It was New Year’s Eve. The year was 1999, and it was the first New Year’s that Igor and I would greet together as husband and wife in our village of Chukhrai.
We had spent the day in the provincial capital of Bryansk, making purchases and stocking up on food and other supplies. Packages and boxes were piled up to the canvas top in the back of our Russian UAZ “pickup” – New Year’s presents for friends and family, fruits, sausages, caviar, and spirits for the celebration ahead, plus construction materials for the work we were doing on our house. The sun had set by the time we finished our errands and driven the 100 miles to our neck of the woods. As we turned onto the forest road toward our home and crested a snowy incline, we had just six miles to go and four hours to spare before midnight and New Year’s were upon us.
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Russian Life is a publication of a 30-year-young, award-winning publishing house that creates a bimonthly magazine, books, maps, and other products for Russophiles the world over.
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Montpelier VT 05601-0567