Discoveries

 

Children love wonders

It happened 20 years ago. In summer we stayed at the Carriage House (a time-sharing property) in Pocono Manor and each day walked along the Pocono Manor Drive to the historic Pocono Manor Inn and back. Beautiful parts of a golf course were on both sides of the drive and we enjoyed fresh air, wonderful views and fast walks.

VIEW FROM THE POCONO MANOR DRIVE

VIEW FROM THE POCONO MANOR DRIVE                                    by JF

My wife was upset that our oldest granddaughter (she was 6 years old at that time) did not want to go for a walk with us. She preferred to stay inside the building and play in the arcade.

“You must do something!”, said my wife.

I thought very hard and then I said at lunch: “You know, this morning I made an interesting discovery. I could not believe it myself but I can smell a golf ball at distance 15-20 metres”.

“Grandpa, you can’t!”, stated our granddaughter. “Even best dogs can’t smell golf balls at such distance! I don’t think that people can smell golf balls at all!”

“Ok, dear! Let’s go tomorrow morning for a walk and see if I am wrong.”

The rest of the day I was gathering golf balls that were lost by players and placing them along the Pocono Manor Drive. Some of them I hid among stumps and in small holes, others I covered by leaves. It was not easy to find them and it was not easy to remember where balls were hidden. However, 20 years ago my memory was better than today.

Next morning our granddaughter suggested to go for a walk and to check if I really could smell where golf balls were.

In several minutes she became very excited.  Every time I told that I smelled a golf ball nearby she found one or two (sometimes with my help). The walk to the inn was a great pleasure. On the way back I heard that I was the only Grandpa in the world who could smell golf balls.

Later our other grandchildren were very happy that they had such unique Grandpa.

“You know, he can smell golf balls better than best trained dogs!”

 

Art of Bill Gekas.

Bill Gekas is a photographer. He lives in Australia and he created with his five years old daughter a very unusual project.

You can start by reading about the project and seeing some of his photos HERE.

But if you want to understand his art and to enjoy his work you have to go to the website below.

BILL GECAS

About grandchildren.

I know that majority of my followers are young and beautiful.

However, sooner or later people blessed with children and grandchildren.

We have 5 grandchildren and we love them very much.

You know there are some people who say that their grandchildren are geniuses. It’s too much!

Our grandchildren are simply beautiful and very smart! If you doubt it please ask my wife. We have different opinions on majority of topics but in this case we think exactly the same.

Now, I found several good quotes about grandchildren. Please look at them below.

How wonderful it would be if we could help our children and grandchildren to learn thanksgiving at an early age. Thanksgiving opens the doors. It changes a child’s personality. A child is resentful, negative, or thankful. Thankful children want to give, they radiate happiness, they draw people.

 Sir John Templeton quotes 

Grandchildren give us a second chance to do things better because they bring out the best in us.

 Unknown quotes 

Grandchildren are God’s way of compensating us for growing old.

 Mary H Waldrip quotes 

What can I say to my grandchildren?

Just one thing: build a happy family!

Best to them and to you!

WE NEED MORE LOVE TODAY!

This poem posted long time ago. I hope that new followers and guests after reading it will think about their relations with parents and grandparents, will think if they fully show their love and will try to make their parents and grandparents happier.

PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS

In a happy family love must flow in all directions. Communications are easy and honest between all generations as it is very important to understand needs of every member of the family.

In February 2013 I wrote in Russian a poem expressing feelings of my wife and myself. The poem written  for our children and grandchildren. Later some of our friends told us that it is applicable to all children and grandchildren.

Below is the poem in English and in Russian. I ask your forgiveness for the loose translation from Russian into English. I hope that you will understand the meaning of the poem.

********************  WE NEED MORE LOVE TODAY!  **************************

We were waiting for you when we were
Single. Then when we married.
We were waiting for you for years,
Then daily and every hour.
*
We loved you before you were born
And love you very much today
Thank…

View original post 233 more words

My daughter asked…

About 17 years ago my daughter called: “Father, Alex’s company sends him to Philadelphia for seven days. I’d like to go with him. Would you agree to stay with Michael?”

