Memories of the very first actions

Now, in the middle of the winter, with TONS of snow around I sat remembering the VERY first steps we took to have the vision of the chapel come through…

My husband Lärkan and I bought this little farm in april 2010. We already were determined to build a chapel and that it was to be built to venerate St. Joseph. Even though we had LOTS to take care of  – since this farm was rather badly kept, the houses were in bad shape and things had to be organized and there was loads of rubbish to get rid of (that was left all over the place when we came here) we wanted to get started with the chapel already our first summer here.

In may we hired a man with the knowledge of making a load bearing road over the swampy overpass over the little creek. The same man also owned a big digging machine that could move big stones and transport big heavy loads to make the base course of rough gravel to raise the overpass. Here is a picture of when he just had finished up what You recently have been looking at as the “path to the chapel”  (but here looked upon from half way up the little slope to the chapel)

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After the “path” was made and it was possible to get over the creek and up the hill without getting totally wet feet, and also that machines could get up the hill we hired Mauritz, a friend from our congregation, to come and help us with some further steps. The little digging machine on the picture above actually is the one that Mauritz by then owned and just then for the first time was driving up to the future chapel area.

Here he and Lärkan is making marks on the ground with white spray color; WHERE to dig and prepare for the future chapel:

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After that Maurits dug in the ground so we could prepare for the drainage:

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When the hole was deep enough we put down drainage pipes from the bottom of the hole and far down the slope. After that Lärkan went and hired a little “dumper” to transport all the drainage gravel… because it was too heavy to push a wheel barrel MANY MANY times all the way from where the truck had unloaded the gravel and up the hill to the chapel-place : ) Here he is happy to unload the “helpful little machine”:

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After MANY trips he proudly inspects the area.

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After that Maurits and Lärkan took turns in flattening and packing the gravel to prepare for the foundation.

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Then it was june 2010. Now, two and a half years ago… Soon I will continue to tell You the story of the construction.. There are chapters that You do not know about even if You have followed this blog since the start in june 2012…

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Snow and St.Nicholaus

For many days it has been snowing, and for many days we have had no landline telephone. Now a kind man from the company that takes care of the lines came and fixed it at least temporarily. Lärkan is helping out.

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The path to the chapel is as a snowy avenue of trees. Beautiful!

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I am so happy to notice that the angle of the roof will have the snow slide off! As we had hoped.

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Today is the nameday, and celebration of a dear saint: St. Nicholaus.  I was sad to accept that we could not make it to the Convent to celebrate St. Nicholas in the little church built in his honor there. We had to stay home today. But at a little devotional time in the chapel today I tried to honor St. Nicholaus in a simple way.

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In the midst of buckets of frozen clay and remains from our work I sat praying and thinking of St. Nicolaus who has been the role model of the nowadays totally commercialized Santa Claus or Father Christmas. One thing that is told about the Saint is that he gave gifts, money, all from the heritage from his reposed parents. At times he even left a whole bag of money on the threshold to houses where there was despair and severe problems with economical consequences. When people asked him about it, and claimed that he had given the money, he replied that he did not know what they ment, and that they only should thank God for his gift.

Another thing I remember having been told about Saint Nicholaus is from the Council of Nicaea in the year of 325  where he came to a intense argue with Arius who argued that there is a status ladder within the Trinity. As if God the Father was the highest, and the Son and the Holy Spirit was of  lower rank. Saint Nicholaus insisted: NO! God is ONE, Holy Trinity! Finally Saint Nichoaus – that of course was not by then looked upon as  Saint – hit Arius on his mouth. All the Bishops and Spiritual Fathers at the meeting were chocked or disappointed over this behavior and Nicholaus was ordered to leave the room. At the following night several of the Bishops and Fathers got the same revelation or dream that made them understand that  Father Nicholaus had not lost his temper, but had hit Arius, who taught heresy, out of deep piousness and love for the truth and not that he had lost his temper. He was asked back to the council and the theory of Arius was labeled as heresy.

