A Fatherly Hodgepodge

Me and my dear old pop in 1973.

I’m adding a lot of random (not in chronological order) photos of my dear old pop throughout this post.

1. What happens to the mail at your house?

90% of it goes in the recycle bin. Bills go in my pay bills folder. Our kids’ mail goes next to the microwave for them to pick up the next time they come over. Magazines that we want to read end up in the family room or next to the toilet.

My older sisters and our pop in January of 2017.

2. Something you always splurge on? Any guilt associated with the splurge?

I’ll always splurge on my kids and on a good meal when we have friends and family over. The best meat with no guilt…just an empty pocketbook.

Josh and Laura with their Dzeda in January of 2017.

3. There are many, but what are two important questions you think every bride and groom should ask/answer before they plan their walk down the aisle?

If the bride and groom are believers these two questions are important. Do you love Jesus? Are you willing to obey him?

Our pop in the 1990’s

Dear and our pop in January of 2017 at Joe and Hannah’s wedding.

Me and my siblings in the 50’s with our pop before our next 4 siblings were born. I’m the youngest in this photo.

4. What’s the best advice your father ever gave you?

I can’t remember him giving me verbal advice. My parents were Russian immigrants and it took them a while to communicate in English. My Russian was dismal so verbal communication was an issue. Modeling was the best communication they gave. I learned a lot from watching them. One thing my parents always were ready to do was to drop everything and head over to someone’s home when they heard that a family member had died or to the hospital when they heard a friend or family member was suffering. They showed up. My mom would take food. They sat and listened and then they prayed with the hurting. My parents also modeled their faith in Bible reading and praying.

January 2015 with half of my siblings.

5. Your favorite movie where a father features heavily in the storyline?

I needed help with this one because my memory failed me. I’m going with Fiddler on the Roof. Teyve and his daughters.

“If I were a rich man…”

Our pop in the early 1950’s at 4635 Oak street in Pico Rivera, California.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

Pop in 1967 or 1968 in Montebello while hosting our cheer leading squad for dinner during crazy hat night.

When I was in high school a door to door salesman tried to con my parents to buy a set of encyclopedias that they claimed would help us kids in school. The cost was prohibitive and I confronted the salesman and told him my parents would not be buying the set of books. The salesman was a little hostile and I didn’t back down and showed him the front door. After that incident whenever my father had to go out of town for a job, he’d leave the “purse strings” with me to pay the bills and dole out the money for my mom and the rest of my brothers and sisters. I was a scrooge.

Pop and mom (dzeda and baba) with our kids on Norway Hill in the early 1990’s.

My mom and pop at our niece Debbee’s wedding in April of 2013 five months before my mom passed away.

Me and my siblings with our dear old pop at our mom’s funeral in September of 2013. One brother is missing in this photo.

My pop and oldest sister at the Molokan Cemetery where our paternal grandparents and some uncles and aunts are buried.

Our dear old pop, who is now 95, is struggling more and more and continues to wait on God’s timing for his homecoming.

I’m linking up for Wednesday Hodgepodge with Jo From This Side of the Pond. She asks the questions and we answer them.

Let Your Light Shine…

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“Det ljusnar en smula för den som tänder ljus för andra “

The literal translation from google is:

“It brightens slightly for those who light candles for others”

I’m hoping that a Scandinavian blogger might be able to correct this translation if it’s off or wrong.

This came down to us from Dear’s mother’s people who are all Swedish. I’m sorry to say I don’t know which relative or friend painted it and who it was painted for. It has the year 1950 painted on the back. I enjoy seeing it on the wall and I appreciate the sentiment on it, too.

I did my own little word study on light from the Bible. Here are some of the verses I found from the English Standard Version of the Bible.

For it is you who light my lamp; the Lord my God lightens my darkness. Psalm 18:28

The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? Psalm 27:1

Send out your light and your truth; let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling! Psalm 43:3

In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. Matthew 5:16

Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”John 8: 12

I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness. John 12:46

It was a good exercise to look up these references about light on a dark winter’s day. Good to remember the source of my light and my salvation.

 

Lavender and Pewter…

I’m joining the Tiered Tray Extravaganza hosted by Thoughts of Home. I used a metal tiered tray that I’ve had for a few years purchased at a thrift store. The tray and pewter make me think of fall so I decided to use some of my pewter pieces on the tiers.  My lavender is still blooming so I cut sprigs of it and added them on the tray.

