A Christmas Story

The oldest parishioner at our small church is Venka. She is 94 years old. Venka walks slowly and is hard of hearing but she’s always sharply dressed. The hair, the jewelry, everything is always just so. Which is pretty amazing given that I sometimes struggle to give a damn, and I’m more than half a century younger.

Last week, though, we heard that Venka had suffered a fall. And a fall at 94 is always serious. On Sunday, the priest started the service with, “We all know what happened to Venka. We all love Venka and feel worried about her. She’s now bedridden because of her fall. So let’s pray! Let’s ask God to grant Venka good health and many more years! Многая лееетааа!”

At that moment, the door of the church opened, and in a ray of sunshine, we saw Venka standing there. If we were Evangelicals, we’d be rolling on the floor, wailing with joy and rending our clothes. But we are not, so there was just an understated, “Hah. That worked fast.”

“Well, what am I supposed to do?” grumbled Venka. “Sit there wondering if anybody here knows how to make soup for lunch? So what, I fell? I fall, I get up. Been doing that for 94 years now.”

The Same

Seattle is just like my tiny town in Illinois. Every locally born person starts a conversation by complaining about “all the people who have moved over here, and why couldn’t they have stayed away? There are too many people!”

Also, people here understand my accent even worse than folks at home.

Who’s the Asset?

What’s really sad is that the same people who have been going, “Trump is a Russian asset! He’s doing Putin’s bidding and giving him everything he wants!” are now wailing “War with Iran is imminent!” Which is exactly what Putin wants.

Yes, Russians want a conflict between Iran and the US. Putin needs higher oil prices (which he’s already getting thanks to all the irresponsible rumor-mongering by the Twitter generals). He needs another wave of migration to Europe. And he needs a distracted US that will stop placing obstacles to Nordstream 2.

Iranians are resisting Putin’s pressure as much as they possibly can because they are not insane.