Archive for November, 2016

Hello, again!

Wednesday, November 30th, 2016

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For Some, the Holiday Season Doesn’t Always Bring Cheer!

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2016

     Most people look forward to the holiday period, beginning with Halloween and ending with New Years!  To these folks, it is an active time of cheer and great happiness,  tinged with a little stress here and there and a feeling of apprehension that, perhaps, everything that they want to do might not get to be done on time!  They have small to large families, and , one thing  they don’t feel this time of the year, is loneliness or depression!  There’s too much to do to prepare for family and too many family members and friends around them!   My post is not directed to these people!

This article is directed to those who identify this time of the year with loss of a relative or friend.  It is for those who don’t have family or, for one reason or another, don’t associate with them anymore.  This post is for those who associate loneliness and depression with this time of the year  and feel like aliens in a world of Christmas trees, lavish family dinners and affluence all around them!     I reach out to you this time of the year, and, if I can bring you solace, hope and some relief from what you are feeling now, I pray to God that He will help me to do so!    That is my greatest wish today and every day of the year!

Here are my suggestions!

  1.  There is nothing wrong with seeking professional help or counsel from your pastor, priest or elder at your religious organization!  People get such help every day, and it can work wonders!
  2. Ask a friend, a good acquaintance or a friendly person at work who is kind and compassionate to share a cup of coffee or hot cocoa at your nearest cafe or maybe even go out to dinner.
  3. Read the Bible for a few minutes up to even  an hour or more each day!
  4. Count your blessings!  Think of all the good things that have occurred over your lifetime!
  5. Call a friend or acquaintance just to chat!
  6. Attend a meeting at your place of  worship and socialize with congregants before or after the meeting!
  7. Invite a friend or acquaintance out to a movie or to your place to hang out, watch television together or play a game.
  8. Buy a good book(s) that you look forward to reading each day!
  9. Develop a hobby that you can pursue  when  you are not working!
  10. If no one invited you to spend a holiday with them, invite a few people to your house on that day or to go out to dinner.
  11. Pray , not just once, but many times during the day!
  12. Give to charity, if you can afford to do so!  Giving is always better than receiving.  Acts 20:35
  13. Volunteer to help those who are in worse shape than you are!
  14. Write in a journal each day!  Pour your heart into it!
  15. Begin an art, crafts or literary project!
  16. Write a  letter or e- mail a friend, acquaintance, workmates or family member!
  17. Project what you would like your life to be like and work towards making that reality!
  18. Go on social media with upbeat, friendly FB friends!
  19. Be positive!  Things will get better.  Life is filled with cycles!  Bad ones can lead to good ones!
  20. Draw close to God, and He will  draw close  to you!”  James 4:8
  21. Learn to play an instrument you have never tried!
  22.  Take  singing or dancing lessons!  It is never too late!
  23. Make sure you get out of the house every day, if you are not sick!
  24. Volunteer  at a hospital or visit friends or relatives if they are hospitalized!
  25. Volunteer at a soup kitchen or place that feeds the homeless on a holiday or any day!
  26. Get involved in amateur or semi-professional community theater!  These groups always need volunteers who can act or work backstage.
  27. Watch the Hallmark Channel!  Always upbeat and inspiring!
  28. Watch “It’s A Good Life!”  What  an inspiring movie!
  29. Take a walk and enjoy nature!
  30. Get a cat or  dog from a rescue organization if you can!
  31. Think positively.  Do positive things!

 

My love and very best wishes are  with all of you who are facing sadness or loneliness!  I know that these suggestions can help!

Remember that the holidays are just days, not so very different from other days.  They come and go.  Some people find joy in them, but not all!    You are not alone!

I have tried many of these suggestions myself, and they do help!!! They help any time of the year!

Political Ideologies and Love

Sunday, November 20th, 2016



Feodor and Aleksandra  finish their conversation.  They move away from a discussion of Czarist cruelty, Dimitri’s death and the risk under which Aleksandra must live.  What are they talking about now?  Let’s see!    Remember that Feodor feels guilty about having brought up some of the anxiety under which Aleksandra must live each day!  The conversation continues.

