Life is full of surprises or robbers, where are you?! (Part 2)

Here is part 2 of “Life is full of surprises or robbers, where are you?!
I want to clarify here that at time of our emigration people in the USSR were forced to refuse from citizenship and to pay 900 rubles for every member of a family (an average monthly salary of an engineer was 120 rubles). It gives a hint where robbers were at that time.

PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS

I slowly drank cold orange juice. My wife and children (15 and 9) were looking at me and at the parcels.

My wife said: “I am sure you are very hungry. Dinner is ready.”

“No, I can’t eat now. Please place some vodka on my hands, face and neck. I burnt them during the day. Let me relax. I’ll eat later.”

She gently treated me and said: “I wonder what is in these heavy wooden boxes?”

“I thought about it many hours. Oh, I also got 4 letters from our mothers. Here they are. Please read them.”

My wife read all letters aloud. They were very sad. Our mothers were sure that they will never see us again and they were very worried how we would be able to cope with all difficulties of life before we reach America and after it. They knew that Soviet authorities allowed us to…

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Life is full of surprises or robbers, where are you?! (Part 2)

I slowly drank cold orange juice. My wife and children (15 and 9) were looking at me and at the parcels.

My wife said: “I am sure you are very hungry. Dinner is ready.”

“No, I can’t eat now. Please place some vodka on my hands, face and neck. I burnt them during the day. Let me relax. I’ll eat later.”

She gently treated me and said: “I wonder what is in these heavy wooden boxes?”

“I thought about it many hours. Oh, I also got 4 letters from our mothers. Here they are. Please read them.”

My wife read all letters aloud. They were very sad. Our mothers were sure that they will never see us again and they were very worried how we would be able to cope with all difficulties of life before we reach America and after it. They knew that Soviet authorities allowed us to take only $400.

In the last letter from my mother there was a sentence: “I’ll do everything possible to help you!”

What did it mean? We knew that she could not help us.

It became very cold in our apartment in the beautiful marble villa. When we rented the apartment there was a very warm day and we knew that Italy was a sunny, warm country. We had no idea that it might be cold in March and that the apartment had no heating.

I ate dinner and drank a glass of vodka. We could not open parcels (to pull nails from them). We had to resolve the mystery in the morning. So as every evening before we put on everything that could protect us from cold, lied down in a huge bed and fell asleep.

It was very cold in the apartment when I woke up. I climbed out of bed, dressed up and made tea. My wife and children were still asleep. I drank a cup of tea, took one parcel and went out.

I went to a neighbour who lived in an apartment house. He was a very friendly Italian and lived in a heated apartment.

I greeted him with my best smile. Then I showed him the parcel and nails in it.

He smiled too and brought several instruments. I gestured that I had 5 more parcels and that I needed to take instruments with me. He nodded. I took everything and went back to the cold of a beautiful marble villa.

To be continued

FAMILY AS A SYSTEM

I started this blog on 10/03/2013. At that time I had no idea where it will go. I only knew that I was close to 80 and so I chose the name of the blog “closetoeighty”.

In the beginning of November I published the post below, then I published many other posts about happiness and pursuit of happiness. I am going to combine them later on a separate page.

In the meantime I decided to reblog this post.

After I became 80 I decided to change the name of the blog to “PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS”. All people want to be happy. However, I am convinced that it is impossible to be happy without pursuing happiness.

From summer to spring.

Not too long ago I published the post FROM WINTER TO SUMMER. Several months passed. We had wonderful time in Hollywood, Florida.

Now is time to move from summer to spring, from 84 degrees in Hollywood to 65 degrees in Queens, from palms to blooming magnolias, from our friends here to our family and friends in New York and New Jersey.

It takes only three hours to come from summer to spring and to enjoy wonders of New York City. In a week we can walk in the Central Park, we can go to the St. Patrick’s Cathedral, we can visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Embed from Getty Images

Life is wonderful! You don’t need to be a millionaire to enjoy it! Just walk and look around you, smell flowers, soak wonderful views, greet people with smiles, listen to laughter of children, to music in churches, in some buildings on the 5th and Madison Avenues.

Life is wonderful! Enjoy it! Enjoy learning, enjoy work, enjoy meeting friends, walks, workouts, meditation, gaining wisdom!

Think and grow! It is never too late to become a better person, to understand your place in the world, to make your contribution to it!

Several quotes about fathers.

I cannot think of any need in childhood as strong as the need for a father’s protection.

