Wednesday, September 02, 2020

It seems that the diary has returned after a short break of a few days. Even though a bit of time has passed, the weather is still warm and occasionally uncomfortably hot. There have been a number of developments at the monastery, since my last diary entry, one of them being that I now have a new fridge. For many people this would be not a big deal but for me it is a very important addition to my little world. Mainly, I was eating food that didn’t need to be cooked or that was instantly cooked because there was no way to keep very much food stored and also due to the highly restricted diet that I am still following: no wheat, no rice, no sugar, no potatoes, certain fruits such as oranges and bananas (which have a lot of sugar) and so on. If anything was cooked, it pretty much had to be eaten instantly by myself or others, so this meant that it didn’t usually last more than a day or two at the most. With this new fridge, I am now making plans for a bit of an alteration in my eating habits, though the strict diet will still have to be followed. Leaving my little living area, we now move to the improvements on the monastery grounds. The first and noticeable improvement is the lovely new gatehouse. A number of people worked to excavate the area in order to lay a gravel foundation, topped by paving stones which created a new interior floor as well as a pathway leading to the gate and a small deck of cast stone on the opposite side, so that when there are processions or if a Moleben is held there, there will be extra room and much sounder footing.Now we move to the little outdoor chapel which is under the stairway. Formerly, this was a simple area where an icon copy of the “Joy of Canada” was placed. Over the passed few years, small changes had been made which allowed the area to be used for outdoor Liturgies, though this was not really very comfortable, due to the uneven ground and unfinished look. Then when work was being carried out on the gatehouse, work was also being done to improve the little outdoor chapel. Once again, the ground was excavated in order to lay a gravel foundation and to accomodate paving stones which created a uniform floor area for those serving. Then a beautifully terraced landing was created, which leads the eye through a wrought iron gateway into the sanctuary area. The interior woodwork was repainted and the wrought iron gates were carefully regilded after being thoroughly cleaned. We now have a suitable and inspiring area for serving outdoor services when these are called for.The next area we discuss is the immense work done on reroofing various areas of the monastery. This was a huge job and one that was sorely needed and is deeply appreciated, as are all the many improvements that thoughtful people have made. Over a span of days, the old asphalt shingles were removed, new foundation material brought in and attached and then red, enamelled steel roofing was put into place. It was rather awe inspiring to view the roofers at work, scampering over the dangerously high angles of the roof areas of the church, the hall, and the kitchen area. It reminded me of the same thing happening on the roof of my building, just a short time before, where a number of serious leaks were repaired and needed adjustments to the roofing completed.This is all the diary entry for today but tomorrow I’ll take up discussion of a few more of the repairs and constructions on the monastery property, such as the new rest area near the memorial garden, the renovations of the guest room.

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