Tuesday, November 29, 2011

In Russia a small milk truck visited tall grey housing apartments from the country delivering locally farmed cheese, farmer's cheese, yogurt, sour cream and milk. Old scarf-topped women would cross the yard to this metal truck with arms full of recycled plastic jugs and glass jars. My favorite was the sour cream. It was thick like butter and sweet. Slathered on a slice (or six) of black bread and dipped in a fuscia bowl of borscht- it became my far from home comfort food. When I changed areas I left the milk truck behind and never saw another one again. I'll never see a dairy truck again. I'll never be 22 again. I'll never slather sweet, barely sour cream on black bread again.

I appreciate those reminders of impermanence that life outside of America offers. Yekaterinberg had a milk truck, Chelyabinsk had Katya, Surgut had money. Every transfer offered up all new nostalgia and pride at having been a part of something you just simply could not get anywhere else.

America prides herself on an abundant and constant supply but I do my best to reject this boasting. Last year I didn't eat a tomato all winter, all spring, all early summer. My first tomato of the year came in early June from the soil my Dad long prepared and lovingly maintained. Aren't things better when remembered and savored rather than always at the ready?

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