Last weekend – it’s getting chilly out in the village, so probably the last week or two before they need to get their houses warm. Prices are quite high for these grandmas, they ration and live so frugally. They hunger mostly for companionship though, the food of the soul.

This summer, we’ve been blessed to get to know Babushka Galia, who lives about 10 minutes from my house, on the outskirts of town. She is 82, and loves it when I bring the girls for quick visit.. well, she doesn’t like how quick my visits are actually. She chases us to our cars, and often takes one of the kids hostage into her garden so I can’t leave.

I’m simply amazed at everything she grows, from potatoes, to cucumbers, corn, raspberries, strawberries, pears, nuts, cabbage, the list goes on. She blessed me with a sack of potatoes I couldn’t even carry. Her neighbor called her on the phone while we were visiting, she yelled at the person saying “Abbey is here, I can’t talk now”.. she loves kids. She said she took english lessons in 3rd grade, but doesn’t remember any words. We did the math, that was in 1947. We’ll give her a pass! Poor thing has my lovely Russian/Ukrainian to deal with, but all laugh a lot.

Abbey and Claire get to pick and eat all the berries they can find.. if they don’t, they’ll have Babushka Galia on their case making them!

She handed me two watermelons to take this last trip. I contested her generosity and she grabbed a third and dropped it in my arms.. I said, “I can’t take your food, I’m bringing YOU food!” She sternly said, “God loves you, and I need to give you three, one for the father, the son and the spirit.” Case closed, she won that argument, and theologically impressed me! I love the Trinitarian reflections all around Slavic culture.