I was already retired at that time and Michael was 3 months old. I could not believe that my highly educated daughter (Price University) asked me such stupid question.

Who would refuse to stay a week with an angel? Would you?

A week passed and my daughter and her husband brought Michael to our apartment.

My daughter showed me how to feed him formula and they left.

Michael and were very happy to stay together. We smiled and talked (each in his own language). When my wife came from work I showed her the happy angel and reminded her that only I am responsible for his well-being.

It was a very happy week!

However, there was one serious problem! I badly wanted to sleep but I could not sleep even when our angel was sleeping. You see, my hearing is very bad. I was afraid that if the angel awakens and starts crying I will not hear him.

Finally, the week passed and Michael’s parents came to fetch their son. They enjoyed their stay in Philadelphia very much and they were very glad to see their happy smiling baby.

Then my daughter asked: “Father, would you be so kind to feed Michael one more time? We are very tired after driving in heavy traffic.”

Surely, I did not mind. I wanted to sleep but I felt sad that the angel was going home. So I took him in my loving hands, put him on the kitchen table and started to feed him with a spoon. Both of us were very happy!

All of a sudden my daughter asked: “Dad, what are you doing? Did not I bring a special support to put him on so that his head was not flat on the table? Did not I tell you about it?”

What could I say?

I answered: “You know, my hearing is bad. And Michael does not know Russian. He was unable to remind me what you said.”

PS. Michael was the fourth young angel in our family. Now we have five of them.

We pray for their happiness and we are ready to share it with them!

grandchildren

“Oh, those Americans!” (part 2).

Click below to read the first part of this story.

“Oh, those Americans!” (part 1)

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We were very upset. Nobody of us wanted our teachers punished due to actions of any boy from our school. We loved and respected Boris and Nasir. Every day showed all of us that they cared and did everything possible to help us.

Nikolai, who was on the Uzbekistan’s boxing team, expressed common opinion. He said: “There will be no more cheating!”

Several days passed. On the ninth day three boys picked more than 40 kg and proudly shared their prizes with their classes. We found that butter was not edible and pita was too small to satisfy 20 or more hungry guys. Still we hoped that more boys will pick 40 kg next day.

However, night brought bad surprise. Temperature dropped substantially and it became very cold in our large room. We slept on the thin mattresses on the floor and had only thin blankets to defend us from cold. It became windy outside and there were many holes in the floor and walls of the building.

So during the night we suffered from cold. It was even worse on our way to fields. We did not have warm clothing and the closest field with unpicked cotton was already about two miles away. Many guys took their blankets with them and it helped a bit on the way to the field but nobody could keep blankets on when picking cotton. So we suffered from cold until sun was high above our heads and then we continued to suffer from reflections of sun rays from cotton bushes.

However, we worked and did not complain. Our teachers worked and suffered even more than we as they slept very little caring for sick boys at nights. We knew that there were only several days left before coming home and this knowledge lifted our spirits.

Two more days passed. Then several boys complained that they had severe abdominal pain. Greg was one of them. He told us that it was very painful for him even to touch his abdomen. He and some other boys also had fever and they vomited. Two boys said to teachers that they had frequent and painful urination.

Many of us caught cold and started to cough. The only medicine from all problems was hot tea but everyone suspected that together with bad food it could be also a reason of stomach problems.

Nasir asked the local healer to check boys with severe abdominal pain and the old man said that it was possible that Greg had appendicitis and needed an operation as soon as possible.

In the morning of the last day Greg and six other sick guys stayed in the room helping each other. All others went to work in high spirit. We were proud that we were able to overcome all difficulties and picked a lot of cotton. We also thought what a pleasure it would be tomorrow to meet our families, to take shower, to eat decent food and to relax a couple of days before going to school.

At about 3.00 pm we heard a very strange noise. All of us stopped working and turned to see what it was. A dark dot appeared in the sky. Then it grew and it became clear that it was a plane. Soon it was near and then it landed on the road close to us. A pilot climbed down from the plane and started walking towards us.

Boris and Nasir told us to continue working and went to meet the pilot. They spoke with him several minutes and then they came back. We could see that they were very upset.

