Russian Print

Some families love to go out to eat. Some love to ski or cheer their favorite team or go to the movies. Mine loved to travel. Every year there would be a discussion: Should we build a swimming pool or go on a trip? There would be a vote. My sisters and I (young and short-sighted) voted for the pool, my parents for a trip. 3 to 2. Pool! Wait…parents’ votes count double. Trip!

There were many family trips. I’ve already written about moments in Germany, and Sweden.  We also traveled all over the U.S. The painting this week is from a trip my mother took to Russia. If was after Daddy had died and none of us girls were free, so she went alone. In December! If there was ever a place I wouldn’t want to visit in December, it’s Russia. But there was a good tour, so Mother bought what she called a “puffy coat” and off she went.

One of the interesting stories from that trip was her realization at the New Year’s Dinner that the tourists were getting the best food. This was before the fall of the wall and evidently things could be a little desparate. I know Mother and the others on the tour felt guilty and left large tips.

The other good story was that Mother stayed behind to take a picture inside a church – she became a fanatic photographer after Daddy died, although her photos were utterly different – and when she went out the door, the vast square was empty, her tour group vanished. As she said, “I didn’t speak a work of Russian and had no idea of the name of the hotel.” Turned out the tour had gone out another door.

This picture is from that trip; I believe it is a signed print. It looks to me like an imagined Russia, one of the Firebird or Snow Queen fairy tales. Or even of a Chekhov story. The signature of the artist not legible. H Siu? Then again, the label on the back is in Cyrillic alphabet, so perhaps the signature is also. I took it home when we closed down Mother’s house, in honor of her adventurous spirit and because it is beautiful.


  1. I love the idea of collecting art on vacation, though I’ve got to agree Russia in winter sounds COLD! I probably would’ve voted for pool too, but vacations and art live forever in our memories 🙂

    • Terri says:

      Kids just don’t know, do they? I hated playing the piano, practicing especially, but my parents always said, “You’ll be glad to you did.” Well, yes. Because I could read music and I used that when I was choreographing. So you just never know…

  2. Kerri says:

    I’m enjoying living (and traveling) vicariously through these objects, Terri. You had such a rich and wonderful family life growing up. I’m jealous because my family is so unsentimental about things – I mean, my grandmother sold the land her own sister was buried on!

    I can see how these heirlooms would make great starting points for your writing. Keep ’em coming…

    • Terri says:

      I have to say, my family is the reverse. We never throw anything away! Makes it hard on survivors – hahaha. But honestly, I’m so glad to have everything. And I know I’m one of the lucky ones – I lived in a happy family. No one ever believes that, but it’s true.

  3. Susan Taylor (Lewis) says:

    I believe it as well!! Love you sista!!

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