After an interval of 15 months, I am finally back in my native land. I was sitting in the lawn of my family home, sheltered by the shade of the octopus tree, when I realized that I had not updated my blog since June. Of course, that needs to be rectified.
I spent most of my summer working part-time in the bookstore. I was in the bookstore for only about twenty hours a week, so I wanted to do something more with my time. I ended up helping Fr. Cyprian reorganize the many, many, MANY keys he has to hundreds of doors in the monastery and seminary. I also started to cook the monastery dinners on Tuesdays and Thursdays, a task which was mostly stress-free because dinner at Jordanville usually involves reheating lunch and maybe making a little bit more salad. I've been using my time in the kitchen to experiment with cooking. After all, one has few opportunities to have at one's fingertips a professional-grade kitchen (complete with a giant stick blender) and a group of diners who are willing to eat almost anything.
Meanwhile, I interacted with both the summer boys and the students of the Summer School of Liturgical Music. There were fewer summer boys this year so I hardly noticed them, but I saw the music people every day for the space of about two weeks since I was auditing typikon classes at the music school. I learned quite a bit about the order of divine services, including more about the Biblical Odes than most people need to know.
I also went to a couple of weddings. My friends Anthony and Bridget married each other in late July, a pleasant wedding with catered barbecue and country music. I got seated with some old Jville friends and had a great time. Three weeks later, I went to the wedding of my friends Alex and Juliana Cooley. But that deserves another blog post. In between the weddings I went to St. Vladimir's Memorial Church in Jackson, NJ for the 1025th anniversary of the Baptism of Rus. It was a business trip, just like the one we took last year, but we sold quite a bit more due to the increased number of people.
Last weekend's activities were packed like sardines. First I went to Boston for a meeting with my editor, an event very cleverly disguised as a date. It helped that my editor is also my girlfriend. I then took a bus to Albany for the Cooliana wedding, and went back to Jordanville Sunday night. On Monday morning, I went to Syracuse for my trip to Hawaii. I hope to write about my trip in the several weeks to come, since I plan to be doing more than just sitting around and eating pineapples all day.