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.