While in Crimea last month, we went through some things that D's family had left behind when they moved away. Crumpled school reports, yellowing New Year's cards, employment record books from a nation that no longer exists; the random bits and pieces that are accumulated over a lifetime, all of which had been hidden away from the world until that January day.
One pleasant surprise was this book of old stamps.
These stamps show the halcyon days of space exploration and names like Samarkand and the People's Republic of Bulgaria. Others depict proud workers under the banner of communism and stern athletes from the Moscow Olympics.
There are exactly 50 stamps in all. Who went to the trouble of collecting them is unknown to us.
Perhaps that same person curated this collection of pocket calenders.
I've only just started to go through these tiny cards, the bulk of which range from 1977 to 1983.
Then there were the cards and postcards. In Russian, in English, holidays, birthdays, get-well-soon, have-a-happy-retirement.
And a tidy stack of change. Even if it's out of circulation, it never hurts to keep some money around : )
While we did come across a complete set of Soviet encyclopedias (be still, my heart!), they were far too heavy to be moved. Instead I brought back this children's book from 1973. The price on the back is 32 kopeks.
I haven't asked D, but who knows- maybe this is what he read as a child.
It was fascinating to open this door into the past. It was slightly sad to think of these treasures being tucked into a bookcase for years and years. But mainly, it was good to bring them into our lives, to ponder them, to honor them.