5 photos, 5 stories- Day 5

You might remember this, from Weronika's wedding last year?

Weronika’s wedding last year, Dad centre stage, and a whole host of family!

Already we’re at Day 5!  I need to thank Minerva, Nin, Elaine and Viveka for nominating me for this challenge.  They couldn’t have known how much I’d enjoy it.  I hope you’ll go and say hello and read their stories too.

Do you remember Adam, from yesterday? (the gentleman, sitting reflectively, next to the 3 sisters in my photo)  He is the lynchpin to the whole Polish story.

Whenever we visit Poland, we fly into Kraków and Adam quietly and efficiently sets everything in motion.  He and his family gather us up from the airport, feed us, ferry us around and generally ensure that we have a good time.  I cannot thank them enough for their kindness.

Adam’s mum, my beloved aunt Anna and Dad’s youngest sister, died 5 years ago.  I never met his dad, but Adam could not treat his own father with more respect and affection than he does mine. Nothing is too much trouble. So, when I said that I wanted to see my aunt Lusia and uncle Jakub in Bełchatów this trip and had only one week available, he booked 4 days from his own busy schedule to transport me there and back.  Adam owns a bakery and baker’s machinery business. It has grown to international proportions, in partnership with his good friend Tomek.  We joke that, in the family, Lusia has the best potatoes, but Adam the best bread.  You’d never go hungry!

Adam’s large and comfortable home, in the Kraków’s suburbs, was adapted to accommodate his mum throughout the years of her declining health.  Now the basement has been converted into a starter flat for his oldest daughter, Weronika.  Last May I attended her wedding to Wojtek (he was good at sweeping up broken glass).  In July they are expecting a new little addition to the family, a first grandchild for Adam and Marta.  What a welcome awaits him!

It’s simply impossible to tell this story short, even though I have left out a myriad of characters. Dad’s youngest brother, uncle Jakub, and his wife Czescia live in a fine old suburb of Bełchatów, called Groholice.  Daughter Bożena lives just over the road, and sons Andrzej and Krzysztof have built their own homes in the neighbourhood.  All have families.  Jakub’s son Tomek I seldom see- he travels abroad to work and hasn’t ‘settled down’ yet.

Adam binds together and weaves between all the branches of our family.  Extending the hand of peace, he is welcome in every home.  Basia, Adam’s only sibling, lives to the north of Kraków, in Chorzów, with husband Zygmunt and just one son, Przemek.  In September this year Przemek will marry Magda.  I very much hope to be there.

And so the story goes on….  I hope I haven’t bored you and am grateful for the opportunity this challenge has given me to share.  Perhaps I need another 5?  If you can bare to read more, the background is explained a little more fully in Exploring the Polish connection.  Be warned- it always makes me cry.  It just remains to nominate Lynn at Life after 50 (most of us know a little about that!), another lady who loves to travel.  I only hope that she can find time in her busy life. Time now to say, thank you very much for reading.

73 comments

  1. You have a wonderful family in Poland, Jo. How warm and considerate. Your words leave no doubt on how much you enjoy your time with your them.
    As far as I am concerned, you can continue writing without limiting yourself to 5 days. Go on! Wonderful stories.
    Thanks.

    1. While I was writing these I did feel that I could go on, and on! But life keeps throwing me curve balls 🙂 I will be boating with some more of the Polish family this weekend, so fun still to come. 🙂 Thanks for spending so much time with me tonight, Lucile

    1. Was that slightly ‘tongue in cheek’, Sue? He did enjoy those days off himself too, even though he looks pensive in his photo. He has a lovely chuckle. I love him to bits, though at first I was a bit in awe. 🙂

      1. No actually I’m just a big softie and he seems like a really sweet guy. Sometimes getting time off work can be a hard thing or a sacrifice. Maybe there it is easier but for some those would be very precious and hard to get vacation days.

    2. Humbled 😦
      I forget, we have differing attitudes to holidays here than in the States. Almost a God given right. (though probably less so with our young, trying to make a start in life) Hugs, Sue 🙂

    1. He’s a great guy, Cathy. The business has done really well (thanks to an enormous amount of effort- and really good bread 🙂 ) but he uses his wealth for the good of the family.

  2. i thoroughly enjoyed meeting your wonderful family in Poland, Jo! loving, hardworking and beautiful people! the challenge has been the most inspiring blogs! thank you so much! 🙂

  3. Every family needs someone like Adam don’t they? For me, returning home with the kids for our family visits when I lived in the States, it was my mum 🙂 I must return and read more of your Polish family Jo, once I am back on track (still on that slow one…), I have so enjoyed reading your family stories, thank you so much for sharing all that you have. Hugs to you lovely lady xx

  4. Lovely to read more about your Polish family. It’s always wonderful to discover new family members, and if they treat us well, and accept us in their fold, the better it is!

    1. I’m glad you felt that. 🙂 I never really think about it in those terms. It’s just an amazing phenomenon in my life. I’m in Nottingham right now but I’ll pop and say hi as soon as I can, and thanks! 🙂

  5. Thank you for giving us the pleasure to meet your family in Poland, Jo! Enjoyed so much of reading the 5 stories. Helen was right, another 5 would be a good idea. 🙂

  6. As Sammy commented, this has been a heartwarming series Jo, and I have enjoyed reading every one of them, I sincerely hope that there will be many more stories to tell about your ever-expanding Polish family. And I want to know about the Norfolk branch too (are they the only ones in the UK?) I know I am a dreadfully nosey person… 😛

    1. Thanks Jude! Tried to comment on your bench but being sabotaged by my phone. Ah the frustration of modern living! I’ve enjoyed every second. Glad you liked it xxx

  7. This has been a heartwarming series, Jo. Inlove this wedding photo, especially studying all the happy faces in the background and knowing how this closeknit group comes together to create such wonderful traditions (bread, potatoes and don’t forget your expertise with photos)! Now I’m headed to learn more about your Polish connection💥

  8. So sad to reach the end of this sequence, although no doubt there’ll be weddings and births and ongoing stories from your Polish family. What an amazing family to reconnect into. Thank you so much for this series. Thinking of you with concern.

    1. Thanks, Meg! I’m trying not to panic and throwing together some images for tomorrow’s walk. Much cooking/ironing etc to do before I can go. Hugs! 🙂

  9. I enjoyed family stories and hearing about Adam and his daughters wedding. She is beautiful!
    You can tell there is a lot of love in your extended family, Jo.

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