I grew up hearing my grandparents’ stories of the idyllic Lithuania they remembered from before the War. They fled the country in young adulthood, so their memories are soft and diffuse, like the scalloped-edged photographs in our family albums.

I borrowed one of those albums from my parents today and scanned in some of those old photos. This one, of my maternal grandfather with his father, brothers and sisters on their estate makes me want to jump inside of it. It was taken sometime in the early to mid 1930s, when they couldn’t have known that less than ten years later, they would be separated and their lives forever changed.

Seriously, I want to lie down in that patch of sun-dappled grass right next to that dog and just hang with all of them. I want to eat a plum still warm from their orchard and feel the same breeze that swept through their fields. I may even want to milk a cow.

I know it wasn’t paradise. But it sure looks close, doesn’t it?

My maternal grandfather


This one is of my maternal grandmother’s side of the family on the occasion of my great-great-grandparents’ 50th wedding anniversary. I don’t know why more people don’t pose for photos up on the roof.

Did you like this? Subscribe to the blog. (It's free!)

12 thoughts on “Longing

  1. amy2boys

    These are fantastic – they are just beautiful. Their estate looks so pretty! What are the long sticks your g-g-g-g-g-great grandparents are holding (crosses?)?

    The roof thing is so fun!

    1. Rima Post author

      Amy – the staffs they are holding are supposed to symbolize wisdom gained with age, but are also meant to (symbolically) assist the elders on the rest of their life’s journey. For a golden anniversary they are supposed to be decorated with garlands of yellow flowers or ribbons to signify gold. So cool. I hope I get one in another 39 years!

  2. alejna

    Oh, wow, these are wonderful photos. That top one is especially charming. I share your longing.

    Seeing these photos makes me aware of the gaps I have in my own family history. My paternal grandparents emigrated from what is now probably Slovakia around 1900. I know nothing about where they came from.

  3. Devan Rush

    Wonderful pictures. Loved those two on the roof in the last photograph.

    Thanks for sharing.


  4. Jen

    I love how connected you are to your history – such a blessing and an increasing rarity for a lot of us…and I have to mention that I love the pink hue on the pics ;)

  5. Kevin K

    I think you look like the girl in the top photo: the one with the dark braides and the white lace on her head sitting in the middle. Love the pics, and your stories!

  6. Mantas

    Hello Rima, i’am admin of page Virbalis.lt, how i see you have some old pics taken in Virbalis, i just want to ask, can i use this pictures in my website? At the moment i try to collect scaned photos with people who live there and with buildings to show people how it was many years ago. Thanks for answer and maybe you have more pics?

Comments are closed.