“‘I should not have said any of that, my darling,’  Feodor  said, visibly upset at how my mood has changed.  ‘Why don’t we talk about why I don’t like the Bolsheviks?’

“‘Yes, let’s talk about communism,’  I said, trying to relax, as if a political conversation could ever prove to be soothing.  ‘Tell me why it will never work.’

“‘Because no one wants to be told how much he can have in life.  Every man wants to provide  his family with everything they want.  Sometimes, certain people will have more than others.  Maybe, some are too lazy to go  out and claim what they want.  Why should everyone get what they need rather than what they think they deserve?  If they want to work hard enough to get what they want,  why shouldn’t they be given the chance?’ he said, getting more and more excited.

“‘Is it good for you to become  so zealous, Feodor?  Your enthusiasm could be bad for your health.’

“‘The excitement within me keeps me young and alive,’ he said.  ‘Wanting to kiss you so much, for instance, makes the blood flow smoother and stronger.’

“‘I see,’  I said, smiling.  ‘I help to keep you alive, I said.  ‘What a wonderful role in life for me to have!’  I said, starting to laugh.

“‘Don’t make light of it, sweetheart.  Those five years between my losing Nadya and finding you were incredibly harsh and depressing.  I think it’s the loneliness and cruelty of life that kills people off long before their time.’

“‘I know, Feodor.  Before I met you, I was headed towards disaster.  The mourning, fear and tension were enough to tear the life right out of me.’

“‘But I did come along for you, Aleksandra, and you for me.  I believe God  brought us together to save one another.’

“‘Then no more talk today of aristocracy or communists.  Just talk of love and then let’s do plenty of eating.  The food is calling, Feodor.  It is so delicious.  Agnessa helped me.  We worked for s couple of hours preparing everything.  There is even wine,’ I said.

“‘You are so right.  Today, we will eat and drink and talk of love and the future we will share.  We will take a walk along the beach and pass around the beach ball we brought with us.   And anything the least bit sad or thought-provoking will be off limits for us, a man and woman in love.  Is that right, my dear? ‘

My answer was a rather long and passionate kiss on his lips, a squeeze of his hand and then a hug that revealed all the love in my heart.'”

Looking Hopefully Towards the Future

Saturday, November 19th, 2016

 



Aleksandra and Feodor have fallen in love and look forward to their life one day in America.  But until then it is important for them to remain positive and make the best of every day… the way all of us  try to do in our everyday lives!  Let us listen in on an important conversation between the two lovebirds at a picnic on a Saturday afternoon.

“He put his arms around me and held me close.  ‘I never stop thinking about our future, Aleksandra, but, unfortunately, we have to live in the present now.  And war is close as well as a Bolshevik rebellion.  I just feel it, darling.  Don’t you?’

“‘Sometimes, I don’t know what I feel.  Maybe, I just want to feel love and be held by a kind, attractive, sensual man.’

“‘Now you’re  going to start making me blush, my dear. I notice you don’t do that much blushing yourself these days.’

“‘I’m afraid that your intense love for me makes me brazen, Feodor.’

“He kissed me tenderly.  ‘Never that, my Aleksandra.  Not you.’

“‘But you still want to hear my opinion of the Bolsheviks.  You know exactly how I feel about Czar Nicholas and everyone related to him. I feel the same way about the Bolsheviks.’

“‘It’s quite understandable that you feel that way about the Czar and his henchmen, knowing  what they did to you and Dimitri.’

“I felt myself stiffen when Feodor mentioned the name of my late husband.  I felt so guilty for having been given a second chance at life when he was not.

“‘I still cannot even talk about those days.  My mind seems to block everything connected with that time, although it was just six months ago.    You know, Feodor,’ I said, staring into his deep brown eyes, ‘I cannot believe I lived through those last few days.  They actually murdered Dimitri.  I still don’t understand why they didn’t kill me, too, and put an end to both of us.  Why did they let me live?’

