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Stanka

October 4, 2010
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Her name is Stanka. Five feet tall. Maybe. 85, or was it 86 years old. We met this morning, the wind blowing a driving rain…. freezing cold…
I saw her walking cautiously in heels and a light grey suit, and jumped out of the car to ask her what time church started. “Ten”. she said, and then quickly, “Give me your arm help me walk” She did not tentatively touch my arm for support. She seized my arm as though we were decades old friends and leaned on me, thrusting her umbrella at me saying “Here, you hold the umbrella”.
She is Serbian Orthodox, full of laughter and stories of Orthodox church history and of being a refuge herself… I was in love.

After the service, which was all in Serbian, (oh God, nobody speaks English here!) I expected the service to not be in English. I knew we were in trouble when the announcements were in Serbian! Tim and I were invited to lunch. Great food…Kelbasa and chicken and potatoes all home made, and cake that I would go back for. Not sweet. Hand made. Old school.

Stanka told me that she would be my Godmother if I wanted to join the Serbian Orthodox Church, and she figured out a saint name for me and Tim (don’t ask, I have no idea how) I was enchanted. Stanka is bossy and fun and demanding and warm. She laughs and holds court at her end of the table, and . If she loves you, you know it.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Susan G permalink
    October 4, 2010 6:25 pm

    Very well written; I enjoyed reading this. You should take up writing some stories – you’d be good at it. Hope all is well (in every area of your lives!) S

    • October 6, 2010 7:08 pm

      Ha! Thanks for that 🙂 I’d love to be a good writer! All is well here…

  2. Bob permalink
    October 6, 2010 3:37 pm

    It is good to hear from you. It’s been a while! Why am I not surprised that you would jump out of your car on a cold and rainy day to help someone? You are a good doobie! Did Stanka say “Hvala lepa”, which I understand is Serbian for “thank you very much”? A lovely story. The church sounds fascinating, maybe daunting, but a church that serves good home made food is worth going to; food needs no translator. I forget whether you told me about the music there.

    I agree with your friend Susan; I have thought that you should select material from the past three years of postings and comments to make a book or collection of short essays. You have good insight into so many things.

    Cheers,

    Bob

    • October 6, 2010 7:14 pm

      Hi Bob! As usual, life gets very busy when I’m home…. Everything is going pretty well, though…
      Alas… you give me too much credit 🙂 What happened was Tim and I had no idea when services started, and I asked the very first person I saw…It just ended up being a very nice surprise..
      About the music … while the service was sung, the congregation does not support a choir… there was a cantor singing all the responses…all in church Slavonic… I recognized some of the words!
      cheers,
      Liz

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