Tales of the Tea Kettle

I don’t know why I am starting this blog. I am not too good with innovative technology. However, I kept my old fashion diary far too long. I find myself feeling insecure about paper books anymore. It seems that everyone reads Internet or watches TV these days. But perhaps, if I put some of my old entries online, some of those young ones will stumble upon them and read it, either for benefit or for mere enjoyment.

I guess, I have to introduce myself first. I am a Tea Kettle and I am 100 years old.

Tales of the Tea Kettle

Nice to meet you. I was made in 1914 in Russia at the old Russian factory three years before the Russian Red Revolution. I was bought by a peasant girl in a small city for a golden ruble that she received from her master on her wedding day. For now, I will not post entries of the earlier days of my existence. They are, by far, too bloody and it is painful for me to go back and re-read them. I will just mention that my first owner gave me to her daughter Lidia on Christmas Day of 1937. She was ten at that time. Because it is an experiment, I will just post randomly for now and will begin with my November 1942 entry.

February 28, 1942

It’s the war. Scary. They call it the Great Fatherland War in the Soviet Union, or World War II in the rest of the world. Lidia hid me away in the furthest corner of the pantry and barely uses me. I don’t blame her. The family has no money for tea, or sugar, or bread. They drink boiled water lightly colored with whatever herbs they can find. They don’t need my services for brewing three leaves of chamomile. Sad. I miss Sunday dinners and cozy winter night tea-times. I hope that dark times will pass soon. They say that Hitler is as furious and determined as ever. I am not happy at the prospect of being broken during one of the bombings.

Are You There?

No one commented on my blog so far. Not that I expected much. People like to read TV series blogs, and cooking blogs, and picture blogs. They read about movie star scandals and new video games. No one likes to read about the war, hunger, or persecution. Or the past, as it is, for that matter. But I shall continue, nonetheless.

November 17, 1968

I am all washed and shiny today. It’s little Timmy’s birthday and Lidia bought small bagels for the evening tea. Timmy wants candy and cake, but these are luxury items and there is no money. If you think about it, Timmy is not so little anymore. He is turning 10 and already does multiple adult tasks around the house. Lidia’s husband Alexey is sent to prison by the Soviet government for preaching the Bible. I really don’t understand why it is a crime. Apparently, Stalin wants all the power and glory, and doesn’t like the idea of the Higher Being existence. In this case, I don’t see much difference between him and the Hitler. Not for me to say. The bottom line is that while Alexey is in prison, Lidia has to provide for the family, working in the mine full time. Her daughter Lyuba and little Timmy have to take care of the household chores. Lyuba cooks, cleans, washes clothes by hand, and Timmy brings water for the well and takes care of the yard. Even a seven year old Alexey Jr. has to do small tasks. Only baby Ivan is too young to participate.

Here is young Timothy, doing chores with his mother.

Tales of the Tea Kettle

Nonetheless, I enjoy this time better than the war. Lidia uses me every morning before work. She gets up at 4:00 AM, reads her Bible and begins to write. She copies the Bible and other Christian books by hand for other Christians to use. Christian literature is banned in the Soviet Union and whatever is smuggled in is being copied multiple times and distributed among the persecuted church. I worry about Lidia. What if she gets caught and sent to prison? Everything in hands of the Almighty.

Here is a picture of Lidia and Alexey Sr. Now you have an idea who I am talking about.

Tales of the Tea Kettle

August 1980

She died. Lidia died. Not that I believed that she would survive cancer. All that hard work in mines take its toll. But I still hoped. I thought that she would drink her favorite tea, using me for the last time. But she could not eat a thing and haven’t used me for months. Here I am, dusty and forgotten on the very top shelf of a kitchen drawer. But I understand. Though, no one, really, can understand death. Poor Alexey Sr. is devastated. He loved her so much. One can think that the war, poverty, prison for religious convictions would be enough for one family. Yet there is one more thing to bear.

