Today was a sunny, but not warm, day at the monastery. There were a number of interesting calls but one that I want to mention. A man called and wanted to talk with Vladika Varlaam. Before I had a chance to say anything to him, he went on to tell me that he had just yesterday spoken to Vl.Varlaam and Vladika wanted him to call today in order to get some important banking information. I asked the man if he was some kind of medium or something because Vl.Varlaam has been no longer alive, since 13 February; needless to say, the person on the other end of the line didn’t find my comment to be funny and so hung up immediately. I mention this to help make people aware of the fact that there are scam artists who have no shame and so we have to be careful what kind of information we freely pass around on the phone.
Andy took me into town today to collect my new prescription and both 9 and 5 rode along with us. As you all know, I am not super comfortable with these dogs but forced myself to relax and enjoy the ride into town. When we stopped at the place where Andy buys gardening soil, he got out of the truck, went into the office, and so I was alone with the dogs. 9 sat on my lap and was licking my face so you can imagine the instant concern I felt. It seemed that the best thing to do was talk calmly to her and pet her while talking. This did the trick and she seemed to be happy with the results. What a relief! Then, 5 moved into the front seat of the truck and sort of squashed me against the door and began to force her head under my palm which I understood to mean, “pet me”. I did pet her and again spoke what I thought was in a calm voice and, again, this seemed to please her and shortly she got up and moved back into the back section of the truck. The remainder of the ride was fairly unmemorable.
Then capstone of the day was the celebration of the Presanctified Liturgy this evening. It went super smoothely so we are looking forward to the next service on Friday.