“‘If you had not run away, they would have killed you, too, Aleksandra, in the end.  Maybe, the sadists that they were,  they wanted to let you live just long enough to see Dimitri suffer and then die.’

“I looked  away into the Black  Sea and  the fleets way out in the distance.    How I wished Feodor and I were in one of those fleets headed towards  freedom in America.”

More exciting and romantic excerpts in the next post!!!

 

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So, After the Kiss, What’s Next???

Tuesday, November 15th, 2016

 

     After the passionate kiss shared by Aleksandra and  Feodor, we cannot help wondering what comes next for this loving but unlikely couple.   After all,  it  was never meant for this  distraught widow to form close relationships since the goal for her was safe harbor in America.  So, is Feodor  an unexpected ehtanglement or a true love to be treasured and never abandoned?

I will provide excerpts and explanations to help you understand what Aleksandra and Feodor are counseled to do.  First, we’ll see what the reactions of Feodor’s son, Anatoli, and his grandson, Alek, are.

“When Feodor found his son and grandson a short time later, Alek apparently had no choice but to tell them both who he really was and why  I was really staying at their home.  The news brought out even more love in Feodot but made Anatoli very nervous…”

Of course, the men were cautioned about keeping Alek’s secret, and they agreed wholeheartedly.  But Anatoli feared for his son.

“‘In one way I am proud of you for your idealism, but in another more practical way,  I fear for your life and possibly that of the rest of our family as well,’ Anatoli  said.

“‘Not if we each make a private vow of silence.  Those of us who are fighting for a free homeland are true to one another even into death.’

“‘Then you can expect nothing less from us,’ Anatoli said.

“‘Yes,’ Feodor agreed.

“‘And, if you are in love eith Aleksandra, Grandfather, and she feels the same way about you, we cannot stop you,’ Alek said, ‘but when she goes to Anerica, it is best that you go with her.  You see, if you leave with Aleksandra, people will think that just the two of you were in a conspiracy , and the rest of us were  not involved. Then, later on, arrangements will be made to get the women out and you, too, Father, ‘ he said to Anatoli.

“‘I understand that you have love and allegiance for your country, Alek, but I cannot see why. Jews have been nothing but scapegoats of the Czar.  Most of us just want to get out of this country and start over elsewhere, like America, for instance.  It is incomprehensible to me, my son, why any Jewish man would be willing to risk  everything for a country that doesn’t even consider him a man.’

“Alek stared at his father a few moments before he answered.  ‘Ours is a beautiful country, Father, and the potential for a free country is overwhelming to me. It is the leadership that has been responsible for what has happened to us, not the country, not the masses.  They, too, are all victims of the czarist regime and other movements like that of the Bolsheviks, the Fascists and the capitalists.  My compatriots and I want  a democratic Russia. We believe that there can be freedom here, and we will never give up on our country.  Jew or Gentile, we are together in our hope for the future.’

“‘Our hope as Jews is not a political one, son, but one that is purely spiritual.  And based upon what we have seen ourselves and read about in the history of this country,  there can never be that kind of freedom in this country where we can worship as we like without fear of retribution….Without the anxiety of knowing that, at any moment, on the whim of anyone who is in control, there might be another pogrom.’

I am sorry that our views are different, Fathrr, but I feel more like a captain who will  not leave his ship and will go down with her if in the end it proves necessary.’

“‘You are young, Alek, ‘ Feodor intervened.  ‘I trust one day you will see the truth and, like the rest of us, emigrate to America, where we can truly have a life and be free.’

“‘I say with no disrespect, Grandfather,  do not hold your breath waiting for that.’

Then the three generations of Daletsky men asked Aleksandra what she wanted to do,.  She agreed to everything but insisted that their marriage be on the religious records only since, if put on the public record, and the Czarist  authorities found out, not only Feodor  and  her lives would be at risk, but all of the Daletsky family as well.

Alek, of course, agreed, and told the others that he would arrange for a private marriage ceremony for Aleksandra and Feofor.

Then Alek  turned to Aleksandra and said,  ‘For the last few months I have thought of you as family anyway.  Soon it will be official, Aleksandra.’

