When Time Flies and Things Change

It’s already been a week since I returned from my trip to Poland, the time literally flew and it seemed more like a few days rather than two weeks. It was wonderful to get quality time with my family and especially with my dad. He is nearing 80 and, while still in good health, I realize that he may not be around for much longer. Every time I visit and whenever we speak on the phone, I make an extra effort to not rush, to listen, to be present. And even though most of the time we talk about all the same things (health, weather, my nieces, and other everyday things), we always get to sneak in a joke and laugh a bit too.

 

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That’s what I love about my dad. No matter what, he stays optimistic and he appreciates things. Things that I take for granted – running water, electricity, gas stove. The other day we were making coffee and he wondered about the coffee maker, wow, a device to make JUST coffee. What a luxury. There were times were price of coffee was as much as price of gold. Now, we just buy a bag, press a button and voilà!

When my dad talks about the way he grew up, even though I know the times were hard, he always mentions how much fun everyone was always having. “You know, there was no TV, no internet, no phones, friends would just come over and sing and tell stories and laugh while weeding, digging potatoes, canning. Everyone was helping everyone, without being asked. All neighbors were there for one another. One day we would fertilize and plant someone’s farmland and the next day we would take care of another one”.  

Neighbor's farm / barn house. Being a little girl I remember it at its prime. Tractors and other machinery ready to be used at any time, chicken and ducks running around. When in season, piles of potatoes and cabbage ready to be processed. Now - nothing. Everyone moved abroad, the barn is rotting.

Neighbor’s farm / barn house. Being a little girl I remember it at its prime. Tractors and other machinery ready to be used at any time, chicken and ducks running around. When in season, piles of potatoes and cabbage ready to be processed. Now – nothing. Everyone moved abroad, the barn is rotting.

My dad proudly showing off his grape vine plants. The bench was hand made by my brother in law. (A photo taken in summer of 2008)

My dad proudly showing off his grape vine plants. The bench was hand made by my brother in law. (A photo taken in summer of 2008)

Now almost the entire village’s fields stay empty, young people’s farming efforts are not supported by the government so it is really hard to support a family living off the land. Our field stays empty as well, some part of it was planted with forest (with a few acres planted with trees when I was a 10 year old girl), now the trees standing tall, strong, ready to be used for burning wood for winter. Even several years ago most of that land, almost every single acre, was planted with wheat and rye, endless fields of potatoes and cabbage, vegetables, redcurrant berries. Now empty, neglected, grey fields represent something that ended, something that is never coming back. But oh, my dad’s hopes, that one day his grandchildren will take over again. That all that land will be alive again. Maybe..

One of local beauties. While this style of home was still very popular when I was a little girl, now, 30 years later, most of them have been tore down and replaced with more modern, brick homes.

One of local beauties. While this style of home was still very popular when I was a little girl, now, 30 years later, most of them have been tore down and replaced with more modern, brick homes.

While my dog, Evik, is long gone by now, I loved finding a few photos with him and me together. (Back in Poland, summer of 2008)

While my dog, Evik, is long gone by now, I loved finding a few photos with him and me together. (Back in Poland, summer of 2008)

Do YOU ever have moments that it just ‘hits’ you that something ended and is never coming back?

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