Lyuba is married now and has a daughter. Pretty, little thing. Timothy just recently got married. At least, Lidia could witness some of her family’s happiness. The youngest, Ivan, is only twelve. What a heartbreak. Alexey Jr. is seventeen. Yet, still, too young to lose his mother. And Lidia’s husband… he is still young, and strong… and already a widower. Perhaps, I could make them some chamomile tea this evening. Yet, who am I kidding? All chamomile in the world would not be enough to console broken hearts.

Here is a family picture, one of her last ones. From left to right. Row 1: Lyuba’s husband Sergey, Lidia, Lyuba’s daughter Oksana, Alexey Sr., Lyuba. Row 2: Alexey Jr., Timothy, Ivan;

Tales of the Tea Kettle

Changes

Are you enjoying my random posts? Are you even there? Tell me if you are. I don’t post anything in a consecutive order. I just choose whatever looks interesting in my diary. Some posts are just too mundane, or too personal, or too long for me to retype. So, bear with me. I found another important one. For it affected my future and my present state. Little footnote before you get on to reading. Alexey Senior remarried a few years ago. She is a nice lady. She cleaned me in and out, polished me to the state of shining. She uses me and cherishes me. This is her way of demonstrating respect to Lidia’s memory.

September 10, 1994

Alexey Sr. is crashed. I can say it by the way he used me today during his morning tea routine. He was slow but not careful, and almost dropped me. (Thank heaven, he didn’t!) He also didn’t eat his favorite cherry pirozhki.

(For those that don’t know what pirozhki is, here is a link: Pirozhki)

His second child, Timothy and his family is moving away to the U. S. A. Who would have guessed? The iron curtain is long gone, the U. S. S. R. collapsed. It was Lyuba who moved away first, but now she is making visas for Timothy and his family. She really wants her father to move as well. But he is not ready. He is staying behind with Alexey Jr., who is a pastor of a small church. Religious freedom is somewhat restored and people can freely preach the Gospel or read the Bible. Some Christians have several Bibles, even. Sadly, that they don’t read them regularly. Or at least, that is what Alexey Jr. perceives. I listen to his conversations with his father, when Alexey Jr. and his wife Tanya come to tea. The spiritual state of the country is progressing but Alexey Jr. fears that it may be followed by regression. Whatever it means, it does not sound good. However, I will forever cherish Lidia’s memory and her enormous sacrifice as the Bible copier.

America

January 1, 1997

We moved to America! I cannot believe that Claudia decided to take me. She could bring just a few things due to luggage limitations but here I am – in America. The deciding factor, after all, was heir children. Lyuba, Timothy and Ivan already immigrated. Alexey Jr. is studying theology in the southern part of U. S. The love for children and grandchildren proved to be strong enough to brake the chains of custom. Here I am. I don’t know if I like it here yet. It rains a lot. They bought an electrical kettle and don’t use me anymore. They brought me for something. I hope it’s not to sell me at one of those garage sale’s that Lyuba’s older daughter Oksana holds. I understand that she does it for charity purposes, but I’d rather stay in the family. I guess, I’ll have to wait and see.

Is There Future?

May 12, 2013

I haven’t written for so long. In one thing I may be assured – I will stay in the family. Claudia did not sell me, or throw me away. She is far too noble for that. She passed me on to Timothy’s older daughter as a token from her grandmother. What a relief! I stay in her small kitchen cupboard and feel cherished. She doesn’t use me, no. But I know that she is keen of writing. Perhaps, one day, she will find my diary and write the story of her family, drawing facts from my humble notes. What a history this family has!

By the way, Alexey Jr. is a pastor of a mega church in Washington State now. He is famous for his preaching and several books. That all is good.

However, when I think of nowadays in general, I feel a sense of impending doom. I think of Lidia and her devotion to her faith. I think of the lack of Bibles.

And now, Christian youth watches movies and plays games. Sometimes they read their Bibles. On their iPhones. Not that I am against new technology. It’s just… kind of sad.