On the way home from school today, I saw my road and the market parking lot. No big deal? I saw them because the snow has melted in places!! First time I have seen them since October. Yes, really big deal! Winter is definitely not over. But I am beginning to believe that there will be a spring. I walked home without gloves and a scarf today. Woo-hoo ooh!
The US is plagued with severe weather- snow measured in feet not inches, subzero temperatures with even more extreme wind chills, and ice storms. But here in “next door to Siberia” it is 23 sunny degrees F and a beautiful day for a walk in the river. No, not by the river, on it! The river here had been frozen over for months. The ice layer is 2 to 3 feet thick. Last weekend they had a car race on the river. In the summer, the river looks sort of like the Ohio at Cincinnati and Maysville areas. It is not as wide in most areas but it is in parts.I am not sure how deep it is, but it is plenty deep enough to make standing on it an amazing experience. Winter is very different here. It is extreme, but but not as surprising and dangerous as it is in the US. I am thinking about all of you in the States. Stay warm and safe! And while you are snuggled up at home, hope you will check out the pictures below! Enjoy! Peace and love to you all!
From the bank, walking the path to the river.
This is where the river splits and there is an island in the middle. I am stand just at the beginning of the split, so that is about half of the river behind me.
An ice fisherman that we met and what he caught in about about an hour. He was just reeling in the little one as we were leaving.
Happy Valentine’s Day! Life here is very busy, so I don’t get to post as often as I would like. But I wanted to make certain to send lots of virtual love to all my internet followers and everyone back home this Valentine’s Day, as it is one of my favorite days of the year. For many people, this is a miserable day that is focused on romantic love and we all have had our painful experiences in relationships that can make for dread on this day. I am no different and find myself relationship challenged in many areas. My husband and I met on Valentine’s Day. A few years later, we signed our divorce papers on Valentine’s Day. A few years ago, the end of complicated long term relationship made for February 14 challenges. But, fortunately, I have never restricted myself to romantic love on this day and have always saw it as a celebration of all types of love. Love of family and friends, spiritual love, life passions, and a host of other affections. So I have weathered the storms and retained a love of the heart-shaped reds, pinks, and purples of this day.
This year, today is particularly special to me. I am honoring this amazing journey and the new perspective of love it has given to me. I am learning to love new things and rediscovering a deeper love of other things. Beyond my family and friends, my greatest loves are the arts and books. (Actually, there are a few people I would trade for the right art supplies or tickets to the opera. Just kidding! Maybe.) Tonight a few of my colleagues and I will attend a dance performance here in Pavlodar. It is a mixture of ballet, modern dance, ballroom, street dance, and visual beauty. I think it will be Swan Lake meets Dancing with the Stars meets hip hop. I get to see artistic movement with people who making their own journeys in this Land of the Free Spirit. How can I not love this! So, I will embrace my new love of winter to travel by taxi, to other side of a town of that is still fairly foreign to me, with people I could have never meet in the US, to see a performance that I could have never gotten to attend back home. Lots of new things to love.
Yet, there is no need to worry. I still love everyone back home and miss you all. As the winter wears on and the days tick by, I grow more anxious for summer and coming home to visit with my first loves-family and friends. I love the new experience, but there is no substitute for the comforts of what you know. Only about 5 more months!
In the meantime, I will continue to love new things, have amazing experiences, and send all my love to my readers! And you can check out these video links of the dance troupe that we will see tonight! Enjoy! Happy Valentine’s Day! Peace and love to you all!