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The sugar and creamer on the top level of the tray are part of set with a coffee server, too. The photo below shows the coffee server.

p1060691The next level has an older pewter creamer that I purchased at a thrift store and a pewter wine bottle coaster that I have some old nails and clock winder in.

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On this next level I have my pewter napkin rings and Salt and Pepper Shakers. The shell rings are from the U.S. and the more ornate pair of rings are not pewter but silver plate bought in Canterbury England.

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I’m sharing two other tiered pieces I have at my home that aren’t trays.

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My attempt at a little fall decorating outside our front door.

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This is my Russian Heritage 3 tiered piece with some of my Matryoshka Dolls and wooden spoons. I have samovars, laquer boxes and other Russian treasures in other parts of this old house.

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tiered-tray-image-001Thanks to the ladies that host Thoughts of Home on Thursdays for this extravaganza. Click on the logo above to see more!

September 13th is the day we have always celebrated my parents wedding anniversary. My pop is still alive but my mom died 3 years ago on her and my pop’s 70th wedding anniversary. I’m happy for all the years they had together.

93 Years Old!

mohai32Today is my Pop’s 93rd birthday. The photo above is of him and my Aunt Anna who just turned 91.

f1589-img586In this photo my Aunt Anna is standing next to my grandfather and my pop is standing on the opposite side next to my grandmother. This black and white was taken in Persia sometime in the 1930’s.

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My pop and mom at our daughter Katie’s wedding in 2012.

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My mom and pop at our niece Debbee’s wedding in 2013. On this wedding weekend we also celebrated our mom and pop’s 90th birthday.

But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him,
and his righteousness to children’s children,
 to those who keep his covenant
and remember to do his commandments.

This celebration was at the end of April of 2013 and my mom passed away in September of 2013.

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My dad continued to live in his senior apartment after my mom passed away and these photos are from visits from my sisters and nieces and nephews.

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pop and kathyMy pop and my oldest sister Kathy who just celebrated her 70th birthday on Monday.

My pop meeting his newest grandson in January of 2015. Andrew was adopted from the Ukraine in 2014. Early in 2015 my pop finally realized it was time for him to move in with my sister Kathy’s family.

At my sister’s home he’s enjoying his pastime from long ago and helping his days go by while putting together jigsaw puzzles again. This next photo is of Pop enjoying his favorite chair at his new place at my sister’s home.

I’m cracking up at his finger on the remote with the new puzzle in his lap. You can see the edge of the latest puzzle he is working on in the bottom left of that photo.

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Pop’s youngest great granddaughter born on Christmas Eve of 2015. This is a photo at their first meeting early in 2016.

TV +oldies 004The rest of these photos are from the past. The photo above is my pop and my mom’s brother. This photo was taken in Persia before my parents immigrated to the U.S.

That’s me with a pigeon on my head with my pop and sisters Kathy and Vera in the 50’s in Pico Rivera, California.

My pop on a camping trip in the 50’s putting together a jigsaw puzzle. That’s me next to him with the Buster Brown hairdo.

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In our backyard in Pico Rivera with my dad’s yellowtail catch if I remember correctly.

Me and my pop at the airport on my way to England with our Christian Rock Band in 1973.

This is a mish mosh photo tribute to my pop. I love my pop and thank God for him and his love and care for me and our whole family over the years. His best support currently have been his prayers for each of us every night before he goes to bed, on his knees, next to his bed. Happy Birthday Pop!

The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.

Numbers 6:24-26 (ESV)

And here he is today at my sister’s home blowing out the candle on his birthday pie!

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Five Hats I’ve Worn…

It’s time for Five on Friday with Amy at Love Made My Home and Friday’s Fave Five with Susanne at Living to Tell the Story.

I’m sharing five of the hats I’ve worn and continue to wear over the years. These are the earlier years before marriage.

Daughter to Moisi and Nadia Bagdanov, Russian immigrants whose families escaped out of Russia into Persia and immigrated to the U.S. after WWII.

Younger sister to Kathy, Vera and Fred.

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Kathy, my mom, me in front of her, Fred and Vera. I was the baby of the family for 7 years before the siblings doubled!

