We ended up alone together on New Year's Eve in Winnipeg, Noah dropped us at the airport hotel that afternoon, since we had a 6 am flight to Toronto to connect to Newark. We did walk over to the airport for a while that evening to meet up with a Dnepropetroesk friend who moved to Winnipeg last year. She is really enjoying living there, we saw photos of her family fishing and mushroom picking, and she says that the kids are having fun at school, no homework to do like in Ukraine! We squeezed a little present for her mother in my bag, then had to rearrange the next morning as the other bag was overweight. Garry must have added a little too much farm stuff when his suitcase was underweight when we weighed it the day before!
Garry drove the rental car down to my dad's house. After having some of the big pot of soup he had made for us, it was an early night, even though the big college football game was on, as Garry was still recovering from the flu he had the week before. The next afternoon we drove back to north Jersey to hang out with his family for the weekend as his brother was getting married. It was beautiful Saturday morning with snow starting to fall as the ceremony ended, and went outside to throw the birdseed before heading to the restaurant for the reception.
Two hours later there was snow falling fast and furious outside the windows, there was about 4 inches on the ground by the time it changed to rain. We enjoyed reconnecting with Garry's brothers and sisters and their spouses and many of his nieces and nephews, and met the adorable 4 1/2 month old twins (great-niece and nephew). After church on Sunday at the church Garry's father used to pastor we headed back south to spend a few more days at my dad's before flying to Ukraine.
|the bride meets the adorable baby Paul|
|Garry's brothers, sisters, spouses and parents|
Monday I helped Garry make a few repairs to the grain wagons, since they plan to pick corn when the ground freezes, and it's been three years since they picked corn. Tuesday morning we were watching the snow fall, Garry drove over to visit with his old boss at the farm he was working at when we met (he was on a work study program from Rutgers.) I had the suitcases repacked and hopefully underweight, with stuffing a little more in the carry-on bags, when Garry realized he had forgotten to buy an aluminum scoop shovel. He went downtown to Agway, still where it was when we farmed in New Egypt, but he only found polymer ones, so an hour before we planned to leave for the airport, we were off to find the Tractor Supply store.. .
where we quickly bought an aluminum shovel, and Garry used the grinder to cut the rivets so we could put the blade into his new suitcase (leaving the handle in the garage, hopefully my brothers can use it.) We ate some microwaved pizza leftover from the night before, and said goodbye before heading to the airport.
The drive went smoothly in spite of the snow, it took the normal hour, and our suitcases were both underweight at 49 and 48 pounds. Garry even finagled a move to economy plus when we checked in-
although he sat in the center aisle seat one behind me, next to an unhappy four year old, he did have legroom for the seven hours!
Almost an hour late departing by the time the plane de-iced, it was a smooth and slightly early landing in Munich the next morning, then we arrived in Borispol (Kiev airport) with our baggage intact just before 3 pm. A fast bus ride into the city since Wednesday January 7th was Ukrainian Christmas day, so the trip was about 40 minutes instead of the normal hour, and we walked to Kentucky Fried Chicken across from the train station to kill an hour and eat some dinner before our fast train to Dnepropetroesk at 5:40.
The train ride seemed to take longer than the flight over the ocean, but we arrived at 11:10, where Victor and Max Rudei met us with the van. It was nice to have help with the two big suitcases, plus two carry-ons and two briefcases since we had stairs to go up and icy walkways to pull them over. In Kiev, my poor new suitcase's wheels took a beating as I dragged it down the sets of stairs to the track, with my carry-on and bag in my other hand (Garry had his own three to manage!)
There wasn't much snow in Kiev, but there is an impressive amount of snow piled up in Dnepro and the roadsides as we went back in to Metro for groceries this morning- stocks were a little low in the house. I'll try to get a photo of the snowman someone has built in the middle of the village, it's huge!
Classes will start Monday I guess, and we are hoping it warms up tomorrow as promised to freezing... twenty below makes a for a cold house, we may need to get another radiator in the main room, and /or some insulation in the walls in here... or I need to crochet some texting gloves before my next post!