Tuesday, April 25, 2017

U is for Ouzinkie: A to Z Blogging Challenge

It's April and you know what that means: The AtoZ Blogging Challenge! For those who haven't played along before, the AtoZ Blogging Challenge asks bloggers to post every day during April (excepting Sundays), which works out to 26 days, one for each letter of the alphabet. In my opinion, it's the most fun if you choose a theme.

My theme this year is Places in my Heart, all about the places I've been and loved and that have mattered to me in a lasting sense.

For my regular readers, you'll see more than the usual once-a-week posts from me this month. I'm having a great time writing them, so I hope you enjoy reading them, too.

U is for Ouzinkie

I know that Ouzinkie technically begins with an O. But it does begin with a U sound . . .and I was having trouble coming up with place I love that starts with U. So, yeah, I cheated a little. 

Ouzinkie though is a wonderful place. Monk's Lagoon on Spruce Island was the home of Saint Herman of Alaska, a saint of the Russian Orthodox Church. 

It is still a retreat space, but also a pilgrimage stop and tourist attraction, an easy skiff ride over from Kodiak and a great place to spend a peaceful afternoon. 

Herman came there as a hermit, but others were drawn to the man and the place, and a chapel, guest house, and school for orphans were soon added.  

I only visited a couple of times. I myself am not Russian Orthodox, though I am, like many, an admirer or the architecture and iconography. The chapel there, by late morning light, definitely felt like a holy place to me. Sometimes, when I close my eyes, I see the diffuse rays of light shining through the windows in the simple space, and it always brings me peace. 

I guess part of me is always seeking retreat, though I'm not quite a hermit or a saint myself. 


  1. Looks like a wonderfully peaceful spot.

    Though your post did make one extremely silly question come to mind--was it from this saint that the 60s band "Herman's Hermits" got its name?

    1. Oddly, I wondered the same thing myself. I could not find any evidence that was the case, though.

  2. So, I guess it's in Alaska? Looks lovely.

    @dSavannahCreate from
    (not writing for #AtoZ2017)