Wednesday, January 9, 2013

A Late Departure

Right now I’m writing this in the JetBlue terminal at JFK. My plane is going to start boarding in five minutes, and in about half an hour we’ll be flying off to San Francisco. I’ve wintered in San Francisco every year since I started Seminary.

This year I decided to stay in Jordanville a couple more days before going to California. Unfortunately, that meant that I had to miss the Kotar Christmas party that I’ve gone to for years. But at the same time, I got to make completely new memories and fun experiences.

We celebrated Christmas with the usual festivity. The fish jelly was out yet again, and it still tastes like chicken to me. After lunch I worked in the bookstore, which wasn’t as busy as I expected it would be, perhaps because everyone was upstairs at Fr. Luke’s reception enjoying the extra goodies.

After I punched out, I tried to meet up with Fr. Ephraim and the other seminarians who were out caroling. I hitched a ride with a local Jordanvillian, and I found the carolers at Kate and Pete’s. It was about two o’clock in the afternoon. By the time I got back from caroling, it was about eight. We had gone to a number of houses and sang Russian, Ukrainian, and English Christmas carols. My personal favorite is this Ukrainian carol:

We came back laden with stuff given to us by our hosts. My favorite moment was when we went to a nursing home. One of the nursing home residents declared, “I’m a Russky!” and sang along with us for a couple of the carols.

I also got to go to festal liturgies three times in a row, as we celebrated for the first three days of Christmas at nine in the morning, instead of the usual early-morning liturgy at six. It was a good, quiet way to celebrate the Nativity of Christ.

Well, it looks like my plane is boarding! I hope to report on my California travels in a few days. Merry Christmas, everybody! Christ is born!

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