Its been a very stressful few months for both of us, and Nastia mentioned the other day that neither of us had laughed in months. She's right. And so, we're going to try to remember what it's like to be stress-free and carefree for a few days. And we're not going to let lack of money stand in our way.
I'm grateful that Lent starts this week. Next to Christmas, it's my favorite time of the liturgical year. Forty days to reflect, heal, take stock in things and draw closer to God. I try to attend Mass daily during Lent, but work usually gets in the way. Not this time. One of the few blessings of unemployment.
For my fellow Catholics reading this: are you still struggling, like me, to remember the changes in the Mass? I catch myself saying the wrong response every.single.time. And, I'm sorry, but I doubt Ill ever feel comfortable with the changes to the Nicene Creed. I'm going to be meeting with Father Murphy soon to talk about it. I figure if he can explain the 'why' of the changes, I may be more ready to embrace them. It's hard.
Yesterday's blessing: I heard from Anya, albeit briefly, via Russian facebook. I had written her on vkontakte and asked if she had left the hospital yet. She wrote last night that she finally is out, and staying at her 'cousin's' again for a few weeks. I hope she didn't wear out her welcome at Ira's. I'm guessing she decided to stay at Sasha and Oksana's to give Ira's family a break, but I'm hoping she'll be back there soon. Sasha and Oksana's doesn't offer much privacy or mobility. Here's a shot of the kitchen there. You can see why I worry.
It's a coal stove (see the little metal door on the far right, below?) This is the sole source of heating for the entire space, though the whole place is only about 10x 14. Here is another view. See the red boards? That is the cover to a root cellar!
I hope she is back at Ira's soon.