Monday, December 1, 2008

Christmas past

From scanned slides...first a couple from Bridgeton, Indiana. I love to go for drives and look at Christmas lights. However, it has been a while since we actually done that. Seems like the time just flies as I get older.

And these are the blurred images that I ran across the other day that inspired me to take the photo that I posted Thanksgiving Day. I think these are best viewed when enlarged.
When we first moved here in 1980, or oldest daughter was just 5 months old. Not sure how long it was before we met the lady that lived two houses down from us. Veronica was from Lithuania and spoke very broken English even though she had been here for years. There were all kinds of rumors about her, which we will never know if they were true or not. One we know for sure is not true--she wasn't mean to kids. I had people that grew up here tell me that they remembered being so afraid of her when they were kids.

I don't know how she found out my husband could do stuff, but she would have problems with this or that and come ask him to help. Things like a leaky faucet, or the belt on her treadle sewing machine broke, just a few little things here and there. I know there were other things but right now I cannot think of them. And every so often she would get him to take her to the Chicago O'Hare airport. She was going back over 'there' for a visit. She went to Moscow.

She told us of her and her husband running and hiding under bushes and she witnessed her husband being shot. She came to the USA then and left two children over there...or that was what we understood her to say. At Christmas she would buy all kinds of clothes for children to send to relatives (grandchildren??) over there, and she would have us or this other neighbor write down a list of everything that was in the box, so whoever she was sending it to could tell if they got it all or if things had been stolen before it got to them.

She also had an old man named Walter that lived with year he had a daughter come over from Russia(?somewhere in that area), and she brought her husband and one of their children...a little girl about 5 or 6 years old. They were not allowed to bring their other children for fear they would try to stay here. Her name was Elana...she was a kindergarten teacher. Her husband was Alex but I don't recall what he did...they did not speak a word of English and of course we didn't know a word of their language. But Elana had books that converted from their language to ours and from ours to their language.

We got the bright idea to take them on a drive...we had this little Dodge Colt. So there were us four adults and their child in that tiny car, and we took this big long drive just showing them the country...I showed them the orchard where I worked, and I cannot remember where else we took them. I think we showed them the other places we had worked. Elana and I would use the books to communicate and really enjoyed each other's company. I know we came home late enough to see the Christmas lights, so never does a Christmas pass that I don't think of her and wonder how she is.

Oh, and back to Veronica for a chuckle or two at my husband's expense. I told you he would take her to the airport sometimes. One time he went to pick them up, and it may have been the time when Elana came home. He forgot to pay attention to where he parked, and he came home telling about it...he was telling it and all I could picture is a duck with its ducklings following behind. Every where he went, there was this line of people following right behind him. I cannot do it justice...he was telling me and making gestures...he finally got them to understand and just stay in one place while he went and found the car.

And another time he picked up Veronica, she had been drinking. And she had it in the truck with her. Well, we don't drink...and she kept trying to get him to take a drink, and it was something strong...not beer. She just couldn't understand why he didn't want any. And all the time he was praying that he didn't get stopped by police cause they would never believe he had not been drinking...he said the truck smelled like a brewery. He was so relieved to get them home--I think Walter had went with him to pick her up.

So that is one of my Christmas memories....

and here's Otto...

Or should I say Otto and his mom...who can resist a face like this? I took Roger's little point and shoot camera today and snapped these of him and Sarah. She was feeling under the weather today with a cold coming on.

Oh, and that top photo is what it looked like around here this morning. It was just a skim of snow--just enough and wet enought to stick and cover everything. But by the time we started home it was almost all gone. We are still supposed to get an inch or two tonight and tomorrow, but so far it hasn't started.