Category: Culture

2020 Retrospective: Merry Christmas!

2020 Retrospective: Merry Christmas!

I saw a tweet this morning from my nephew, Chris, about how this will be the first Christmas without his grampa, my father, Vitauts. That struck me and inspired me to write a holiday note. I didn’t want to send an email and spam people on Christmas. I wanted more than a Facebook post, so …

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Living in the Center

Living in the Center

How many different places have you lived in your life? 21 Tērbatas Iela I have just moved into my 21st dwelling during my time here on earth. Four more, and I get a prize, preferably a silver chalice with commemorative leaves. Yes, we have officially left the beautiful Miera neighborhood and become city center dwellers …

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Music. Summer. Latvia 2020

Music. Summer. Latvia 2020

Note: I am writing this out of total appreciation for my existence in this place at this time and the opportunities that I have, none of which have been earned or deserved. I tell people that a Latvian day sometimes feels like 3 or 4 stuffed into one. This is both true from a work …

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Līgo 2020: To Estonia and Back

Līgo 2020: To Estonia and Back

When I started writing the last Līgo post, I realized that I would not be able to tell about the entire holiday in just one entry, so this is the prequel to Līgo 2020… With a five-day vacation in the middle of June, we decided to take a road trip. We knew we wanted to …

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Līgo 2020: Lielvārde and Lāčplēsis

Līgo 2020: Lielvārde and Lāčplēsis

Last year, around this time, Rita and I were returning from our honeymoon in Italy. We spent a quiet Jāņi on June 23 in Vilnius, Lithuania waiting for our bus back to Riga. This year, I was happy to stay in Latvia for a more traditional and joyful celebration. Although with the current Covid situation, …

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Pandemic Ending in Latvia

Pandemic Ending in Latvia

8 June 2020 The End of the Pandemic (we hope!) The last 3 months have been surreal. I have been recovering from back surgery, the world was thrown into a global pandemic, my father passed away, I started a new career, and now we have protests and riots in the United States. The good news …

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Quarantine: One Month Later

Quarantine: One Month Later

Quarantine: One Month Later an Update   It is the middle of April, and as T. S. Eliot once wrote, “April is the cruelest month.” I am not sure what he had in mind when he wrote those incredibly accurate words, but April 2020 sure fits that bill. I do realize each and every day …

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Vitauts: Journey’s End

Vitauts: Journey’s End

Vitauts: Journey’s End When we decided to bring Vitauts to Latvia, we had no idea how long he would be staying here, but we knew it was his final destination. But knowing that doesn’t make the end much easier. According to him, my dad almost died several times in his youth. He had a fever …

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Latvian Quarantine 2020

Latvian Quarantine 2020

Latvian Quarantine March 2020 My birthday is in March. This doesn’t make me special because almost everyone I know has a birthday in March. But this year was special because I feel that my 48th birthday year celebration was the last big bang before the shit hit the fan. Today, one of my friends in …

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Spinal Fusion: Part 2 “Latvian Healthcare”

Spinal Fusion: Part 2 “Latvian Healthcare”

Latvian Healthcare Healthcare in the USA As a person from the USA, I grew up in a typical family with healthcare provided mostly through my father’s insurance, with deductibles and additional expenses paid out of pocket. Because I was a relatively unhealthy child with ear problems and constant doctor’s visits, I can still remember how …

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