|Iconophile central (also known as iconolaters and iconodules). The Antiochian Orthodox church reveres its icons|
|happy mother and daughter|
Tessa's baptism took place in an Antiochian Orthodox church the other day. It is very akin to the Greek Orthodox Church except the language spoken is Arabic, not Greek. By orthodox, they mean 'original and the right way". It is based on the very early Christian churches and has not changed much versus other forms of Christianity. Most of the congregation is either of Syrian or Lebanese descent with a few Palestinian Americans too. The "Christian Valley of Syria" is home to 1.8 million Christians in Western Syria. This area is where St. Peter converted the locals to Christianity, the first Christians. This area is obviously in danger from Islamic fundamentalists. The priest asked all to pray for them, even though he says he tries to stay apolitical at baptisms, as the situation is so dire. (fortunately for Ramy's relatives, the terrorism is very localized and not in their area)
The baptism was lengthly and full of rituals Tessa seemed confused as to what was going on but was quite angelic. Some of the rituals included the priests blowing on her hair to save her from Satan along with spitting on the floor (which also deters Satan). Although the prayers were in Arabic and possibly Greek, they would be explained in English to us non-speakers. Tessa was anointed with oil and then immersed nude in the baptismal font.
|Right before immersion. Tess is wrapped in a towel and is clinging for dear life to the Godmother. You can see the incense smoke.|
|Down she goes|
|And she's out. She was very quiet through. out the ceremony|
"You're nothing but a pack of cards!"
(Alice finally decides not to fret over her trial by the Queen of Hearts)
Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
Back to reality, the torrential rains of two days ago caused severe flooding in Detroit such that many expressways are still under water complicating Josh and Julie's commutes, though she was allowed to stay home during the worst of it. Ann Arbor got much less rain though I've been cutting away rotten, water soaked blossoms from my garden. It also was difficult for me to drive in that heavy downpour with me hydroplaning all over the place. Today is cool and beautiful. Perfect for running though kind of windy for bicycling.
Yesterday, I was confined to the ambulatory surgical unit while Steve had his procedure (all is well). I was told I couldn't leave because what would happen if I had an accident? I guess they didn't want to become stuck with Steve. I did learn a potentially useful fact while reading outdated waiting room magazines: a thin coating of oil deters wasps from hummingbird feeders. Well when it's wasp season, we'll see about that.
And later Shanna had a consultation with a color expert on what colors to paint various rooms (my job: keep the kids from being underfoot). This consultant completely contradicted everything I had said. Hmph! Oh well, I guess I really don't have any taste.
And even later: a visit with one of the Mom's grandchild who is a couple of months younger than Allie. What a cutie! And she is a miniature version of my friend's child. Maybe someday I will have a grandchild that actually looks like one of my kids.