Our Easter started Friday, Good Friday that is. Good or not, Misiu was out of town on his weekly biznes trip. I absolutely had to go to one company and while I did, the girls’ favorite Ciocia came to stay with them. Why is she their favorite you ask? I asked the same thing. The answer, “Because you can sit on her, Mommy”. And she was being sat on when I returned.
Cemetery visits, a Polish Easter tradition
My first lesson is pretty far away but, thank goodness, it can be reached by one bus. The bus is usually pretty crowded with school kids and people going to work, so I hoped that the bus would be less crowded considering school was out and many people took a day off for Easter. The way there was easy peasy. The way back, however, was not. I should mention that the bus passes one of the major cemeteries of the city. The cemetery itself looked beautiful. I’m not a fan of plastic flowers, but from the street the cemetery looked like a happy and cheerful place. And the market around the cemetery was rockin’, selling beautiful wreaths and huge ornamental candles. As you can imagine the bus on the way back was packed, completely packed with older people. Visiting the cemetery and your loved ones’ graves is an important Polish Easter tradition.
I usually stand on the bus, so I didn’t really care about there not being seats. And there weren’t. Any seats. That’s not good on a bus full of older people who haven’t eaten (Good Friday fast). The old folks had started a kind of casting of who was worse off and most deserving of a seat. As I was 30 or even 40 years younger than most of the other passengers, I didn’t participate in the casting. That didn’t stop one lady from placing the blame for the lack of seats on me, huffing and puffing in my face. I explained to her kindly that I couldn’t give up my seat any more than I already had as I had not even sat down and was already standing, but that did not seem to satisfy her. It seemed that I was taking up too much space for her liking. Happy Easter!
Like Musical Chairs
The real follies began when passengers tried to get off the bus. When one person stood from a seat, all the other folks jockeyed for the seat without a care to the fact that they were blocking the aisle or even the door for exiting passengers. Then the pojedynek began. Nobody can fight like two old people. “Ladies, you are blocking the door! Nobody can get off!”, said one old man. And the ladies to that, “You shouldn’t wait to the last minute to get off the bus!” The shame. What would Jesus think?
Why do I always wait until the last minute?
On the way back home, I stopped at the butcher’s which looked like a shop in deep PRL. Nothing. So I bought nothing. At home we spent the rest of the day making pickled eggs and ćwikła and packing for the weekend. Misiu came home and we were off.
Saturday morning we finished our shopping in the village. The shops were calm and orderly and the butcher was fully stocked. What a relief. After that we took a stroll around the village. We enjoyed a nice pit stop at the local bakery where all hell was breaking loose as people scrambled to buy the last loaves of bread. I sat back enjoying my latte and keeping a watch out the window for people coming to church with their baskets. I wanted to catch a glimpse of them at least. Those Polish Easter baskets are adorable. After basket time, we came back home to cook, decorate eggs and enjoy our time together.
Pan Jezus użył
Did you know that Pan Jezus użył? Mr Jesus comes back to life – That’s what Rosie told us one day after preschool last week. It was so sweet that I didn’t have the heart to tell her that it should be ożył. Anyhow, I didn’t have to. Lizzie wkroczyła do akcji. “Pan Jezus nie ożył tak naprawdę. Jest tylko bajka”. Lizzie gave her explanation – it’s only a fairytale.
I już po tłumaczenie.
Easter without Jesus?
So how do you celebrate Easter without Jesus? The same as we always do. Well, not exactly the same because of the weather, but more or less the same. We treat Easter as a celebration of spring. We usually spend a lot of time outside and weather permitting we plant a few things in the garden. Well except for this year because of the snow. It snowed a foot on Easter Sunday. We cook a lot of eggs and cakes and decorate the house for spring. Sometimes we even clean the windows. Most importantly we spend time together.
This Easter was the Easter of wildlife. Because of the snow animals are coming closer to homes to find something to eat. We saw a lot of birds, deer and even had a close encounter with a wild boar. We don’t know who was more surprised the boar or the humans, but I think it was the humans.
The Easter bunny visited us and she (me) had to wrap up warm to hide little presents in the garden. It just started to snow as we began our hunt and snowed for the next 7 hours. We stayed inside and ate, played, watched tv and read.
Oh and I almost forgot that Rosie turned 5. She couldn’t quite understand how it was possible that Lizzie was born on Easter but now her birthday is on Easter, but after she got her cake she was happy enough.
That’s another holiday that just flew right by. I guess that’s how it is as you get older. In two weeks it’ll be Lizzie’s birthday and after that Majówka. Not long after that, the school year will be wrapping up. Where does all the time go?
We were planning to throw the girls a joint birthday party in the village during the long May weekend – a birthday party complete with a horse and carriage ride around the ponds. But….it snowed on Halloween, it snowed on Christmas, it snowed on Easter….could it snow on Majówka? It did a few years back. Hmmm, we may have to change our plans.
Keep your fingers crossed for good weather!!!