Sigmund Freud

The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother.

Theodore Hesburgh

My father used to say that it’s never too late to do anything you wanted to do. And he said, ‘You never know what you can accomplish until you try.’

Michael Jordan

Nothing I’ve ever done has given me more joys and rewards than being a father to my children.

Bill Cosby

The death of my father is probably the biggest thing that I ever faced. Daddy and I were best friends.

Joel Osteen

WE LIVE MANY LIVES.

It is trying time for people who lived both in Ukraine and Russia. I am one of these people. That’s why I decided to reblog this post today.

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!

Art of Michael and Inessa Garmash.

Michael and Inessa Garmash are ukrainian artists. Some people believe that they are the best Romantic Impressionists of our days.

Please read about them and see some of their paintings HERE.

You can see much more and slowly, day by day enjoy their paintings below:

PAINTINGS OF MICHAEL AND INESSA GARMASH

Life is fair and beautiful!

Long ago I came to two conclusions: 1. Life is wonderful! 2. You have to pay for happiness. The very best is not given for nothing!

PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS

Some years ago I thought that it was not fair that I worked very hard for many years but I have no property.

I never had a bird like below or a horse like below. I never had a castle like below either.

Then I reminded myself that I have a wonderful family, that God gave me an opportunity to live a new life in the USA, freedom to think and choose, ability to learn, appreciate and travel.

I have no property but we visited more than 50 countries and enjoyed beauty of many places including the magical Hawaiian island Maui (see the last photo below).

It is clear that we can easily do without a macaw or a gorgeous horse or a beautiful castle.

There are many pleasures in life each day. A smile, a kiss, a good word, a flower, a cup of coffee, a good book. We just need to…

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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…

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Nadia and Peter.

Seven years we lived in a communal apartment in a big house near historic Arbat in

Moscow (Russia).

There were six tiny rooms and four families in the apartment.

Nadia and Peter lived in the smallest room.

Nadia was a beautiful young woman. She was a cashier in the food store.

Peter was a tall strong handsome man with very good manners. He was a taxi driver.

Both of them were easy-going young people. Both were always ready to help their neighbours.

We loved this young couple. 

However, one day of each month everything changed.

When Peter and other drivers got their monthly salaries they drank vodka

and came home very late.

Peter always silently entered the apartment and went to his room..

In the middle of the night there was usually a commotion in Nadia and Peter’s room. It seemed like some heavy objects were falling and breaking up.

Then Nadia knocked at our door and asked: “Please let me in! Peter is going to kill me!”

We let her in and closed the door. In couple of minutes Peter usually softly knocked on our door and politely asked: “Please don’t protect Nadia! She is cheating on me! Please let  her out and I’ll kill her!”

I always answered: “Peter, don’t awake our kids! Go to sleep and settle everything with Nadia in the morning!”

Usually in half an hour Peter was asleep and Nadia went to their room.

Next morning Peter usually went to all neighbors in the apartment to apologize. Then Nadia and Peter took all broken furniture and other things out. They usually spend a week looking for a new furniture, TV and dishes.

By the end of the week Nadia usually invited all neighbours to see their new things and proudly said: “You know, Peter is a terrific husband! He loves me very much! He threatened to kill me many times but he never did it!”

Carved Wood Pictures.

I found out about business of the Dubovics only yesterday and spent

some time looking for information in English with good photos.

Please click on the line below to read about this talented family and

to see MANY photos of their carved wood pictures (don’t stop after

you see the first photo as there are others below it).

CARVED WOOD PICTURES.

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

Success and Happiness.

Many years ago my son told me: “Father, I wanted very much to get an interesting and rewarding job, to find a soulmate, to buy a house, to have children and make them happy, to have good friends. Now I have it all but I feel depressed. Why?”

I answered: “You are working too hard and you have not enough time to love yourself, your family and friends. You have no time to love nature, music and art, to relax. You should drastically cut your working week and enjoy what you have. This will make you happy.”

My son said: “Father, if I follow your advice I will earn only half of what I get today.”

I suggested: “Talk to your wife and ask her opinion. She loves you and she is very smart”.

Two weeks passed. Then my daughter-in-law told me that my son arranged to work three days per week.

Very soon both of them and their children were very, very happy.

Later my son started to work five days per week again but he never worked overtime.

Success is getting and achieving what you want. Happiness is wanting and being content with what you get.

                                                                Bernard Meltzer

        

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!
***********************************************************************