This week the landscape is covered with lilacs bushes and trees, spirea bushes, all in bloom, and horse chestnut trees, also in bloom. They are everywhere, and it feels almost like home.
I kept seeing the horse chestnut trees but could not remember what kind they were. Elder Gubler came in the office and told us the other day. That brought back fond memories of when my children would take their wagon across the street to Mrs. Palmer's yard and load it up with horse chestnuts. I hadn't thought of them, or seen them, in many years. Elder Gubler said that my predecessor here (who was from Australia) had placed 3 horse chestnuts on his desk and on Sister Gubler's desk when they arrived in Riga. They are supposed to bring good luck. I don't know if that is an Australian thing or a Latvian thing.
I asked one of the natives yesterday what they do with the horse chestnuts here. He said he didn't think they do anything with them, but he remembers doing as my children did, gathering them as a young boy. He also said his Dad likes to hold one in his hand to "play" with. They are such a pretty color, and very smooth (after you get them out of the prickly green shell, of course.)