Nasir told us to stop work and to come closer as they had important news for us. Then Boris told us that government of Uzbekistan decided that all boys and girls from Tashkent must continue to pick cotton two more weeks. The pilot also said that our parents bought for us food and sent it and our warm clothing with him.

Teachers also told us that they convinced the pilot to take with him to the city three very sick boys (he could not take more). They told us to walk back to our building and then they flew with the pilot.

On the way back from the field some guys were very angry. One said: “We volunteered to go to pick cotton for only two weeks. What right did government have to force us to stay here two more weeks?”. Another guy wondered why we did not get good food from the beginning and why the government did not provide food this time. He added: “We are not getting money for our work. Why should our parents pay for our food?”

Yuri said to me: “I hope Greg will get necessary treatment today and will be in good shape when we return to the city.”

When we reached our building the plane was gone and Greg and two other boys were gone too. There were food and clothing in the room.

We continued to work. Temperature continued to drop and we suffered from cold very much. Some guys and our teacher Boris had bad dry cough, more guys had stomach problems. We counted days and worked. Finally, thirteen days passed. We were very tired but satisfied with results of our work.

Before going to work on the last day teachers told us to prepare our things for departure. They asked sick boys to clean the room and to gather all mattresses in the corner of the room.

We worked this day with great enthusiasm. However, at about 3.00 pm we heard that a plane was coming again. It landed, the pilot climbed out and stayed near plane. Boris and Nasir went to him. All of us stopped working. We felt that something was very bad.

Teachers talked with the pilot and then called us to join them. They told us that Greg was dead. They also told us that Stalin ordered all boys and girls from Tashkent’s schools to pick cotton two more weeks.

Yuri and I could not believe these news. Greg, our closest friend for six years, was dead. He was dead only because our leaders did not care about us. We were only fourteen years old but we understood the simple truth: Stalin was our leader but he was not our friend.

In two weeks boys and girls from Tashkent’s schools returned from the Hungry Steppes. However, four girls and one boy died very soon. Nothing was in newspapers or on the radio about it but people knew everything. When we heard this terrible news Yuri told me: “You know our teachers. They love us and they teach us to love others. If Stalin is a teacher he is a teacher of death”.

We did not believe propaganda from that time. We did not believe that Americans wanted to conquer the world. We also found out that in 1947 International Harvester produced a mechanical cotton picker. We did not want to compete with Americans, to compete with machines.

However, three more years we picked cotton until middle of October. Nobody asked us to volunteer. Our government decided everything for us.

Oh, those Americans!

“Oh, those Americans!” (part 1).

It was a very unusual start of the school year on September 1, 1948. Teachers told all students of 7-10 grades to go to the center of the schoolyard to listen to the speech of a colonel from the Tashkent garrison.

The colonel told us that our Motherland needed our help. He explained that Americans wanted to conquer the world and we needed to grow our economy very fast to become mightier country than America. He said: “We need to overrun America!”.

Then he explained that a part of the Hungry Steppes was recently irrigated and produced very good crop of cotton. Motherland needed our help in picking cotton by hands. The colonel added: “It will not take more than two weeks. The weather is terrific so there is no need to take warm clothing. You will get good meals so don’t take any food. Now go home and prepare to board a train at nine tomorrow morning”.

We were very excited. It was such an interesting adventure and a terrific opportunity to serve our country. Yuri said to Greg and me: “We’ll show those Americans how Soviet patriots work!”

Next day boys, girls and some teachers from Tashkent’s schools went by train and then by trucks to designated places in the Hungry Steppes. We settled in a wooden building which had one very large room with a wooden floor. Each class chose a part of the room and then we got tiny pillows and very thin mattresses and blankets.

Then each of us got a piece of black bread, mashed potatoes and a cup of tea. Bread looked and tasted like clay, mashed potatoes had very unpleasant taste and tea was very black without milk or sugar but with a lot of leaves in it.

After the long trip all of us (178 boys and two teachers) were very hungry and tired but nobody liked the food. We were very happy that our parents practically forced us to take a lot of food with us. Boys of each class shared food from home and drank tea. Very soon after it all of us fell asleep.

