A relative in Russia spurs genealogical activity here. So I begin a search that culminates in finding the lost group photo from 1939. My mama is the little girl in the lower left hand corner. While I never knew my Great Grandmother Alexandria in the center, all you see (except Zoya in upper right corner) are her descendants! There are additional relatives that did not make it into the photo. Having the gift of so old a photograph still in our family is quite the treasure!
The thing that is making email possible to Russia is Google translate. It helps that I can read Russian. I also understand it very well. Replying in Russian is quite difficult for me. People say practice, but when I was a child something happened.
We came to the United States and were living in Duluth, Minnesota. My parents spoke Russian and so did I. However then they began speaking English and I stopped speaking altogether. The only thing I would do was point at things and say “ugh”. Naturally they took me to doctors. Their official diagnosis “he’s confused”. I guess I just could not stand the pressure of learning a new language.
The cure was an overexposure to the media. It worked and as a side effect I now have what I call a television accent. I sound just like an announcer!
Unfortunately my father’s side of the family has no group photo. We have a few that could be very old, but everyone who could tell us about them has passed away. But regardless of that, I continue to research our family tree.