A morning of friends…

imagesBoza and I got up before 5 a.m. as we always do. I had a cup of coffee, Boza ate two packs of his dog food and we took off walking as we always do. But this morning we had company…

The neighbor Nikolai was up and he joined us. I could tell he was bothered and after last night late, I already knew why. Sometimes he has issues at home and he has a rough night and or sometimes all day. That is enough said about that; but he wanted to walk with someone and talk and since I can say only limited things in Russian, he can talk and talk and talk. I just agree or disagree when appropriate…

So we walked all the way to the other side of the lake and turned around, to come back. Nikolai was in a good mood by now and I was glad that his day would be better. He went back to cutting the grass around his home, he uses a grass scythe, and at 86 years old that is saying something…

I have offered to let him use our weed eater, but he wants to get an electric one, so I sense that he is uneasy with a gas powered brush cutter like I have. I am sure he has never even used a gas powered tool of any type to be honest with you. He is a good man and as gentle as they come, I feel for him sometimes and I was glad that he would walk and talk to me. Sometimes we just need to express things, even to someone who can only understand half of what you say…

I am up early and as I have said before, all the guys in the village get up very early and it is a time to get things done that need to be done, with no interference at all… 🙂

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imagesAs soon as Boza and I got to our gate, who was standing there? None other than another friend named Nikolai (lots of Nikolai around Russia,) he was walking up the hill to the monastery to drop off some special brew that he makes at home, and he handed me three fresh garlic bulbs from his garden. Just pulled this morning, I was told to eat it fresh and it would help my arthritis and to be healthier…

He showed me his moonshine he made and I sniffed it to make him happy, now, this stuff rivals what my family use to make and it was true moonshine. I think it burned the hairs out of my nose. I would classify it as grain alcohol at over a 150 proof plus easily. Run out of benzine, use moonshine… 🙂

Though they do not call it moonshine (everything is vodka whether it really is or not) and I know that they will cut it with what they call lemonade or cool-aid to tone it down. I know because I watch what they do, as they party at times. That is what I do best, watch and learn. It is no different than what I watched my family do as I grew up. My grandpa, was forced to degrade to a store bought whiskey, for in America, it became a major war to stop the moonshine and people just finally gave up on brewing their own. But I remember the old jug that grandpa kept and he had a stock of moonshine to settle the nerves when it was needed. Though, I shot whiskey bottles for years with my BB gun after he died, so he drank his share of store bought whiskey…

Oh yes, a hint about vodka at least in the village; they say беленькая or for us English speakers, “BEH-lyen-ka-ya” and they thump their throat with their pointer finger, that is asking someone from near or far, if they have any vodka or do they want some vodka!

A few also will ask for поллитра or Pohl-LEE-tra, that means half liter and is used strictly as a single word to ask for vodka many times. For who wants to buy less than half a liter? and; What else is there to drink, but Vodka, right?

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Then after Nikolai left, along came Vova, looking for Nikolai, Vova was trying to pick Nikolai up before he walked all the way up the hill, I looked at Vova and then pointed up the road that goes to the monastery and at the top of the hill was Nikolai waving at us. Vova backed up and tore up the hill in his LADA Niva and that was the last I saw of them. Though, I can hear them at 9 a.m. and the stereo is blasting and it looks like a party has started at Vova’s. It is Saturday you know?

Oh yes, I forgot, Vova handed me some fresh cucumbers and radishes out of his garden. I am going to have a fresh salad right now, for I am done with this post…

Have a nice day…

Post by Kyle Keeton
Windows to Russia…


kKEETON @ Windows to Russia…

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