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Fred, my Pop, me, Kathy and Vera.

Older sister to Tim, Steve, Lana and Leonard (twins).

Student in the Montebello Unified School District. Schools I attended were Montebello Gardens, Fremont Elementary, Montebello Junior high and Montebello high school. I grew up in suburbs east of Los Angeles with many Hispanics and a fair share of Russian, Armenian and Jewish families, too. A great melting pot.

img332Mrs. Nicolaus my 1st and 2nd grade teacher was one of a handful of my teachers that I knew were fond of me. I was a voracious reader and she recommended that I be skipped from 2nd grade to 3rd grade. (Top Row left with my curly “do”)

Junior High1Graduate: Junior high graduation with my little maternal babushka (grandmother) and High School graduation with my little babushka.

Pictures15College graduate with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Home Economics and a Elementary teaching credential. On the left me and dear before we were married and on the right me and my brother Fred. We graduated the same year and from the same college.

So daughter, sister, student, graduate and number five for this week is part-time employee. All through the end of my senior year of high school and through college I worked part time to save and pay for my college education. My parents could not afford to pay for my college education.

img441This photo is from the parts department of Montgomery Ward in Rosemead, California. I worked here during the years I attended Cal-State Los Angeles my last 4 years of college. College was 5 years for me as I had an extra year to earn my teaching credential. My first year of college I worked as a Teacher’s Assistant in the Russian department at the University of Redlands. In my high school years I worked as an office assistant at Link-Belt in Montebello. See the huge Icthus I’m wearing? I was never shy about the fact that Jesus Christ was and is my Savior. This was also the early 70’s when the Jesus movement was going strong in Southern California.

Thanking God today for how he’s been with me all these years leading and guiding and protecting me. All the way my Savior leads me…

Anniversary of Coming to the U.S.A.

The following story was transcribed by my sister-in-law Kelly as she listened to my parents tell some of their story on immigrating to the U.S.A. in September of 1947. My parents were visiting my brother Steve and SIL Kelly on Labor Day September 5, 2011.

“Spent the afternoon with  Mom and Pop and wanted to share some of what they had to say.  This is the unedited copy filled in as Pop was talking…so excuse the grammatical errors, if I wait to edit you may never see it.”

(This photo is taken after my parents and sister Kathy settled in Los Angeles. This was sometime in late 1947 or early 1948. My mom is pregnant with my sister Vera in this photo and Vera was born in February of 1948.)

“Pop said he’s never shared all these details because…no one asked.  What started the retelling is that tomorrow marks the anniversary of their first arriving in NewYork…Sept. 6, 1947.  They arrived in Los Angeles on the 12th.

When Mom and Pop left Iran they got a flight on a Red Cross cargo plane..the propeller variety, that had dropped off supplies and was heading back to New York.   It was very loud he said…no seats, just benches along the sides.  Due to refueling and frequent stops it took 4 days to fly from Tehran to New York.  At  most of the stops they got out and ate…and in four places spent the night. He said they had 27 people on the plane and it was full.”

(This is probably what the inside of the Red Cross cargo plane looked like. I hope the Navy is ok with me borrowing it…)

“This is the basic itinerary.  (Pop had made a detailed journal of the trip, but lost it in the last few moves.)  From Tehran to Cairo…spent the night.  From Cairo to Rome..spent the night, got to drive by St. Peters.  From Rome to England, where they were not allowed off the plane so they had to head to Ireland to a US military base.  They spent the night there.  From Ireland they went to Iceland, then to Greenland…where they again spent the night.  From Greenland they went to New York.

Upon arrival in New York they were taken directly to the train station.  Unfortunately, the ‘coupons’ that one of pop’s brother’s, my Uncle John, secured for them weren’t signed, so they couldn’t be used. They were suppose to be vouchers for travel purchased in Iran from an agent.  So since the coupons didn’t work they were stuck in the train station with no money, no food, with a one year old. Mom and Pop were 23 and 24 at this time.

Some nice people helped them and Pop had a card with the name of a Russian church on it.  They took them on the subway to the church and arrived in the evening just as the minister was locking up.  There was no time to find a home for them to spend the night so they took them to a hotel.  Mom said, ‘They put us on the 9th floor, I was so scared..”  And the other couple they were with were on the 14th floor.  The next morning was a Sunday so the streets were empty and Mom said she looked out the window and down and there was trash blowing along the street.  Very frightening to look that far down.

