A Town Full of Family/ Город Полной Семи

IMG_2590Surgut! Mama’s home town full of friends and cousins. Everywhere is close, even the airport! In a small town it is easy to find a store or church and there are many sites to see. Surprises like snow in May is quite normal and extreme weather all year round. Come see it for yourself, but bring warm clothes!

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The Pleasure of Unexpected Company

IMG_3099May 9/22 Translation of the relics of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker from Myra to Bari, in 1087

Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.  Hebrews 13:2

A quiet day was planned at home with an equally quiet evening. I had spent most of the day watching the kids and recouping from an especially busy schedule visiting family and friends. The continuing overcast skies and subarctic temperatures made even playing on the local playground unattractive. My wife was just about to depart for an evening on the town with old school mates when the doorbell rang. Continue reading

Taking the Kids to Church

May 21, 2015

Feast of the Ascension
Repose of John Eliot,
Apostle to the Native People of Massachusetts

Surgut wakes up to remind us that we are only about 5 degrees south of the Arctic Circle. The warm weather anomaly ceased yesterday as temperatures dropped by over 20 degrees Fahrenheit and we dug out the few sweaters and jackets we brought to make the trek to church for the feast. Continue reading

Small Towns, Magnanimous People

IMG_0271Well, I was born in a small town
And I live in a small town
Prob’ly die in a small town
Oh, those small communities…

No, I cannot forget where it is that I come from
I cannot forget the people who love me
Yeah, I can be myself here in this small town
And people let me be just what I want to be.

 — Small Town by John Mellancamp

I never understood my friends who always dreamed of leaving the small town where I grew up. Did they honestly think that a change of scenery, a bigger city with more opportunity would change their identity? I personally never wanted to leave my small town. But like Abraham, circumstances prevailed against my better judgment and I was driven from my people and sent to a land that would be shown to me. From the land of my fathers, I came first to Boston where I could more deeply discover the land of holy Orthodoxy. Continue reading