Saturday, October 4, 2008

Saturday Is A Special Day . . . 10/4/08

Saturday Is A Special Day . . . 

Weather Report: Sunny, Clear Sky
Temp at 10:00 am 10.2 c (50 f)

First a welcome to several "followers" that I have not acknowledged. Marilyn and Grant have been there from the beginning along with Trisha, Shannon, & Scott. Brian has recently registered along with Bryce & Joyce, Phil, Dave and Courtney and Stevie W. Thanks all for being registered followers. If you can find a picture to put on your profile, that would be fun.

This past few days is what elder Swenson says they call "Grandma Summer" and we call it "Indian Summer" It is a few days of warm clear weather after the first cold snap. I'm not sure about the etymology of the Russian word, but it might be that this weather may fade (die) soon. An online etymology source says,
Indian summer Look up Indian summer at
"A spell of warm weather after the first frost," first recorded 1778, Amer.Eng., perhaps so called because it was first noted in regions inhabited by Indians, or because the Indians first described it to the Europeans. No evidence connects it with the color of fall leaves or a season of Indian attacks on settlements. It is the Amer.Eng. version of British All-Hallows summer, Fr. été de la Saint-Martin (feast day Nov. 11), etc. Also colloquial was St. Luke's summer (or little summer), period of warm weather occurring about St. Luke's day (Oct 18)
Sister Cindy is enjoying the "Cabo Room" this morning. I called her out of the kitchen about half an hour ago to take advantage of it and she got right to it. While checking out my clothes line in there (I'm doing the last load, sheets) and was checking the chances of hanging a sheet in "Cabo" when I thought she would benefit from a little sun and the sheets could wait.

I tried to get a few candid shots and took this one, but the glare on the window made it impossible to get another so I opened the big window next to the glass door into the Cabo Room and took the other and a video you'll see at the bottom.

Speaking of Grandmas, we are going to a baptism this afternoon of two babushkas (grandmas), one of whom has not been out of her apartment (according to the sister missionaries) in over 5 years. They were worried that she would freak out at the prospect of leaving her comfort zone, but the event is still on.

The story of their conversion is typical of the babushki (plural) in Novo, and I suppose in most of Russia. When you are old and tired or just find it hard to navigate the many, many stairs, you just stay in your apartment and depend on others to bring you supplies. In this case, one babushka is somewhat younger than the other and makes the supply runs for the two of them.

They learned about the church many years ago because a neighbor family joined the church and they saw the missionaries visiting them from time to time. The story is that this young girl visited the babushki regularly, read to them from the Book of Mormon, and often spoke about her activity in the church. The babushki wanted to learn more about it, but where reluctant to interfere with the missionary visits for many years. Finally one of them asked the family if the missionaries could visit them and the process began. Maybe I will learn more details at the baptism, but that attitude of not wanting to interfere with the neighbors is prevalent here. Minding your own business is both a form of protection and isolation that will be difficult to break in a country where trust is so unusual.

I am a little concerned about the mechanics of the baptism, but I just called the sister missionaries and they said that there will be two elders in the font with her to get her into and out of the water. I hope they can get her all the way under the water the first time. That font is a little shallow and she is a little large I'm told. More later; "Pictures at 11".

OK, here are the pictures; and it is actually 12:30 am. The girl who started it all was there arms around the Babushki. They had two elders in the font to help the older Valentina, but she didn't want any help getting into the font. Remember trust issues. It took both elders to get her vertical again after being being immersed and she was grateful for that, but got out of the font alone, holding the hand rails. They were both very excited to have finally been baptized. They will be confirmed tomorrow.

Saturdays are our preparation day and that's when I do my cleaning and the laundry. I washed two loads Friday night and cleaned so that I'd have time to do other things this morning. I have got to start organizing my receipts to send home for tax season and tithing settlement, so that's a project for today and I am trying to fix the light on the wardrobe/food closet, but without my voltage tester it is a little difficult.

Some weeks ago, during the cold snap, we gathered the extra space heaters (the radiator type) to redistribute them (after all, this IS Russia) to the needy among us and one shorted out as I plugged it in, so I took it apart this week, bypassed the connecting block that had failed and got it working. I need a wire nut to replace the electrician's tape I used initially. It is hard to do repair projects here because I don't know where to buy parts and we have not gotten out to explore much.

Yesterday, on the way to the office, a woman pulled along side us in her car, rolled down her window and with a pleasant face and smile asked us something, probably directions, to which we replied in chorus, "Ya nipanimayu ruski (I don't understand Russian). She smiled, nodded, and said, "Sorry" in fairly good English and pulled away. Nice face. Nice smile. Pleasant person. Another positive encounter to put on our list. Cindy asked Lydia how to say, "I'm sorry" in Russian during our language lesson last night. It is "eezveeneetye". You can also say "prozteetya" which is "pardon my fault". We will add that to our lexicon of Russian words. Well, maybe list is a better word; it's a very small lexicon. I bought Cindy some flowers at one of the Metro shops underground and since I can only count to three, I had to have the lady hold up fingers so I could know what to pay her.

Most people we actually meet are very pleasant. The flower lady was very nice and helpful to this Amerikanski, the lady in the car was pleasant, the mailman is cordial, the Fed Ex man has become a pleasant diversion. I think that when our language skills get a little more developed, we might actually meet and have an exchange with people. It is only the groups of drinking men on the streets that I think I will avoid altogether.

What a country


Doretta said...

Not like a seal; not like a gorilla; just Russian!

Bob Steed said...

What a fun video. Thanks for sharing. We sure miss you guys. It is really fun to see the Cabo Room.