The minister showed up with milk and bread, they hadn’t eaten the day before, and they remember that delivery making them feel like orphans.  They had no money, no food, and Pop only spoke a little English.  (Which he had learned working on an American Military Base in Tehran…I’ll get to that.)

The pastor took them to church and that night they stayed with a family.  On Monday they put them on a train to Chicago.

Two vivid memories of their time in NewYork…  It was the first time Mom had seen toast, and she couldn’t figure out how they got it perfect on both sides.  She also got stuck in a revolving door and couldn’t get out.  She said, they weren’t educated enough to be in New York.

In Chicago another group from a church met them, fed them, gave them a place to stay, and then put them on a train to Los Angeles.  It should be noted that Kathy was very good during all of this, only cried a little.  At some point in this US leg of the journey they were able to contact people in LA to wire them money for the train tickets.  Pop figured it took them about 2 years to pay back all of the costs of their trip to the States.”

(This is a photo of my sister Kathy in a park in Los Angeles, California. Love how the older folk sitting on the benches in the background all have hats on.)

My parents were the first of their families to arrive in the U.S.A.

“In the course of telling this story Pop mentioned other jobs he’d had so I made him list them in order…here is roughly the job history.

His first job was driving horses plowing the fields in Russia.  There were four horses hooked to the plow.  He worked plowning.  (Think clowning)  He also worked threshing the wheat.

Then he worked as a shepherd.  A group of families had cows, sheep, and goats and it sounds like the kids from each family took turns watching the animals.

When they moved to Tehran he worked as a babysitter/houseboy doing whatever the woman of the house wanted him to do.

Later, in Iran he had a job feeding cows.  Then after they were milked he would walk around town to the customers they had and sell milk from a bucket by the cup.

After that he went to work on some of the Shah’s land doing farming.  When it wasn’t farming season he would deliver sand and bricks to road crews.

Then he had jobs on Military bases…he worked on the American base in the kitchens washing out the pans. They would feed him while he was there, and give him food to hide on his body to take out to his family.  (Not technically allowed to take the food, but the cook was nice.)  It’s also where he learned to speak some English.

He also worked on the Russian military base as a mechanic.  He said he ‘fix em’ Chevy’s and Studebaker’s, when they had been in accidents, we fix em up.

His last job in Tehran was in a brick factory.  It was far away so he needed to have transportation.  He said, he and Mom lived in an apartment with 4 other families above a sauna house owned by a Turkish man.  He sold Pop a bike that he had stolen…  When I asked, ‘he stole the bike?”  He said,’Yes, but he sold it to me real cheap, and nobody would recognize it because they changed the color.”  He rode the bike to work every day.”

Ellen’s thoughts…

When I think of what my parents went through to get to the United States I’m so grateful. Grateful to God for giving them the courage and faith to face the unknown. Just the language barrier had to be scary. They had a little toddler and my mom was pregnant with my sister Vera during this journey. Sitting on a bench in a loud cargo plane with 24 other people with a little one in diapers, amazing. They had no idea what kind of life they were going to have in the United States. They had only lived in villages where maybe there were a few 2 story stuctures and here they were in New York City with tall buildings. When they arrived in Los Angeles my dad worked odd jobs in carpentry and construction. They helped the rest of their extended family immigrate to the U.S. over a number of years. Each of these family units lived with my parents until they could get into a place of their own. My mother’s father was killed in Iran after my parents came to the U.S. My mother’s mom immigrated to the U.S.A. with my Uncle and Aunt as a widow. So much hardship endured and they persevered over the years and have always expressed their thankfulness to God for bringing them to the U.S.A. They had 9 children total. Their first daughter died in Iran when she was a toddler. Here are the 8 of us in age order…this is an old photo taken in 2003 at the 40th birthday party of Leonard and Lana, our youngest siblings (twins).

Kathy, Vera, Fred, Ellen, Tim, Steve, Lana, Leonard

My mom and pop in 2009.

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My mom and pop at my niece’s wedding in April of 2013.

