Thursday, January 6, 2011

First Rain of 2011 with a Bang and Light Show

Jinx in South Dakota
now has a calendar for 2011
some darn cold weather too!
Check out all The Beauty There

Good morning this morning of
the first lighting and thunder storm of
as I sit here enjoying my coffee!
Got brought out of my deep sleep by the sounds
of rolling thunder and then
light works as the lighting crossed the skies
this morning here.

And it now pierces the dark skies
as I sit outside and marvel at it
listening to the rain hit
"where did this come from"!
Bet it is sure pretty out on the water.
Oh but I feel pretty sure that by the time those kids hit the dark waters, the dark and chilly waters of the bayou, the sun will be shining on them and the thousands that will join to watch and to feel the blessings
that are there today.

Now, before I go any further,
I just have to get this off my mind...
as for POTUS and his casual wear in Hawaii
and the press...
I think it is
perfectly a-ok
that we have a President of our country
who knows how to dress on vacation
actually wears
can we talk about something
Maybe some of the "unsung heros" that are out here in the world for a change of pace...
would be good to hear and see on the front pages of the paper.
I mean, come on people, find a real something something
to talk about.
When is the last time
saw a person in a suit walking on the beach anyway
and wanna talk
tacky, how bout when whats his name
wore black socks and crocs?

Just keepin it real folks.
Sure would like to see something on the cover of a paper or a magazing with real people,
real messages,
real news.
Rather than crap like that.
guess folks like to stir in something
family issues, our President,
other folks business.
Kindess and Compassion really is achievable
and quite easy.
just had to get that one off my mind.


in Tarpon Springs
the celebration in our little community
will celebrate the
105th Epiphany
here today as the
Greek Community celebrates the baptism of Jesus Christ.
 Schedule 2011 Epiphany Celebration
Blessing of the Fleet
Time: 11 a.m. to noon
The boats are now waiting since last night in the Spring Bayou around the road from me here.
I'm sure that young men are already awake,
(still think they should let the girls join them)
already wondering
if they will be the one
this year that comes up from the
cold waters
with the blessed cross in their hands.\

In our community,  Paul Stavropoulos will be singing once again in the church where he has sang for 75 years!
This is a community steeped in tradition, in talent, in those who are "all about giving" of self during times like this... what better gift then that of self

8 a.m.: Epiphany observances begin with Orthros (Matins). St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral is at 36 N. Pinellas Ave. Tarpon Springs FL
10 a.m.: The Hierarchical Divine Liturgy at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral.
12:30 p.m.: Traditional procession to Spring Bayou, where the dove bearer will release the dove and Greek Orthodox male youths will dive for the Epiphany cross.

1:30-9 p.m.: Epiphany Glendi (festival) with food, drink, live music and dancing. Spanos-Pappas Community Center, Theofilos Hall, 348 N Pinellas Ave.
(ah the food, the dancing, the joy)

Last years celebration above!

This is from our local paper and

Some things are still handed down through the generations... and thankfully, we now know of Nicholas Souder...
Since the age of 6, Nicholas Souder has watched or participated in the creation of the coveted Epiphany cross.
Souder, now 24, watched as his grandfather, Bill Paskalakis, would take the block of oak or birch wood and carve the two pieces needed for the cross. Souder spent hours with Paskalakis sanding and filing the roughness out of the wood.
It was quality time for Souder and his grandfather, a Tarpon Springs High graduate and retired shop teacher at the school. They added the white paint and the decorative grooves along the edges of the cross.

Now, Souder is on his own, carving, sanding and painting the cross that will be thrown into the murky waters of Spring Bayou at the 105th Epiphany Celebration. After 40 years of making crosses, Paskalakis died in March. He was 74.
"I've seen him do the process so many times," Souder said. "I've helped him do every step of the process at least once.
He was teaching me to carry it on when he wasn't around."

The blessing and throwing of the cross into the bayou is a main attraction of Epiphany, which celebrates the Baptism of Jesus Christ by John the Baptist in the River Jordan.
This year, 78 boys will dive for the cross, which is supposed to bring a life of favor to the retriever.

Held Jan. 6, the Epiphany celebration brings thousands of Greek Orthodox Christians to Tarpon Springs.
"This Holy Event is not merely a yearly symbolic re-enactment but a 'real time' transformation of nature," said the Rev. Father Michael Eaccarino, dean of St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral. "Therefore, we, here in the Tarpon Springs area, become recipients of the true metamorphosis of our environment. We are protected from above."

Souder understands and appreciates the importance of the cross to the celebration. In 2003 and 2004, he dived for the cross.
While he didn't retrieve it, he did win the divers' essay contest both years. That accomplishment made his grandfather, who also dived for the cross, extremely proud, he said.

Souder graduated from Tarpon High in 2004. In 2009, he graduated from the University of South Florida with a music performance degree. A stellar percussionist, he now teaches and performs all over the country.

