More stories of "back in the day" · 1/2/1940

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Asking Grandma about back in the day in 1930 Poland  & her answers...




 The women/girls wore dresses, period.  Also they wore a babushka.  It was tied under the chin and doubled as protection against the cold.  They also kept their hair long and braided.  During the worst of times, their hair could sometimes be cut and sold to help the family make ends meet.  When asked about girls wearing pants, I was told that during the war while all the men were gone, that was sometimes what was available to wear.  Along the same lines, there were times that dresses were made of anything available -even the hanging curtains.




 Today while talking about baking for the holidays, Grandma reminded me that they had all of their canned fruits.  The fruit topped the cake and the reserved syrup was used to make drinks (alchol or not).  Nothing was wasted.  Not a new concept, it just hammered home how EVERYTHING can be used.




 Grandma was one of 12 or 13 children with a set of grandparents living in the house with them.  Their 2 story house was set on a large farm.  The girls shared a bed in a room and the boys had a bed in a room of their own.  They actually did sleep at the head and foot of the bed like in Willy Wonka:)   There was a much-used "smokehouse" (room) that ran down the center of the house the helped keep the family fed year-round.




 For Christmas Grandma's father took the workers out on his land and let them each kill one thing to take home for their meal.  On Christmas Eve, all of the children were to stay out of one extra room where the tree was being set up, then they were allowed to come in to the great treat of their beautiful tree and homemade gifts.




 There were 2 different wagons.  One for every life, then a second for special occassions which was pulled by the white horses.  Grandma talks of taking cheese  to trade on one of these wagons.  Her mother was worried sick for her, but Grandma was confident she would be okay.  One of the last trips she made, her younger sister begged to go with her.  Reluctantly their mother allowed it.  Grandma cushioned it as well as she could for her sister, but the ride was really hard on her -leaving her, according to Grandma, an injured back that was hurt till the end.




In the rare event of over-night guests, the barn doubled as a guest room.  The children considered it a great treat to get to sleep in the barn on a bed of hay.  The barn housing pigs and hey was successfully used to help conceal Grandma as the soldiers came looking for people. 




 More later...










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