We had a 90th birthday party and early 70th wedding anniversary party for my parents at the end of April in 2013. This is our clan minus a few at the party we had for them. We were so happy to have had this celebration as my mom took ill later that summer and never recovered. My mom went to be with her Savior on September 13, 2013 on my parents’ 70th wedding anniversary. My father is now 92.

This is a post from a few years ago but I decided since it is the anniversary of my parents arriving in the U.S.A. today I would re-post it with a few updates and added photos.

Hope you are having a restful Labor Day Weekend. We have been taking it easy at this old house. This is a long post so I’ll sign off here.

History and Heritage…

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I posted this on the Mennonite Girls Can Cook Blog on Sunday for our Bread for the Journey and I’m re-posting here for my own records on The Happy Wonderer. That’s wonder not wander. I’m adding a few more photos from Russia and Persia in this post. Today I’m linking up with ABC Wednesday with thanks to Mrs. Nesbitt, Roger and the ABC Team! I’m also linking up to Testimonial Tuesday #5 at Jerrelea’s Journey.

We are in the middle of a new series on Sundays called “Movement”. As we launched into this series our pastor encouraged us with this statement: “The book of Acts tells the story of a group of first-century, rag-tag followers of the Risen Christ who became the movement that would change the world; it’s God’s movement because He is a God on the move, and He invites us to get on the move with Him.” As a follower of Jesus “I am an integral part of the most powerful, life-changing movement in the history of the world.”
It’s an encouraging exercise to look back over your life and the life of your ancestors to see how God has led and moved you to where you are today.
 My father’s family
My mother with her brother and younger sister.
 For me part of my story is God moving both sets of my grandparents to flee Russia on foot with their children to Iran in the early 1930’s. Both sets of grandparents settled near Tehran where my parents later met and got married. God moved my father with the desire to come to the United States. One of the things that influenced this desire was how my father was treated while working in an U.S. Army base kitchen in Iran. The soldiers were kind to my father and let him take food home to his family because they knew my father’s family was struggling.
My parents with my oldest sister shortly after arriving to Los Angeles, my mother is pregnant with my sister Vera in this photo.
 My parents filed the proper paper work and were granted permission to immigrate to the U.S.A. With my oldest sister they traveled to the U.S.A. settling in Los Angeles shortly after World War II ended. In 1963 my father went to hear Billy Graham at the Los Angeles Coliseum and my father was born again. My father’s decision to follow Jesus turned my family’s world upside down in the right way. That same year I accepted Christ and my new life in the greatest movement of all time began. We won’t know the whole story on how our own lives impact God’s movement till we see Him face to face but we can see part of the story now and be encouraged to carry on and follow Him where he leads us. He doesn’t call us and then leave us alone. He has given us his Spirit, He intercedes for us, He gives us strength. He multiplies the little that we have when we are willing to step out in faith with Him. What an amazing movement to be a part of! You, too, can be a part of this movement. Ask God to reveal Himself to you, to show you the way.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. John 3:16-17
Jesus said to them, I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6
Here are a few more photos from Russia and Persia that I promised… Sorry about the quality of some of these but after all they have traveled a long distance!
This one was taken in Russia before my father’s family fled to Iran. This is my paternal babushka’s relatives, the Sisoev’s, in Prelestnaya Village in Russia.
This is my mother next to her brother Paul on the right. My mother is standing next to her future sister-in-law, Nina. Nina is to the left of my mom and Nina’s brother Nikolai is next to her on the left.
My mother with her brother Paul.
These are two families, who were close friends in Iran and considered family to each other. There were also marriages that connected these two families together further. This was taken in Persia after my parents had immigrated to the U.S.A. I believe all but two of them made it to the U.S. My maternal grandfather seated on the lower right was killed in Iran and my maternal grandmother seated next to him immigrated to the U.S. as a widow with my Uncle Paul and Aunt Nina (pictured together upper right). Aunt Nina was part of the Katkov family and the others in this photo are her siblings and mother and father. The little boy between my grandmother and grandfather is my cousin Alex. One of the sisters from this family married a U.S. Soldier stationed in Iran and she is not in this photo. I’m not sure if who I lovingly called babushka Manya (seated next to my babushka Vera) came to the U.S. as a widow, also, or if her husband Nikolai was able to immigrate with his family.
Well this post is long enough for now. When I scan more photos that I came across from Russia and Persia I’ll share.
Hope you have a happy day…