21 July 2013

Our Russian Village

More vacation and less anxiety...

The Russian way of life sometimes seems more conducive to happiness than that in the States.  People are amazed when they hear of the short vacations Americans take.  Maybe long vacations, lasting a month or more, and shorter breaks, help Russians approach life with less anxiety. 


A summer home away from from city living...

Many who live in Russia’s cities flower best in the summer countryside.  Our blooming place is Zaloze, Tverskya oblast.  If you draw a line straight east from Riga  Latvia, and then one south from St Petersburg, the intersection is where we are. 


Our country cousins hold on...

Larissa’s cousins work the land in Zaloze.  Until 1991 it was a collective farm.  Now much of it is idle.  Sergei and Tonya, in their early 70s still have a few milking cows, sheep for wool and mutton, and free-running chickens that leave eggs all around their yard.  He is blind now, and she had a few strokes, but they carry on


Grumpy to enthusiastic...

When the weather is bad my mood can slip.  In Zaloze the ideal weather of this June and July has made my spirits soar.  It’s a pleasure to do some rock hounding, identify wild flowers, and spot birds among the hills and under the big skies.


Seven ways Russian village living is easy in the summertime...


 E Z in and E Z out.  It takes time to get ready and go outside from a 10th floor apartment.   Here we are in and out of the  house often, just putting on shoes when leaving the front porch. 

Plentiful and scrumptious.  Three autolavkas sell groceries from their vans or trucks. One  of these brings grey unsliced bread, sometimes with just the crust for a package, baked in the next village of Zalody.  In our garden we already enjoyed strawberries, the radishes are in, and soon other crops will ripen.  Our apple and plum trees are heavy, the blackberries ripe.

Living space.  Lots of space... repair shop, a veranda, my computer office, inside toilet, summer kitchen, dining room, kitchen, bedroom, guestroom, and attic.

Bath.  We have a traditional banya and a sun heated shower.

Jumping in... and pulling out of the water.  We’re in the middle of our swimming season, mid-June through August 2.  Fishing is just a few houses down the hilll, and this year bountiful. 

Chatting.  For me the best part of a Zaloze summer is how social our neighbors are compared to our region of St Petersburg.  People chat at the autolavkas, at gates, and on verandas. 

A reading place.  People find me most  days reading in my chair under the apple trees.  I’ve read some great books this way, and this location beats my easy chair at home for fresh air, relaxation. and the view of the blue skies and clouds.


Our time in the village wakens me to subtle things.  Please let us know about your summer place and why it is special for you.


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1 comment:

  1. Im enjoying your posts. I love reading about life in Russia. From Kayla in New Mexico


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