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Dear St. Nicholaus – protector of travelers and many others – not a glorius celebration of You on Your day here with us today, but …

Our loyal and faithful french friend

Vincent, who was formally not  a WWOOF-er, but found us through a similar organisation called  “Workaway”,  has now been here 5 months (except for 3 days) He has truly been our most persisting co-worker! He has endured our company for this long period and has contributed enormously to ALL that has been accomplished on the farm during this period. Here on this blog You have seen him in many pictures concerning the construction work of the chapel. But for sure he has done so much more.

Just to show ONE example, here is one of the nice stairways he has build to make our everyday life easier when feeding the sheep.

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These last few days he has been working hard to make sure we have firewood to take us through the winter:

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On friday morning this week he will leave us to go back to France. The young man is since several days already mentally at least half already there  : )  Even the flag outside our front porch is expressing that for him ; ) Look, the flag is  in the process of “not being attached”

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We will miss Vincent in many ways, not the least all nice long chats at the breakfast table:

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Vincent has contributed in many many ways to making our everyday life pleasant and joyful. He has also worked in a fantastic way at the chapel – as long as it was possible due to the weather, and during his whole period here also with many, many other things at our little farm. We are deeply thankful for all his contributions. And we wish him all the best and good luck on all his ways in future life   ❤

Th path to the chapel

Thursday through saturday last weeek it snowed 74 cm. Now that snow has compacted a bit.  After a few days of minus 24 celsius we have milder temperatures again,  between minus 2 and minus 18 …up and down… But it still snows a lot : )

Yesterday afternoon my husband Lärkan worked with the snowblower all the way up to the chapel to make a nice path:

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Although after the continuous snowfall during the evening, night and morning again at least 20 cm of new snow in the path : ) Time to go with the snowblower again…

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It is perfectly all right!

It is nice with the different seasons and different circumstances according to each season!

 

But it is too cold to sand wooden parts (visible trusses) or try to paint inner walls… not possible now… Just time to rest from the building activities : )

 

Funeral, snow, snow and furnace

When I write this – mid day saturday – I should have been at the Convent of  St. Philotei. Our dear old nun, Mother Philotei reposed thursday evening and today is her funeral. Many friends and congregation members have travelled to be there. Our Gerontissa from the “Mother Convent” in Greece and another nun also flew here from Greece and a layman to whom our Mother Philotei is very dear also flew here over the day! He has arrived in Sweden one hour ago and will go back to Athens before the evening, he just came here for the funeral – what an act of love!

I too had so much wanted to be there myself, but the weather is too hard. It has been snowing non stop since two and a half days. I just measured the hight of the snow where we had not yet had the time to showel it away, it is now up to the hight of 74 cm! And it is still snowing. The forcast predicted 30-40 cm more during the day.

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This is one of the tables on which we usually feed birds. Lucky for them i now serve them on another table .  : )

The wiev over our little valley now looks like this:

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You see the one meter high fences – or I would rather say the “traces” of the fences …

In  this area now is a snow chaos: the buses does not go on their tours since last night due to the bad circumstances, many cars has slided into the ditches… The people driving the plowing tractors and trucks does not have a chance to keep up with the needs since it is snowing heavily all the time…

Our landphone-line has fallen down due to the heavy snow and the wind, last night we were out of electricity for a few hours… I still wanted to go, but i had to realize it might be too risky to drive the about 200 km ride to the convent and then in the darkness and with even more snow back home….

With sadness in my heart I had to decide to stay at home. I will now go and sit by the fireplace in our house and read from the Psaltar instead of being present at the funeral in a little while.

Speaking about fireplace… Of course we these days make fires in our houses a lot, and I came to think of that I did not yet show You the beautiful little fireplace that in the future will be placed in the chapel:

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The picture is not taken at our place, but at the farm from where my husband went and bought it late this summer. It is now standing in our barn waiting to be moved. We have not been able to put it in place in the chapel yet. First I have to paint the walls, then we are going to lay the inner floor and after that the fireplace will come to its “destination”, the chimney is to be constructed and the hole in the roof to be made….  But I think it is a lovely little piece! What do You think?

Next fall and winter it will keep the little chapel of St. Joseph and its visitors warm.  I look forward to that : )