5 photos, 5 stories- Day 2

Meet Kinga!

Meet Kinga!

Yesterday was Day 1 of my 5 photos, 5 stories challenge and you met some of Kinga’s bears. Today I’m introducing Kinga herself- a shy 5 year old, with all the exuberance a child can bring to a willing playmate.

I should pause here to thank Minerva, Nin, Elaine and Viveka for nominating me for this challenge.  I know you’ll enjoy their company and the stories they have to share.  As the name suggests, I will be posting 5 photos, accompanied by 5 stories, on 5 consecutive days.

What does it say about this family when Hubert (Kinga’s dad), who works full time and also is building a home for his family, has taken the time to make this playhouse/slide before their house is even complete?  Well- they like fresh air, that’s for certain, and are planning to make the most of a Polish summer.  The single storey, but spacious, home now has a bathroom fitted, and the family will move in soon to make that final push to completion.

Dad’s father, Bołeslaw Szustakiewicz, owned a good-sized parcel of land, which he farmed with the help of his sons and daughters.  It was one of Dad’s jobs, as a boy, to take the cows to a stream, before they settled for the night. After his father died, the land was divided between the surviving children.  Dad, torn from his home during the war, was no longer a part of the inheritance.  Returning to his homeland some 64 years later, it is wonderful to see how that land has been used.  My Polish family have introduced me to a new way of living.

My cousin Jadwiga is Bołeslaw’s granddaughter.  She inherited a sizeable plot, on which she and Andrzej built their own home, and a lovely garden.  Daughter Ania (Kinga’s mum) has lived, with her family, in an extension of her parents home while Hubert has been building, in the grounds. It’s now their turn to reap the benefits of all that hard work.  As well as raising a family, in her spare time Ania designs and makes children’s shoes.  Tomorrow we might look at some, and I’ll tell you more about the land and its new owners.

Now it’s time to nominate!  I’m offering this to Viv in France, not with any conviction that she will take up the challenge, but Viv does post her brilliant poems very regularly and I’d love you to read them.  The back story to this post is My personal A- Z of Poland.  Hopefully see you tomorrow?





  1. Ahh Jo, I have so much to catch up with here, after yet another protracted absence from blogging. Blaming the bank holiday and gardening chores this time 😉 But I am so enjoying your family stories. How interesting to read about the family inheritance and the way the land is being used now. Just love this photo, such a sweetie and what a fab playhouse. I always wanted my children to have one but it never happened. I had a thing for Wendy houses myself. But now I’ve got my own, grown-up version with my Summerhouse, so I’m not complaining! Right…onto to your next story…


  2. What fun to have such a wonderful tree house! There will be many lovely memories made as a little girl in this special place, I am sure!


  3. There’s nothing like a parcel of ancestral land to make you feel connected and rooted. Such a hardworking and industrious family, Jo. Creative, too…taking time out to build a playhouse for Kinga. She’s a cutie. 💁


  4. I always like listening to stories about family roots. It is too bad that inheritance of land could not be given since he left Poland, Jo. I think you are blessed to know so many members of your extended family.


    1. It wasn’t a conscious decision to exclude him, Robin. So far as the family knew, he was dead for 64 years. And yes, I am. Very blessed! 🙂 Thanks for reading the story.


  5. I am enjoying this very personal story of your background. Do we know why/how your dad got separated and ended up in Poland? I am wondering if you have covered this in the A-Z Poland. It is so good that he is reunited with his family. Another story.


    1. You should have been a sub-editor, Jude. You ask all the pertinent questions 🙂 (or does that come from hours of reading essays as an English teacher? I know you taught, but not what?)
      I’m glad you’re enjoying this. I’m enjoying the writing very much. The reasons for the estrangement are a bit vague but I touched on them in https://restlessjo.wordpress.com/2011/10/24/exploring-the-polish-connection/
      Probably I should have linked to that rather than the A-Z, which obviously needs work. I should have revised it before I started on this. Maybe when the blog crashes and I start again 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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