Blessed by the Babushka #ukraine #nonfiction

We had one hour to do a frantic shop for items we could only get in Ukraine. The list from friends was rather long: Hand carved jewelry, stacking dolls, hand painted spoons …

“Mommy we are going to run out of time. Why don’t we split up?” My precocious thirteen year-old daughter suggested. I scanned the park with booth after booth of items for sale. The park was large and everything looked the same.

“No way!” I said in English knowing that my two girls could be swept away in a foreign land in a moment. My limited Russian would be unheard, my screaming in English heeded less.

“We will never be able to do it all.” My 10-year-old daughter chimed in.

“Then we will do what we can. First I have to get grivna out of the ATM.” I heard both the girls sigh as I dragged them quickly to a corner of the square.

“It will only take a moment. ” A moment I knew we did not have.

As I left the ATM machine, an elderly Babushka came into my vision. She was so frail and thin as she carried  a woven satchel of groceries that looked like it weighed more than she. With a weak but genuine smile, she looked right at me then at the girls.

Do you ever feel your hand magnetically reach for your wallet when you see someone poor and weak? I knew my husband (8000 miles away) would have growled at me. It didn’t matter. I felt the compelling need to help this frail woman.

I pulled out grivna and gave her the equivalent to  several weeks worth of food. I said a few words  in my very poorest Russian. The smile in her eyes could have lit the pavement. Then this woman put her tissue paper-thin hands on my girl’s heads and said a blessing. I didn’t understand all of what she said but I knew it came straight from the heart. She looked me in the eye with a toothless grin as she placed her hand against my cheek then she was gone! I felt touched with something indescribable.

I looked at my watch, we had to catch our bus to the airport in thirty minutes. The oddest thing happened- As we went to the different tents to check out what was for sale, it was as if a sea parted before us. Each kiosk had exactly what we were looking for and the price was less than we had planned.

A man ran to me as we were leaving and handed me a beautiful handmade wooden necklace. He gestured for me to wear it.  It reminded me of the beauty and strength of the Ukranian people and of the old woman.  I wondered if he knew the babushka.

I was not looking forward to the trip home. Two days of travel is grueling; add two young girls and an injury. (I had been injured in Crimea.)  It was just us We were from Odessa to Vienna to New York and finally LA. I felt like people kept looking out for us. A man helped carry my luggage into the plane. We needed to hail a taxi in Vienna and someone shared theirs with us. All along the way people were unusually thoughtful to the girls and I.

There had been a man trying to escape justice who had hidden in the luggage compartment on our plane out of Odessa. He was subdued (in Vienna) before he could be violent or set off whatever was in his duffle. None of the other passengers were hurt as the military took him down.

When I got home, I looked at the necklace hanging around my neck. ‘Oh Babushka you gave me so much more than I gave you. Your blessing got us safely home. Spasiba Bolshoi.’

******

I just wanted the reader to know that this short story is  true. I wrote this piece a number of years ago and archived it. Based on the current turmoil in Ukraine, I hope to send some blessings back.

The Ukrainian people are a strong, beautiful and creative people. How can anyone want to strip that from our world?

Food for Thought #poetry

We tend to forget that happiness doesn’t come as a result of getting something we don’t have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have.

Life is a promise; fulfill it. – Mother Teresa
Generosity begins with our recognition of our debt to others.

A person’s true wealth is the good he or she does in the world. Mohammed

Gratitude is the memory of the heart.

When love and skill work together, expect a masterpiece.
.
Believe, when you are most unhappy, that there is something for you to do in the world. So long as you can sweeten another’s pain, life is not in vain. – Helen Keller

Seek to do good, and you will find that happiness will run after you.

Kindness is like sugar, It makes life taste a little sweeter.

God made the world round so we would never be able to see too far down the road.

At first we hope too much, later on, not enough.

The time is always right to do what is right. – Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

bananas

Life is a food bowl jumble how do we begin?

kindness and hope might be a good start

like a fragrant flower, a ripe white peach

blessings flow from each

next a piece of belief and gratitude

fits so nice side by side

in the compote dish

sweetness daily we remind

I waver between what comes from the heart

I’ll pour a bowl of goodness

sprinkled with unpretentious love

in the lives of others do not be remiss

look down the road

but never too far

a hand full of willing

children, reach close to the stars

work each days tapestry

as if its your last

give deep down to the needy

never be greedy

there’s much food for thought

today I’ve tasted a little

pass a morsel to another

never be hard like peanut brittle

 

Today’s prompt at Poet’s United is Food. I am trying to get back on track getting away from the thought of food (the holidays are a bad influence). “Food for thought” seemed like the kind of basket I could reach into and be well nourished.

All the quotes above are from people or proverbs that have been passed down and were shared on the blog: Every Circle .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Changing Seasons #Bible #ourworld #war

 

a touch of cherry

Blessing comes in the form of peace

safe haven while war rages about

Blessing comes in refreshment

sparkling waters flow in time of drought

blessing comes in the form of life

leaves remain green though nothing lives

blessing comes in the form of provision

 there is enough when resources are destitute

~MDW

 

Are you seeing the seasons changing? Life (presently) seems to be battered by storms of all types. You saved and planned for the future and most of that is now ashes crumbling between your fingers.

Look at the world from above. What was once blue and flowing is now a brown stench of an orb.

God promises life, peace, and an unadulterated stream even as everything is caving in. He will not turn against us during this time of warring and corruption. He promises safety and to replenish us.

Jeremiah 17: 7-8 says:

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
whose trust is the Lord.
He is like a tree planted by water,
that sends out its roots by the stream,
and does not fear when heat comes,
for its leaves remain green,
and is not anxious in the year of drought,
for it does not cease to bear fruit.”

 

leaf drop

More Than Food On Thanksgiving #microfiction

We gather together to ask the Lords blessing…

I heard the song and heard her singing, I had not heard her in more than two decades

She taught me to count my blessings

“I’m trying to remember grandmama

some days are more difficult than others”

I delivered several boxes filled with food for Thanksgiving for a struggling family of 8.

No one knew that on Thanksgiving all I had were two cans of soup, a box of cereal and a quart of milk

“…I ask for your blessing dear Lord”

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