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Light Bulbs and Door Knobs and Happy New Year!

December 31, 2009

Cape Pogue Light House StairsLight bulbs and door knobs, it’s the little things to be grateful for. In December of 1994 I was fortunate enough to make a trip to Russia and the Ukraine representing a non profit group to bring medical supplies and learn about the needs of the victims of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. I was there for 2 weeks, and arrived home just before Christmas. What a trip it was!

Some of you know, my husband is Russian, he immigrated here from the former Soviet Union in 1989. He did NOT accompany me on either trip I made to Russia. He said he had spent too many years trying to get out, he was thinking the day he stepped foot back there would be the day the iron curtain would come crashing back down!

It was a most amazing trip, the architecture is stunning, the people are warm and generous. When I was there it was a very difficult time for most. The country was struggling with the new found freedom, often items were in short supply. But the spirit of the Russian and Ukranian people was amazing. Despite such horrible conditions during Soviet times and depressing and scary conditions of the new Russia and Ukraine, they were awesome. I admired how creative they were when faced with adversity, how determined they were to have a better life than before.

As 2009 comes to an end I am hoping that I can be as creative as that. With all the twists and turns we have had here in the past few years there is still much to be grateful for. Little things like light bulbs and door knobs. And why light bulbs and door knobs? After the breakup of the Soviet Union, suddenly items that were manufactured there were now being made in “foreign” countries, and the flow of availability of such things was stopped. True to form, these wonderful people of such great spirit would move the only light bulb around from room to room as we moved around. At first I was horrified, my own “suite” had only one light bulb, but I quickly adjusted and realized how it really didn’t matter anyway. I do admit they gave me the room that had a working door knob on the door, so I was lucky. But they adjusted to the broken/missing door knobs like it was nothing. Every morning the group would come to my door with piles of their valuables they didn’t want stolen, and placed them in my room for safe keeping. We locked the door and had a great time.

Today I am thinking about the “things” I may have wanted this past year and felt bad about not being able to get. I am thinking about those who have lost all their “things” and realizing the despair they must feel. For 2010 I am praying for less “things” to weigh me down, more inventive ingenuity to fill in any gaps, and for the wonderful and generous spirit of creativity and generosity I felt from all the people I met so many years ago to dominate my life in 2010.

Happy New Year to all. I hope for each and every one of you that 2010 will bring you peace and contentment, and I leave you with this old Irish Blessing for the New Year.

May love an laughter light your days,
and warm your heart and home.
May good and faithful friends be yours,
wherever you may roam.
May peace and plenty bless your world
with joy that long endures.
May all life’s passing seasons
bring the best to you and yours!

I am off for inspections in the snow, and cooking the very traditional Salad Olivier to celebrate our New Year. And I am waiting for that grandbaby, which I understand is just about ready to arrive into our lives!

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