Looking at the pictures of my granddaughters taken by their multiple living relatives, I can’t stop comparing the summer Nadia has now with my summer of 1967 when I was the same age.
Yes, once again – no pictures for the whole year. Apparently, nobody thought that something interesting is going on in my life and people’s life in general.
My mom worked. My father was mostly out of the picture. Nanny Katia watched me and took me on the Neva River and to the Bobrinsky Garden. My aunt and great aunt read books to me, and in summer, I was again at Sosnovaya Polyana, my last summer with Baba Ania. Mom says that Baba Ania already had a stroke earlier that year, and the left side of her body already didn’t function properly, so she had to manage with one hand. But I remember nothing of it. When my mom or my father come, there were pictures.
I was obsessed with Indians. A children’s comic books series, Cheerful Pictures featured a group of diverse characters, including the Indian Chief Va-a-tu-re. He was the best, and I loved all about him. There was no way for me to replicate his costume, but mom helped me decorate myself with small tree branches, flowers, and leaves and make my silhouette resemble the one of Va-a-tu-re
All my summer entertainment consisted of walking to the small forest right across home. There I would take sunbaths, explore whatever nature was around, run and jump.
Sometimes, we had other visitors, or we were visiting somebody. On the next picture, I pose with Uncle Misha. He was my great-uncle, but both he and his wife were obsessed with looking younger than they were (the rest of the family didn’t approve that vanity). So I should have always call them Uncle and Aunt, not grandma and grandpa. That was quite funny because baba Fania was his sister :). Another funny thing: we are visiting them on some dacha, but he is still walking around in the business attire.
On the next couple of pictures, mom and I are on a field trip with her relative Tamara. I can’t remember who exactly they are related, i thing they are some distant cousins, like my grandma’a sousing married a person from Dagestan, and she went there. At some point, her daughters lived in Beslan, so she was “Tamara from Beslan.”