Where I recount my past weekend
This past weekend was Easter weekend — well, I guess, the past two weekends were Easter weekend. See, my wife is Greek Orthodox, and as such, I’m heavily involved with the Greek Orthodox church in our community1. In fact, I’m the cathedral organist2. Since the orthodox calendar is different than the “western calendar” when it comes to Easter (sometimes, the Easters line up on the same week, sometimes, they’re as many as five weeks apart). This year, they were a week apart . . . meaning that this past weekend was my Easter weekend in a row.
As the organist at an orthodox cathedral, I dread Easter, because it means long hours and having to wear the choir robe.
My original plan for Friday was incredibly selfish. A typical Friday includes my mother-in-law watching the kids as my wife & I work, a “date lunch” with my wife at her library job, and then an evening of pizza & watching movies until the kids fall asleep. However, seeing as it was a Friday the 13th, I decided to revert to my bachelor days3. I scheduled the day off and my plan was simple: sleep in, go for a run, watch Friday the 13th movies, and then head to a matinee of Cabin in the Woods before having a liquid dinner, walking to church, playing Good Friday services for 3-4 hours4, and then coming home.
Except, well, my mother-in-law wanted to head to church during the day . . . and drinking
and masturbating and running and watching horror movies isn’t really the best idea when ensuring that two toddlers don’t grievously injure themselves are gathering proper nutrition and enriching their minds. So, I changed my plans — I’d sleep in, make some lunch-type food, take the kids with me for “date lunch,” then put them in the jogging stroller, getting in a good run through the afternoon as they napped. Only, well, they weren’t really cooperative as I tried to make lunch, so we played & went to the park & then went to get some lunch, had lunch at Duffy’s library, and then they fell asleep on the ride home.
CJ stayed asleep, but Leila did not, as I transitioned them from my truck to the house. And I just could not get the kids into the jogging stroller as one was asleep and the other was not5. So, I figured that I’d wait out CJ’s nap, then head for a run.
Any parent knows that, as soon as you try to wait out a nap, it will backfire on you, and the kid will nap forever. I put on my running clothes and, since Leila is going through a very clingy stage — she really enjoys holding hands and talking, she took me into the toy room and described everything6 about. Then we ate goldfish crackers and bananas and apples.
Suddenly, it was near time to get going and CJ woke up — and I tried to put the kids in the stroller to run a 5k, but they weren’t having any of it. So we went back to the park – and swung on the swings
and threw mulch and walked on the balance beam and went down the slide and talked about not climbing the picnic tables.
We left the park in tears, but that was because Leila needed a nap and nobody wanted to leave, but my schedule was in the way. I had leftovers (and no liquor) for dinner before getting to the church at 6, where handed the kids off to Duffy and started rehearsal . . . then I played until 10:30. Because Good Friday is a very long service.
Then I slept.
The next morning, I woke up, ran a 1/3 marathon that felt great7 and then lunch with my wife & kids and spent the day playing with my babies at my sister-in-law’s house. Duffy handled bath & bed time so that I could relax a bit and decompress before the real marathon service — and I fear what I would have done, had she not been able to do that . . . the decompressing made it all bearable, so thank you, dear.
I got to church at 9:30, rehearsed until a little past 11, then the service started . . . I think I finally left the church at 3am, when the service was over.
As I said, it was a long service – which is not to be confused with my organ, which is “sufficiently long8.”
I got home at 3:30 or so and crashed. Hard.
Except that I got up a little past 6 to oversee some work that was being done. And that little bit of work took me well past noon, which took me to about 2pm, when my mom showed up. See, it was time for Easter Dinner at my wife’s aunt’s place . . . some call it #Greaster, but I like to call it the Festival of Meat.
First, there were “lollipop lamb chops,” which are truly delectable, though I don’t like to think about the conditions that lambs have to be raised in to create small chops (called lollipop because you can hold the bone and eat the meat) that are super tender and yummy. And then there was my mother’s buffalo chicken dip, and then there was dinner, which had lamb, and lamb kabobs, and ham, and τυρóπιτα (tiropita, or Greek cheese-pie), and σπανακόπιτα (spanakopita, or Greek spinach pie) and manestra (lamb and tomato and orzo pasta), and then there was dessert.
When I say that I was “stuffed,” well, I was. Truly.
Then I went back home and worked a little, because, apparently, I’m a masochist . . . I think, after the 3 hours of sleep, and the festival of food, I passed out at 9pm.
And that, well, that’s really not all that atypical of a weekend in my life, but might explain why I’m so stinking tired right now.
The next day, before the wedding guests started to arrive, I sat down at the organ to blow off some steam . . . and several choir members noticed that I played. After my honeymoon, the choir director was pretty insistent that I see what it would be like to sit in, once a month or so . . . this quickly became a weekly commitment.