“‘I smiled and hugged first him and then Anatoli.  After that, Feodor kissed me on the cheek and held me protectively as I tried hard to process all that had just transpired.'”

How wonderful for Feodor and Aleksandra!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HIS KISS SAYS ALL!

Sunday, November 13th, 2016

At the end of my last post, Aleksandra had already spoken to Alek and finally agreed to see Feodor only when there were other people around, and they could be chaperoned in a sense.  She kept busy with her teaching responsibilities at the local high school, but she still missed her walks with Feodor and their budding friendship.  On the other hand, Feodor didn’t know what was going on.  It just seemed that Aleksandra was  avoiding him, and he could not understand why!

So one afternoon he had a talk in the parlor with the pretty youngish teacher with whom he was falling in love, and he would not leave until he got to the bottom of the perplexing situation that he found himself in.

“He entered the room so quietly that, at first I just continued playing.  However, when I first saw him out of the periphery of my eyes, I stopped to greet him.

“‘No, my dear one,” he said firmly.  “Continue playing.  It soothes my soul to hear Brahms.   He was a favorite of Nadya’s and mine.  Like you, both of us played movements of his symphonies, among those of other classic composers.   Sometimes, we took turns playing.  She would take the first movement of a symphony or other piece, and I would proceed from there.   We played duets when we could, but often we would stop before it was over, and I would hold her on my arms.  She was a very beautiful and sensual woman, Aleksandra, much like you.’

“‘Thank you,’ I said softly.  ‘No one but my late husband ever told me that.’

“‘But it is nevertheless true,’ he said.

“While he spoke, I am glad I continued playing, for I  did not want him to see the redness and warmth I could feel, not only on my face, but on my neck as well.  I could see why Akek did not want us to experience moments like these.  What could they lead to?  In another few months, as soon as Alrk and his contacts could arrange it, I would be leaving this country forever and going to America.

“I played another few moments until I finished the third movement.  By then I hoped my embarrassing blush had subsided.

“‘You are most lovely when you play, Aleksandra.  I can tell how moved you are by the music, and you transmit that deep feeling through your expressive playing.’

“‘Thank you, ‘ I said, bowing my head humbly.

“He paused for a few moments and then said, ‘I  have a feeling that Alek or his father said something to you to make you avoid me, Akeksandra.  You have no time for me anymore, and I so treasured our friendship.’

“‘My responsibilities at school have left me with little time for anything else, Feodor.’

“‘I know you are busy, yes, but there is something more to it than just that, and I intend to  get to the bottom of it, Aleksandra. As  soon as Anatoli and Alek  get home, I will have a talk with them, but until then Zi will   do something that I have wanted to do for a very long time. Before I could even move, he twirled me around and looked into my eyes tenderly. His  deep brown eyes were not merely kind, but warm and sensual.  ‘Perhaps, I should  not take this Liberty,’ he said ‘but I will, and it is not out of disrespect, my dear Akeksabdra, but because I think I am falling in love with you,’

“Befire  I could say a word to reason with him, he took me into his arms and kissed me on much the same way that Dimitri did when we were first courting, and all our lives seemed to loom before us.  I felt so protected and lived that I begged in my heart for the kiss never to end.'”

Whst  could possibly happen next??? Be sure to visit again for the next post!

 

 

 

 

Tears and Reflection…

Saturday, November 12th, 2016

     Stern words have to be said sometimes, especially when they are meant to wake up individuals who are headed for disaster!  But is this true of Aleksandra and Feodor?  Are they, as Alek thinks, headed on a path  towards destruction?

      Let’s see as we examine Alek’s words, Aleksandra’s reaction, and a few weeks later, Feodor’s!

“‘Please sit down and try to relax,’ Alek said.  ‘I didn’t mean to upset you. I just want to caution you.  I intend to talk to my grandfather, too.’

“‘And I predict that he will get a whole lot angrier than I have, Alek.’