The cross for the 2011 Epiphany has been carved, and Souder is still using a file to get at some of the rough spots. He will then drill a half-inch hole down the cross' core and pour in lead so that it sinks when it hits the water. He also will rout the edges of the cross for a decorative effect.
Fighting the soreness in his hands and neck from bending over the cross that's secured in a vise grip, Souder will sand some more. He will add eight to 10 coats of white paint, then lettering, before putting on a clear coat.
The entire process can take several months. No two crosses are ever the same.
"It's a very detailed process, but I want to do the very best job I possibly can," Souder said. "It's an honor to make the cross, and I know it would make my grandfather proud. So it makes me proud to be doing it."
Two crosses are made each year. One year when the cross was thrown, no one could find it in the dark waters. In case that happens again, a second cross is waiting in the wings.
Elaine Sarris, Souder's mother, said it was always her father's plan for her son to continue the cross-making legacy.
"It's so special and it means so much, and that's what Dad always wanted," said Sarris, 49, a 1979 graduate of Tarpon Springs High. "Getting to make the cross all those years meant so much to him because he knew it would mean so much to the young man who got it."

Tarpon Springs is a lovely treasure here in Florida, great people, beautiful scenery and the waters are fantastic.
We have The Sponge Docks here with merchants that will knock your socks off with stories and good stuff too!
did I mention the Greek food?
You will want to put Tarpon on your Bucket List
or your
gotta go visit list,
whichever you "do first" list!

It is pouring this morning,
it may be that this years sacred Epiphany is a sacred time here in our community
and one this year that is also one of profound sadness,
shock and mourning.
The thunder, lightning and this rain
is perhaps
The Creators tears
to let our community know
that although this day will be a great celebration
it is alright to allow themselves to feel the devastation that is in and within our community
as we mourn for the loss
 83-year-old Steve Georgiou and his 78-year-old wife Flora Georgiou
 Tarpon Springs
 during this most sacred week here in Tarpon Springs.
This lovely and well known couple were murdered before being found in their home which was also set ablaze.

They were found by firefighters that responded to the call here in our little community, both dead; our community is in pain, and shock of this tragedy.

The Greek Orthodox Church celebrates the Epiphany as the baptism of Jesus Christ. Wednesday, the community's sponge and fishing boats were all blessed.
Even as preparations continued, business owners paused to remember two of their own.
The Georgious owned Anclote Marine Ways and the Miss Milwaukee fishing party boat.

They will be mourned, the community is in shock at the needless and tragedy of this.
They were well known to their community.
I HOPE their love of community will be felt by all today.

So this morning as darkness still surrounds, the thunder rolls, the lightning makes itself seen
the rains fall
The light will come
the celebrations will
once again
heighten in our little community
and those boys will plunge into cold dark waters,
swim out to their boats.
They will jump
praying that they will rise to the top with that
very special blessed cross in their hand.

But it will be different this year,
as we try to wrap our hearts and heads around the reality
that this couple is no longer here
and have died tragically
when they could have been sitting
in the pews,
standing at the waters edge
along with so many friends yet one more year
in their community.
This is a community of
Great Strength
HOPE in healing
of history.
Prayers to hold those in the community
give them what is needed to get through this
with amazing grace
and this day
as they desire and celebrate with love and faith.

God Bless you all in our small and lovely community
as we
gather at the spring bayou
Celebrate the
`105 Epiphany
watch those kids
hit that cold dark water
knowing that
will raise their hand, sputtering cold water
with a smile as wide as tomorrow
he holds a
"year of favor"
but a
life of transformation by the experience.

Many blessings to all who enter here,
Life is so very fragile.

Wherever you are
Whatever you are doing
Take Best Care of you
those you love.

The fire is burning brightly, the sage fills the air
kindness, compassion,
HOPE in healing ways
thoughts on the winds.

Walk In Beauty,

to see Lily and HOPE live via web cam
they are quite the lively North American Black Bears
out there in the chilly North Woods

for all the beauty your eyes can hold
and JInx calendar 2011

for live cam, gift shop, education on
The North American Black Bears
Dr Lynn Rogers, Sue Mansfield = Brilliant Researchers, educators, and people along with most on the Facebook fan page .... of course there are those there too that love to stir in it and gripe... guess it is a "human nature thing, or maybe they just like to rile folks up" ~ Funny thing is, the majority of that page, don't seem to take that negativity anymore, they are standing UP for the spirit of the bears...

get those letters to Oprah!
she should be receiving
Healing Heartaches this very week!


Irene M said...

January 6th : Dahlee from N.J. Happy Birthday.
In 1972, I became aware of the Tarpon Springs Epiphany celebration. Dear Aunt Maddy would encourage us to watch it, read about it, learn everything linked to the diving of the cross.
I have followed it every year since then.
Thank you Sherry, for such a detailed explanation and enlightening regarding the entire day's events, cross process & history behind it. YES, rain, lightening, thunder and 2 power outages here at my place.
Yo ! leave the president's cool casual outfits alone. He deserves a BREAK from stuffy
I am sending hard and serious thoughts to OPRAH
When she gets your book, look out ! Maybe she will have an Epiphany of her O W N , get it ?
Gotta run, but staying FIRM !

Anonymous said...

Hello Dr. SES, another day and another powerful message. The cross story was wonderful. Passing down the traditions is a great thing and glad to know it is not forgotten. I have seen the Epiphany and it is a wonderful experience. Thanks for all of the information you gave us today. Today just may be the day that Ms. O will respond. However she may not be so delighted that Conan received the Peoples Choice Award for the FAVORITE TV. TALK SHOW. I dont get that one. People what is wrong with you. Conan is about the silliest, whacky talk show host in History. Picking anyone but him would have pleased me. I didnt get to vote or several would have been kicked off. Oh well some for everyone. Have a glorious day and nap a lot on a rainy day. Pray for our troops and their families. Pray for all families that are in need. Blessings to all.