On Monday, I finally had a chance to breathe again. The previous days had been long ones, full of services and house blessings.
We started Wednesday with the Royal Hours, followed by the Vesperal Liturgy of St. Basil, followed by the Blessing of the Waters. We then spent the rest of the day blessing houses here in Panorama. For the third year, I went door-to-door asking people if they wanted their houses blessed. 98% said yes, at which point I would burst through the door, throwing agiasmo (holy water), and singing the festal apolytikion (the hymn for the feast of Theophany). Can you imagine a man in a black dress doing that in the U.S.? I would be committed.
Thursday we had festal Orthros and Liturgy, followed again by the Blessing of the Waters. This is a major feast in Greece and a national holiday. The church was as packed as I'd ever seen it, close to the crowds we have for Pascha (Easter). After throwing the cross in Panorama's public swimming pool and having the kids go after it, we began again with blessing houses for the rest of the day. Since Panorama is located on a hill, my door-to-door activity is particularly exhausting.
Friday we began with Orthros and Liturgy for St. John the Baptist, followed again by a full day of house blessings, again until about 7:30 or 8:00 at night.
Saturday was one of the only Saturdays in the year where we didn't celebrate Orthros and Liturgy, but I did bless houses all day again for the last day.
After Liturgy on Sunday as normal, it was nice to take a little time on Monday to go out with Pelagia and the babies to play at a nice little playground at the big kids' store called Jumbo.
Here Pelagia is helping the babies climb up one of the four towers, which leads to a series of tunnels and a big slide.
Here's a view from below, looking up as Benjamin climbs along one of the elevated tunnels connecting the towers.
Here's Pelagia climbing in one of the elevated tunnels.
Here Pelagia hangs upside down to help Paul get back up the tower after he went down the slide.
Here you can see the blue of Benjamin's jacket as he climbs along the near tunnel. You can see Phoebe at the beginning of the mesh-covered walkway behind that.
And here's Pelagia pushing Phoebe on the swing, which is Phoebe's favorite activity.
Finally here they all are on a ride that has various jungle animals move and introduce themselves.