Sunday, June 9, 2013


Have I ever told you? How many times have you heard that phrase?  
Have I ever told you about my favorite Irish lady? You might ask, how does a refugee from Russia have a favorite Irish lady? She goes to look for one! 
I didn't know that that was what I was looking for on that day. Running from house to house in the countryside in Utah, selling staff for donations, I prayed and breathed the beautiful, crisp autumn air. I came upon a small hotel and rang a bell at the front desk. A proprietress came down the stairs and asked me how she could help me. She was a plump lady, with red hair and freckles all over. She sat down, puffing a little and lifted her eyes at me. I introduced myself, but it took just a few words spoken with my thick Russian accent to attract her attention. "Now, where are you from, young lady?" - she asked. When I told her, she rushed out from behind the desk and squished me in her ample arms. "Ned, Rob, Sally, - children, come here, hurry!" - she cried. Kids ran from every nook and cranny, filling the room with their own freckled selves and the excited voices. A few older ones understood, why their mother was so amazed to see me. Together they fired questions at me. Their mom stopped them: "Let's be talking over lunch!" - she declared. We had a picnic in the backyard. My hosts were overjoyed to have this sudden entertainment in the middle of the day. They wanted to know everything about me and Russia. I couldn't quite figure out, why they would they be so happily interested to find out about the enemy country? But they didn't treat me like an enemy, on the opposite, with the exception of my oldest friends, that was the warmest reception I have ever had. The Irish tilt in their speech was unfamiliar. I asked, where they were from and had a pleasure of hearing their story. That was at least thirty years ago. I never forgot that family in Utah, as well as many other people who offered me and my friends their help, homes and company, opening their hearts for us, no matter what countries or religion we were. I only hope to give back enough for all those people to feel as good as they made me feel.

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