AZ I have passed through a 20 mile portion up by Nevada, but that hardly counts as there are no towns. We had a nice visit with my grandma and aunt. The day we had to take Jay to the airport was tough, Katherine fell apart and wanted to go with him and that was hard to watch, I cried a little too, but mostly for her longing for her papa. He made it fine ad Petra and Andrei invited him for dinner when they so graciously picked him up. (THANK YOU!) The next morning I was up at 4:30 doing the final packing of items for our trip up to Fresno. We made good time, took the carpool lane all the way out of the LA area and I am grateful for it. We arrived in Fresno to Kat and Misha's and I was glad to be there, no more driving for awhile. It was nice being in another familiar place. They are like family, without actualy being related. We got to meet Kat's parents, so nice and hospitable. Katherine loved playing with Steve, she is really liking grandpa guys these days, she has been following my dad around for days now =). The baptism was nice, albeit a little different than what I am used to (the whole service as well), but very lovely all the same. Talia is such an angel baby, so sweet and darling, I think she knows everything already. The baptism was during the Liturgy, a first for me. What a little doll baby, I just love her (and Kat and Misha too =) ) It was a short time, but I think it was just enough at least this time around. It is a bummer we are not closer, but I guess that is what vacations are for. We were off to San Francisco to the cathedral and meet with Fr James to recieve the keys for the apartment where we stayed that night. We drove around after stopping to go to the bathroom and Katherine offered her money in her change purse to pay for parking...I think she was a little tired of driving in circles looking for a spot and when she found out all the ones in front of the cathedral needed was a little change, she was more than happy. We went in to venerate and light some candles before vigil and there seemed to be something stirring around the quiet, big church. Within minutes a line of priests began to pour through the front doors. I told Katherine that was Fr James and he heard me and came over to give us the key and instructions. I asked who was in the entourage and he informed me that it was the Metropolitan of Georgia and he was travelling with 2 nuns, with their american contact, Fr Gerasim of Platina. I did not know what to think. The Metropolitan served a Molebin at the tomb of St John and annointed everyone with the oil from his ever-burning lampada. During the Molebin, the nuns sang, as if it were just like breathing, so effortless, their unison was remarkable, beautiful and with a melancholy tone that portrayed a purity I have not experienced in my life. It was enough to draw tears of repentance for everything, I felt as if I were being bathed in the beauty of their song and prayers, though I knew not what they said, it spoke to my heart and soul in ways that I was indeed needing without knowing it. We made it to the place where we would stay, a bit under remodel construction, but a roof just the same. We slept in the quiet of the apartment, arose and went off to Liturgy where the Metropolitan served. What a treat and blessing. We got on the road to Sacramento where we would meet Fr Paul, a longtime family friend, for lunch. We walked to a near deli where he treated us to a full meal and would have gotten us more if he had the chance, such a nice man, I very much like him. We walked and talked and Katherine held his hand. After a lovely visit we loaded ourselves back up and got on the road to Oregon. We made it in the late of last tuesday night and here we stay. I am grateful that we have this opportunity, but I am not looking forward to the very long drive home. I know I will have to remind myself to just get to the next stopping place...then it is not so bad. Still, over 1200 miles! So here we are, relaxing a bit, praying for the safe delivery of baby Liam any day now. We head back some time next week, when all is said and done...until next time.
I know this is sort of a funny, perhaps boring commentary of our travels, but it has made a huge impact that will likely stay with me for a long time. What a way to begin to prepare for Great Lent and the Bright Ressurection.
I am so grateful, for everything.


Martha said...

Wow, sounds like a long and awesome trip! So, it was just you and Kat for most of it?

Welcome to this world, little Liam!

outsider said...

That sounds like one heck of a trip. So many experiences that you're very lucky to not have missed out on.

Really though we were the lucky ones to have your company at Liam's birth. Thank you and thank you again for that.