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  • It was June in Siberia, 15 years go, when I flew there to see my pen pal Tatiana. She just sent me this photograph recently. In June Siberia is gorgeous: endless and warm and the nights are short and leaves of a trillion birch trees tremble in the warm evening wind and sing you to sleep. The food was delicious and Russia in huge and difficult changes. Social security had basically broken down for many, doctors tried to survive by selling earrings on street corners....

    That was before my marriage crisis, before I went for a year to Africa, before I knew about my very sick retinas. It was before Tatiana┬┤s son died, her only son.

    It was a June of herring salads, little savory crepes with delicious berries and thick cream for breakfast, and lilac surrounded us everywhere....
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