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Adele Elliott: On the road again

 

Adele Elliott

 

Chris and I have been without a car, on and off, since Thanksgiving. The only reason that we had food in the house (especially pet food), is because of our generous neighbors, Jyl Barefield and Greg Nayden. They chauffeured us to the grocery, to the Miller Marine party, and to the drugstore to pick up my meds. 

 

Fortunately, we both work at home, so being cabin-bound was not as much of a calamity as if we had to be somewhere important every day. Our four-legged children loved having us home. 

 

I was extremely disappointed to miss the launch of Rebecca Austin's jewelry line, ARA. My husband calls Rebecca and me "girly girls," because we are both feminine. Our taste runs to all things pretty -- jewelry, hats and art. She posted a photo of a lovely bracelet on Facebook. I hope it is still available. 

 

I suppose that I should be happy that we were stuck in Columbus. It could be worse -- a lot worse. Reports from the Olympic Village in Sochi in Krasnodar Krai, Russia, are absolutely shocking. 

 

We knew that the country would not warmly welcome our gay athletes. That is something difficult for most Americans to understand. I applaud our president for including Billie Jean King and Brian Boitano in the U.S. delegation, although King was not able to go to Sochi because of her mother's illness. Every time I see photos of the multicolored Olympic rings, I think of the rainbow flag. 

 

However, humans fared only slightly better than dogs. "The city of Sochi has quietly hired a private company to kill as many of its stray dogs as possible ahead of the upcoming Winter Olympics" (ABC News, Jan. 31). Alexei Sorokin, owner of the company, told ABC News that he did not know how many dogs his company has culled. "Let's call things by their real name. These dogs are biological trash," he said. The dogs are being poisoned. (Note to animal lovers: do not read the descriptions of their deaths.) 

 

Journalists, arriving a few days before the events, have found numerous problems with accommodations. Their complaints range from no hot water to broken elevators, and to rooms generally in shambles. I saw one photo that looked like there had been a fight in the room. 

 

Stacy St. Clair, a reporter for the Chicago Tribune, wrote, "My hotel has no water. If restored, the front desk says, 'Do not use on your face because it contains something very dangerous.'"  

 

Maybe that framed portrait of Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, president of Russia, included in some rooms will compensate for the lack of amenities. The reporters should probably be thankful they are not dogs. 

 

You would think that at least the athletes would be treated like royalty. You would be wrong. Shaun White, our star snowboarder and two-time Olympic gold medalist, has pulled out of one event because the course is especially dangerous. He said, "The potential risk of injury is a bit too much for me to gamble my other Olympics goals on ... (AP, Feb. 5)." 

 

The city of Sochi was awarded the honor of hosting the 2014 Winter Games in July of 2007. (I wish I had that kind of heads-up before guests arrive.) According to Institute of Modern Russia, Sochi has spent $50 billion in preparation for the events -- more than the cost of all previous Winter Olympics combined! (NEWSMAX, Feb. 3). Surely, with all that time and money, they should have done a better job of staging this extravaganza. 

 

I am glad to have my car back in the driveway, and am looking forward to catching up on my missed shopping. I am happier still that I am in Columbus, Mississippi, and not in Russia. My pets agree.

 

Adele Elliott, a New Orleans native, moved to Columbus after Hurricane Katrina.

 

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