What a lovely way of warming up an old man’s bones.  Yes, the bright sunny sky did the trick, as it always does at this time of the year.  Not knowing precisely what was going to take place at the hospital, I asked  Vladika Lazar to drive me there.  After a couple of consultations we headed back to the monastery, arriving to find the parking lot filled with cars.  It was to have been a surprise, but as in the case of most surprises, I seemed to be one of the first to know of a reception that was planned for today, my name day, commemorating Saint Varlaam of Novgorod.  I was probably the only one to think that the cake looked like part of a nineteenth century steam engine.  I realize that it does not sound complimentary but it was cute and ever so tasty.

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