Travel Warning

The Government has issued a travel warning due to the bad winter weather.

They suggest that anyone traveling in the current icy conditions should make sure they have the following:

  • Shovel
  • Blankets Or Sleeping Bag
  • Extra Clothing, Including Hat And Gloves
  • 24 Hours Worth Of Food
  • De-Icer
  • Rock Salt
  • Flashlight With Spare Batteries
  • Road Flares Or Reflective Triangles
  • Full Spare Gas Can
  • First Aid Kit
  • Booster Cables

I looked like an idiot on the metro this morning . . .


Snapshots from Russia

This is a pretty standard view of our city streets these days —

One of my joys in being part of an international family is introducing Olga (and now Valerie) to my home culture; today (sleepy) Valerie had her first bacon and egg breakfast. This is probably the first time she’s eaten bacon, and she really took to it.

Sergei Tovstpyat and I went to Charlie Chastain’s garage to start his van and put on winter tires (the Chastains return from the US next week and need to have their van at the ready).

It’s common here to rent a garage in an area where there are many garages. This is what it looked like today.

Each little building is a one-car garage. The garage owners rent their plot from a company that owns the land. As you can see, some people have a pile of snow up to the roof because their neighbors shoveled the snow from in front of their garage. Like so many things here, it’s not convenient. It took us a long time just to drive to the garage and then clear the snow from in front of the door.

So, for those of you in the US who wonder why it it can take so long to get things done here in Russia, this is one example of how a simple project can eat up more than half a day.

A View from Our Flat

Thanksgiving Day, 2010 — winter has arrived:

We live on the 5th floor of a flat in the city center. This is a view of the двор (courtyard). All of our windows face south and look over this courtyard.

Tromping Snow at Elama

Sergei Tovstopyat, John Bull and I went to Camp Elama today to look things over and make a few decisions about the upcoming work.

Sergei is building brick stoves in cabins 2 and 3, so we took at look at that work.  We also were deciding how to upgrade the water storage system, where to install the new(ish) water heater, where the work teams will sleep, what to do on an upcoming work day, and how best to start building a fence.  It was a good day.  It’s always great to have fellowship with those men.

The snow was chest high a few days ago, and now it’s down quite a bit and really melting quickly.

Spring is here!

A Winter Walk

winterwalk-2Yesterday I had to run some errands down town, and decided to walk part of the way back home.  Just before the New Year we had a record snow fall since 1881, so much that the city almost came to a full stop for a few days.  Things are a little better now, but it is still hard to get around.  Nonetheless the scenery is a delight!

Our past winters have not spoiled us for beautiful views.  We occasionally had some cold spells and some snow, but this time we are really having a winter!!!!   For a few days now we had this beautiful snow covered trees, and the city looks like a winter wonderland!

It is truly a joy to walk through streets and parks and enjoy the clean snow, the lovely trees and buildings covered with frost!  I forgot how much I love waking in downtown St. Petersburg.

I walked by Moika river.  They cleared a little path on the embankment.  The access ways to the water were filled with snow, so I was not able to get down to the ice covered river.

Earlier that day I read from a devotional book about getting to some quiet place where you can see the majesty of the Lord.

winterwalk-62Well, I would not call the city a “quiet place”, but I sure did feel His majesty and power even in the midst of stone and granite and power lines and cars. He showed me that He was still in charge, and that He can do whatever He wishes to do.

Men can do great things, they are, after all, made after His image and likeness, but He alone will order the day!

So yesterday I had this wonderful and surprising gift from my Father, and I am so grateful for it!

May the Lord bless you and delight you with small and big wonders!