Monday, May 20, 2013

Ūsiņdiena and Cinco de Mayo

The thing about being back in the States after living in France – commitments! We couldn’t fly back to the US for every christening, confirmation, wedding and funeral, and so our weekends were free for spur of the moment trips to Spain, hikes in the chain of volcanoes surrounding Clermont-Ferrand and relaxing jaunts to the country to visit friends. In contrast, now that we are back in Greenville every weekend from now until late summer is already booked, as it’s been since early spring. I managed to fit in that weekend in New York after my youngest sister’s visit, but then we were off to the christening in Ohio which was followed by a visit from my parents. This weekend we took a mini-vacation to the coast, but that is the sole family holiday we’ll have until much later this year, as the coming months are filled with exciting travel plans to confirmations and weddings, as well as commitments here in Greenville, visitors, seminars and festivals. You’ll have to pardon my sporadic posts, which will also be a tad outdated, as I’m already several weeks behind on our adventures.

"I call shotgun!"
We observed Ūsiņdiena, the Latvian holiday marking the halfway point between the spring equinox and the summer solstice (the beginning of summer). We celebrate because we gave Lauris the middle name of Ūsiņš, after the Latvian patron of horses, who symbolizes light and is said to bring spring. This was the first day livestock were put out to pasture, and many of the old traditions involve eggs (which symbolize life and the sun) and horses. For a great summary of some of these old rituals you can read the article “A primer on Ūsiņi, the start of summer” and then listen to Kad Ūsiņš jāj, as performed by the Melo-M Mega Orchestra.

Our celebration included a late evening trip to downtown for ice cream, as per the request of our little Ūsiņš. Although ice cream consumption was not limited to Lauris!

The following days were filled with activity; the North Main community meeting at the Soda Shop, the Arts Alive fundraiser for our nearby elementary school, plenty of time in the new sandbox and work in the old one (a.k.a. our raised vegetable beds) and trips to the zoo and Falls Park.

At the North Main community get-together with the local firetruck
The trip to Ohio was a whirlwind of driving, visiting and relatives, and it was great to be there for little Annalija’s christening. She has grown since we last saw her (as babies tend to do), and both boys showed a protective streak whenever she cried, Lauris even announcing he needs a baby sister...

Giving a kiss to little cousin Annalija
Roberts enjoyed some time with the guys, I got some time in the kitchen to bake a kliņģeris for the feast (quite an honor, thanks Asja and Brandon for asking me!) and the boys had plenty of attention and time with relatives. Oh, and we celebrated Cinco de Mayo with sombreros.

Annalija with her godfather, father and uncle
PS. We had this celebrity sighting on the way home – who knew Dolly Parton hung out in Kentucky rest areas?

1 comment:

  1. Oh wow - certainly does seem like you're busy!! The boys were too cute to announce they needed a sister... of course a permanent arrival might make their enthusiasm wane a little!! Enjoy all the family get togethers x


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