At five o’clock in the morning there were loud sounds of gong. Our teachers Boris and Nasir told us to get up fast, wash our faces and hands with water from a large barrel and prepare to go to a field. Nasir (he was our teacher of Uzbek language and he communicated with locals) explained to us that there was a pond near the building but water in it was not good for drinking or washing faces or hands. Locals boiled it and placed in large wooden barrels.

At 6.00 am we formed a column and with songs went to the nearest cotton field. At the field a local man gave each of us a special apron for placing cotton in it and a large sack. The upper part of the apron was around the neck and the lower part was around torso. Both hands were free to pick cotton and to put it in an apron.

Nasir told us that only women picked cotton in Uzbekistan and that majority of them did it with one hand. However, some were able to pick cotton with two hands and they earned more money.

He explained that after an apron is full the cotton placed in a sack. After a sack is full each of us should bring it to a mobile weighing station and a local man will write a name and how much was in the sack. At the end of the day anyone who will be able to pick 40 kg of cotton will get a teaspoon of butter, a teaspoon of sugar and a small pita.

Nasir showed us how to pick cotton and put it in an apron and where was the weighing station. He assigned a furrow to each of us and explained that we should pick cotton from both sides of the furrow until we reach the end of it. Then he’ll assign a new furrow.

cottonbush

Before we started to work a truck brought our breakfast. It was a copy of the previous day supper. We were so hungry that ate everything and added a bit from food that our parents gave to us.

Half an hour later we started to work. It was a gorgeous sunny day. The cotton field was beautiful. The air was fresh. The feel of ripe cotton was very nice and we enjoyed picking it from bushes. Greg, Yuri and I tried to pick cotton with both hands. We knew that nobody will get money but thoughts about butter, sugar and pita inspired us.

Actually, all boys were in a very high spirit and worked very fast.

Our teachers told us not be in a hurry, that two weeks of work was a marathon and not a sprint. However, we loved competition and we loved pita even more.

Several hours passed and everyone slowed down. The sun was high in the sky and it was very hot. All of us were thirsty. None of us had dark glasses and it was painful to look at the white cotton under sun. Sun was beating down mercilessly on our practically unprotected heads and bodies.

Our teachers Boris and Nasir directed our work and helped to pick cotton those boys who stayed behind others.

At 1.00 pm a truck brought our lunch. Each of us got a piece of bread, a bowl of potato soup, mashed potatoes and tea. Nasir talked with a local leader and the man explained that nobody expected that somebody from Tashkent will come to the area. They had very limited supplies of food and nothing was coming. There was only a lot of rotten potatoes and they used it for soup and mashed potatoes.

There were several trees near the road to the field and we were able to eat lunch and relax a bit in their shadows. An hour passed very fast and then we started pick cotton again.

Temperature continued to rise and those of us who were in hats without visors, in sleeveless shirts or in shirts from thin materials suffered very much.

By 5.00  pm we were absolutely exhausted. There was no pita in sight. The best result in picking cotton had a guy from the tenth grade who managed to use both hands. But he picked only 23 kg.

Teachers stopped our work and we went back to our building. We could not sing as we were very thirsty and tired. Happily, there was cool in our large room and there was a lot of cold and hot water in barrels.

At 6.00 we had the same supper as the first day but this time we ate everything and added some food we brought from home. However, many boys did not feel well. Some had high temperature and headache, almost everyone had painful red areas of skin. There were no doctors or nurses for many miles around so Nasir went to locals to find out how to prevent heat strokes and cure painful skin areas.

In the meantime Boris who was a war veteran told us about his war experience. He stressed that usually first days are the most difficult days and that we had only 13 more days before going home.

Nasir brought a very big jar with some substance made from goat milk. Local healer assured him that it was very effective in relieving skin redness, rash and pain. We immediately started gently apply this substance to painful skin areas helping each other.

Nasir also told us that Uzbek women picked cotton in dresses and shawls from thick materials that protected them from the sun. He added that he asked the local leader to give us several shawls just to try if our boys would be able to wear them during work.

