Oh wow, today is release day for New Year, New Boo, which includes the limited-time release of A Half-Cocked Vampire.
As we know, I love to pour stories and snippets into my stories that tell of actual events (be they personal or gathered from the 24-hour news cycle). Well, for this one, I reference my first trip abroad – to Russia.
Long before my love of Loki – Tom give me a call (LOL!) – I was a young religious girl with a traveling heart. Back then, I had a map with wooden toothpicks taped to all of the countries I wished to visit.
You see, I always had a thing for people—learning about different cultures, languages, and history. Yet, as a kid, I didn’t necessarily grasp what all of it meant. I was very much inexperienced in traveling, and though I tried to prepare to learn about Russia before the trip, there was a lot left out of my training.
Back in 1995, Russia was still pretty much in a new situation politically. The USSR was no longer “a thing,” and the borders were open. As a youth, I traveled there and was awestruck at so much beauty and history.
While there, we traveled around the city and performed, working with a church associated with my then American Church. This included visits around the city, hospitals, and neighborhoods.
One of my favorite memories is that of a kind, older woman, grandmother type, who welcomed us all into her house for tea. She was gracious and delightful. We had a translator with us, and although my Russian accumulated to around ten words (including hello, goodbye, and ice cream), I found her to be quite kind.
Visiting Russia changed my paradigm. So much was so very different from what I knew: from the Russian mafia that was quite noticeable to the Orthodox Church reporters who actively reported on everything we did. Yet, some things crossed cultures easily. No matter where you go in the world, good ice cream can build bridges.
It’s been more than 20 years since the trip that started what I like to call my great metamorphosis (that’s still in process), but it’s remarkable how those small moments and people we meet along the way can help to change our perspectives.
I often think about those people from long ago, and although they may never know, those amazing people I met then left a fingerprint on my life, for sure.
All I can say is a simple, Спасибо (pronounced spaSEEbah)!