As the New Year approaches I think of my favorite photos from Lwow...
I was able to visit years ago and relived the basic images from my own upbringing in Canada, raised in Polish /Ukrainian traditions and way of life. The pictures that bring me the warmest memories are always about food. For around the food came the stories that were told of my ancestors and what everyone could remember of their struggles growing up under a communist regime in a city once referred to as Little Vienna. From the cobblestone streets, outdoor markets, beautiful architecture shared by generations, beauty tarnished and neglected by war, pride of churches that survived, and above all a spirit that transcends destruction and once you see that, you understand where you
come from. So as
I sift through beautiful pictures of churches and monuments and cemeteries...only my food pictures give me great memories. My aunt who was taken to Lwow as a child of 9 years old, could not return to Poland after the war to be with her parents and was raised by two old aunts who were nuns. What fun that must have been. When I went to visit her, I took her back to her village in Poland, for the first time at 63 years old.....She made pierogies for me with pride and told me why she was so good at making them. As a child she had to help make soup and pierogies to feed soldiers in the soup kitchens. The soldiers took blood for transfusions from children in school and so her aunts kept her home and made her work with them preparing food to sell. She had to earn her keep. So with the perogies came a different story of survival. The chicken rosol was made from real farm chickens and homemade
noodles. Even a left over cabbage leaf became kapusta medicine for a swollen toe. But my favorite is the car filled with bread. No bags, no sanitation, and always lots of vodka to kill the bacteria.
So my wish for New Years is..... whatever warm memory is conjured up for you in these pictures, of your own family and take the best from that and move forward into a great New Year.