“‘I must do something, Aleksandra, for I truly  feel that, if I ignore what I have seen, you two will one day very soon fall in love with one another.  He misses my grandmother very much , and you are obviously in denial about losing your husband so violently and abruptly.  Both of you have entered A fantasy world,  but you will be leaving us to go to America as soon as my contacts and I can safely arrange it. What will my grandfather do then when you are gone?’

“I started to cry, my head lowered and held up by my hands.

“Please don’t cry, Aleksandra,’ Alrk said.  ‘I know how difficult it must have been for you to leave Moscow the way you did, without even going to Dimitri’s funeral.  You must be torn inside.  The  pain must be like a deep chasm, but you can’t turn to my grandfather to fill the gaps.  You have to face your loss and go through the stages of grief as they come.  If you don’t, Aleksandra, you may never be whole again, and in the interim, you may very well break my grandfather’s heart.’

“I started to cry again, but I couldn’t help reflecting upon Alel’s words.  For a young man in his twenties, he was incredibly wise.  Hard times produce perceptive minds, I decided.

“‘I will think about what you have said, Alek,’ I said finally when I had  pulled myself together.  ‘If you want us to be chaperoned, we will be chaperoned,’ I said. ‘But don’t speak to Feodor about this.  You will humiliate him.  He is a very proud man.’

“Alek smiled.  ‘I will wait, at least,’ he said.  ‘Maybe there will be no need to say anything to him.'”

“‘Thank you,’ I said.

 

 

 

Is It Love or Escape In a Fantasy World!

Thursday, November 10th, 2016

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Feodor’s Political Views…

Wednesday, November 9th, 2016

Certainly, the kind of injustice that Feodor and Aleksandra experienced at the exclusive hotel off the waterfront near the Black Sea is not unique to Odessa in 1912. Unfortunately, time and time again, we see people who are contemptuous of others and treat them unfairly. There are racists in our society and sometimes even a type of caste system that isn’t supposed to exist anymore.

In “Escape From the Maelstrom” Feodor  and Aleksandra just want to enjoy a dessert and tea at the scenic hotel restaurant above the waterfront, but instead, they are considered unfit to be served and sent on their way. Can you blame Feodor for getting angry?

Let’s listen in!

“As we entered the hotel, I suddenly experienced a sense of foreboding. My hands felt a little clammy, and Feodor looked at me questionably. ‘Is everything all right?’ he whispered.

“I tried to look confident, but even that facade gave me away. Feodor knew I was apprehensive. Nervously, I followed Feodor’s lead and took off my coat.

“At that time the maitre d’hotel walked over to us rather decisively, I thought. Looking askance first at Feodor in his casual slacks and work shirt and then at me in my ultra conservative skirt and blouse, he told us that we had come at a busy time and there were no tables left.

“I could see that Feodor was very angry. The red on his face was not the ruddiness of his complexion. I was fearful that there would be a scene.

“Feodor surprised me, however. Somehow, he positioned his angry scowl into a half-smile as he said, “Of course. The mid-afternoon is a busy time for tea and dessert. Next time we will make reservations.’ From the nuance in his voice, anyone would know that there would not be a next time.

“We didn’t say a word until we were out of the restaurant and on our way down to the waterfront area.

“‘The nerve of that man!’ Feodor finally said. ‘They put a waiter’s uniform on one of these country fellows. and he thinks he’s an aristocrat. I wanted to tell him what I thought of him, but I didn’t want to embarrass you.’

“‘Thank you, Feodor, for your discretion. We probably should never have gone in.’

“‘No, Aleksandra, we had every right to go in. These people want to make us feel as though we don’t belong in fancy restaurants in elegant hotels. If we agree with them, then they have won.’

“‘I’m sorry, Feodor,’ I said.

“‘No, you have nothing to feel sorry about. This whole system has brainwashed us, Aleksandra, until we have no faith in ourselves, and we stop dreaming of what we want to be. They tear our dreams to pieces, and then they hand the splinters back to us. And if we fight the system, they kill us so we become an example to the others.’

“‘Feodor, it was just an insensitive waiter in a local restsurant.’

