The Latvians of the Upstate (and a few from beyond) gathered to celebrate Latvian Independence Day at our house. Having looked forward to the evening for weeks, it passed much too quickly… We listened to the president of Latvia, Andris Bērziņš’s annual address to Latvians living outside of Latvia and sang the national anthem. Lāču rye bread, Riga sprats, medus kūka, pīrāgi, kliņģeris and a table full of delicious food was accompanied by catching up with one another and meeting the newcomers. The kids found hidden reserves of energy and kept the party going until late, and the parents found it hard to leave as they too were having fun. I’m thankful for everyone making the trip to celebrate with us on a weekday evening, and look forward to our next big event – Jāņi!