In half an hour almost everyone was sleeping. However, our teachers stayed awake. They were doing whatever they could to help boys who had high temperature and headache. I am not sure if they slept even several hours during that night.

Next morning the local leader arrived with several shawls and many old newspapers. Boris gave shawls to boys who had the most painful red areas of skin. He said that all others should use whatever clothing they had to protect themselves. He also showed how to prepare a hat from a newspaper and told us that each of us must make such hat and wear it.

Teachers told boys who had headache or were dizzy to stay in the room and to help peel potatoes, clean the room and boil water.

Then we went to the field again. The morning was cool and we laughed that we were looking as pirates.

The second day was a copy of the first but we were better protected from the sun and we already knew what we were doing. At the end of the day all of us still got extra areas of painful red skin and we suffered from daily heat but our results were better. One guy from the eighth grade who used both hands picked 31 kg. On the way from the field everyone was talking that it is possible that next day somebody will pick 40 kg and will get butter, sugar and pita.

Next morning more boys stayed behind and everyone who worked in the field suffered very much from heat. All of us also suffered from reflection of sun rays from white cotton. However, there was nothing we could do and we worked diligently  till the end of the day.

All of us were pleasantly surprised when we heard that 6 boys picked slightly over 40 kg. However, immediately after supper our teachers told us to gather in the middle of the room. We saw that they were very upset.

Boris told us that when one Uzbek started to empty our sacks in the area where cotton was kept before pressing it into huge 200 kg bales he found that there were heavy pieces of dried land in several sacks and yellow wet cotton in several others. Somebody peed on the cotton to make it heavier.

Boris told us that he never expected that anyone of us would be so stupid, unpatriotic and dishonorable. He also explained that such actions were criminal and could be punished by 10 or more years in jail. Than he added that the local guy warned him that if the same thing happens again he would have to report it to the local KGB representative and our teachers Nasir and Boris would be severely punished.

WE NEED MORE LOVE TODAY!

In a happy family love must flow in all directions. Communications are easy and honest between all generations as it is very important to understand needs of every member of the family.

In February 2013 I wrote in Russian a poem expressing feelings of my wife and myself. The poem written  for our children and grandchildren. Later some of our friends told us that it is applicable to all children and grandchildren.

Below is the poem in English and in Russian. I ask your forgiveness for the loose translation from Russian into English. I hope that you will understand the meaning of the poem.

********************  WE NEED MORE LOVE TODAY!  **************************

We were waiting for you when we were
Single. Then when we married.
We were waiting for you for years,
Then daily and every hour.
*
We loved you before you were born
And love you very much today
Thank you, Lord, for children and
Grandchildren, your gifts to us!
*
Our parents and older relatives passed
Away and their love is in our memories.
Some of our friends left this world too.
We miss their love very much!
*
You are our youth and light.
Our love to you grows every day.
Please love us more,
We need more love today!
*
Love us, show us your love!
There is no sense of hiding it.
Nobody knows how long we’ll
Be together. Hope many years!
*
*****************************  ЛЮБИТЕ НАС!  *********************
*
Мы ждали вас, когда мы были одиноки.
Затем когда уж было двое нас.
Мы ждали вас годами, месяцами.
Затем уж каждый день и каждый час.
*
Любили вас до вашего рожденья,
И любим безгранично вас сейчас.
Спасибо, Бог, за ваше появленье,
За то, что дал нам счастье любить вас!
*
Сегодня мы намного старше стали,
Сегодня дети взрослые у вас.
Родителей давно мы потеряли
И их любовь лишь в памяти у нас.
*
Ушли все те, кто нас постарше был.
Постарше был и крепко нас любил.
Ушли ближайшие друзья не раз,
Нам очень нехватает их сейчас!
*
Наша любовь растёт и процветает,
В семье ведь много больше стало вас.
Обратной же любви нам нехватает,
Дети и внуки, любите больше нас!
*
Любите нас, показывайте это,
Любви стесняться просто смысла нет.
Никто не знает, сколько будем вместе.
Надеемся, ещё немало лет!
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