“‘No, Aleksandra, don’t let the system brainwash you into believing that’s all it was. The aristocrats from Moscow and St. Petersburg are convinced that they belong there in that hotel enjoying the good life. We’re the Russisn peasants, and we have the audacity to be Jewish, too! So we’re asked to leave. There’s a division there that can’t be eradicated without a fight.’

“‘Many countries have a class system. I don’t know if violence can remove it. I wonder if anything can change the way things are, Feodor.’

“As we kept walking, I could tell that Feodor’s anger had not subsided. ‘I don’t think there’s any hope for our people in this country. Some of my friends and family believe that the Bolsheviks have the answer, but I don’t agree. Even if one day the Czarist rule is removed by force or otherwise, I just don’t think we will have the perfect society that some of my cronies anticipate. No, I think the only thing I can do is get my family out of the country. I think our only hope is to start all over again in a country that is free.’

“‘Like America?’ I asked.

“‘Like America,’ he repeated.

“‘It’s not easy to emigrate,’ I said. ‘It’s not as though they’re giving any Russisns, especially the Jews, permission to leave this country.’

“‘No, but there are ways. There always are ways, my dear Akeksandra,’ he said, smiling again and then winking at me. But now even his smile and wink did not fill me with anything but apprehension and deep anxiety.'”

Getting To Know Feodor…

Monday, November 7th, 2016

When  you are dating, it is so important to be honest with one another.   Revealing who you are inside, sharing your goals in life and discussing aspects of your past are all part of getting to know one another.  Let’s take a look at some excerpts as Aleksandra and Feodor open up to each other.

Aleksandra begins with talking about her maiden great-aunt Anya.

“She was an incredibly strict woman and expected perfection in anything she taught me to do.  It was as if I was evaluated on everything from ironing to cooking  to even making my bed in the morning.  When something was not to her liking, it had to be redone.  Time and again.’

“‘That had to be frustrating,’ Feodor interjected, comfortingly.

“‘You can’t imagine how upsetting it really was!  But I learned to live with her unfair demands and harsh ways.  After all, she was the only family I knew of.  I could not burn my bridges until I had safely crossed them, could I?’

“‘No, I guess not,’ Feodor agreed.  ‘How did you ever meet your husband, my dear?’

“I told Feodor how I had run away and gotten myself established in Moscow.  I even felt comfortable talking about Dimitri’s entrance into my life, but I made sure to omit last names.  With only given names and stories that could not reveal anything that must be kept secret, I could not imagine how I could compromise myself or those whom I loved.  I wondered, however, if Alek, Sasha and Uri would be so lenient.  I thought not.

“‘How many years were you married?’ Feodor asked.

“‘Ten wonderful years,’ O replied.  ‘I know they weren’t perfect.  Life is always hard,’ I added.,’but we were happy and so much in love.  What is it that the  Bible says about love compensating for the lack of so many other things?’

“‘You must mean, my dear, the scripture about love covering a multitude of sins,’ Feodor said, ‘and yes, it does.  It makes up for so much else in our lives that may make us unhappy.  I think that the love we feel while we are with our spouse makes up for the sadness we experience when we lose him or her.  The only way that I survived losing my wife, Nadya was remembering the love that we shared for so many years and the two wonderful  children who were born from that love.    Anatoli, my gentle, kind son, and Galina, my beautiful but headstrong daughter. And  later, what brought me through but the joy of being a grandfather to Alek, Elena and Katya?  Those unforgettable blessings from God compensated in a great way  for the pain of Nadya’s loss, and they gave me the strength to get through the suffering and start to live again.  You, too, will find something or someone to get you through your loss.  No, you won’t find the blessings by yourself.  God will lead you to them , my dear, as he has led me.’

“We were walking  along the beach by now, staring across into the vastness and mystery of the Black Sea.  In the distance, we could see a fleet of ships.  I wanted to take my shoes off, but I knew it was too cold, even though it was really mild for the beginning of winter.  I was longing to feel the sand sticking to the soles of my feet and getting lodged between my toes.  I laughed at the thought of being here in summer in my bathing suit and jumping into the sea.”

What a wonderful beginning to a special relationship!  More in the next post!