Saturday, January 23, 2010

Home to Winter

Kazakhstan was cold.  It was -20 most of the time I was there.  The morning I left Astana it was -30C with a wind.  It is normal for that part of the world and for its "twin" Saskatchewan on the opposite side of the world, 12 hours difference.

Got home Friday to heavy snow and -15 in Dnipropetrovsk.  My plane was 30 minutes late getting in from Istanbul and Andrei and Tanya were another 30 minutes later getting in from Zhovti Vody to pick me up at the airport.  It was storming pretty bad and the roads were terrible.  The storm died down and the plows were out by the time we set out for home so we had no problems.  Andrei is a good driver.

There is snow everywhere.

It was good to be home.  Tanya and I do not do well without each other and 10 days apart simply reinforced that fact.  She did get Katya to come over to clean the house a couple days before I came home, though Tanya said they spent a lot of time visiting and drinking tea.

The dogs were glad to see me.  I let them out for a run today and they came home when I called them.  Tanya had let them out a few times too and they were quite good about going back into their run when she called them.  One day though, she opened the front door and the dogs were waiting for her.  All proud.  With the elderly sun ripened remains of an elderly sun ripened goat spread all over the front step and embedded in the rubber mat (1mx3m).  Tanya pitched the mat into the yard and will scrub it when it warms up.

Which won't be for a while.  It is -20 right now and Kyiv is forecast to go to -30 tonight.  The army is putting up heated tents for the homeless in a number of cities.

Never a good time to be poor or unemployed but winter is worse.  Ran into this website which chronicles USA unemployment by county from Jan 2oo7 to Nov 2009.  Not pretty.


  1. Those horrible dogs! Whose goat did they get? I hope you buy them a new one!!

  2. The unemployment rate in my county in the state of Oregon is over 10%, which is more that double what is shown on the map.

    Glad you made it home okay.

  3. They only got Tanya's goat, May-B. The remains were just that. Remains. The goat had been long dead. They wouldn't go near a live goat.

    The map only goes to Nov 2009. After Dec numbers are in your county may get brought up to the right number, Snowbrush. There are lots of people no longer counted as unemployed because they are no longer looking for work that isn't there.

  4. My last time home in Indiana to get my license renewed, found me anxiously standing in my dark yard at 3am, waiting for my sister to pick me up and get me to the airport. I was SO homesick for Joe.

    (no goats were killed in the process)

  5. Took a look at that visual about unemployment in the U.S. The old tv instruction came to mind: "Fade to black." Usually the last working instruction from the director of a program. The next will be the director's indication that the program has ended.

  6. D - I understand you completely!!
    RB - There will be more black before there is less. The economy "recovered" in terms of indicators but it will take until 2012 at least before the man on the street will feel it.

  7. I think 2012 is a bit early for the below-average American (or Canadian) to feel much of anything. And there are more and more of us "below-average" people all the time.


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