Dirt Road Charm

Motherhood, Agriculture, and everything in between

Friday, January 1, 2016

My Day with a Refugee

Happy New Year!  As I reflect on 2015, I quickly realize how blessed, spoiled, and fortunate I am.  My year mostly consisted of baby Wyatt coming into the world.  Then it consisted of baby Wyatt screaming for the first part of his life.  Now that we are past that and have a happy baby, my mind can wander to other more non important life events, such as......

Last week my favorite friend from the Husker the state came home to Michigan for the holidays.  We quickly planned a day to spend together.  What sounds like a good idea when you are wanting to catch up?  A spa day of course.  Our day started with talking to the receptionist about our jobs, which she told us we have such interesting lives.....I mean we told her I sell the grain and Lisa buys the grain.....or maybe it was the inseminating cattle and selling bull semen she found intriguing?  Anyway, this adorable older lady comes up and calls my name and it's time to start my facial......

I feel sometimes God throws subtle hints my way that I don't take the time to recognize, so then he throws a ton of bricks in my face to make me think, and that my friends is what happened this day.

Lupa was my spa day wizard.  She had been doing facials for 30+ years.  She had a strong Russian accent so I couldn't help but ask her what her story was.  Lupa was a refugee from the Former Soviet Union.  When her son was 4 years old, her and her husband realized they had to leave because of the genocide or they were not going to survive.  They made it to America and thanks to a church in Lansing that sponsors refugees, her and her family were given a place to stay.  She said that thanks to skype, she is able to see her family that were also placed all over the world.  Technology is amazing.

She was given $3 a day when they got over here and she said that their meals consisted of taking bread and putting it in a toaster to make croutons.  You then pour hot water over the croutons with a little bit of salt and that was their meal.  "For dessert, you just added a lil sugar", she said with a laugh. She then went on to say something I wish everyone could have heard.  She said,

"So many people today demand meat to be raised a certain way, and food to be grown a certain way.  They clearly have never experienced famine or starvation."

I pretty much jumped off the facial table and gave her a hug.  Yes!  Yes, I screamed!  She then went on to tell me about her childhood and how at Christmas they got oranges.  To them it was the greatest gift of all.  Also, payday for her father meant a piece of candy.  It was the little things but were such big things to them.

She said that seeing children today during the holidays open gifts and throw them aside because it wasn't what they wanted really makes her sad for them. She laughed and said they would be really disappointed if they grew up with her Christmas of an orange then. :)

Lupa is wise beyond her words.  She really made me think that day.  I don't remember the toys that I had or played with as a kid growing up, but I do remember the experiences.  I then decided that my resolution was to not worry about the "things" that I have or don't have, but more on the experiences.  That is also something I want my children to embrace.....but we have some time before we worry about that. :)  So here is to you Lupa in 2016.  You ended my 2015 with much to think about!

What are your resolutions for the year?!  Here's to a great 2016!


  1. Great post! What an amazing experience you and Lupa shared. :) Love this.

  2. Great story! Lupa's perspective is amazing!

  3. I should of read this days ago!! What an amazing story! Her words could not be more true.