Polish Word of the Day | Grandma & Grandpa

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Every year on January 21 & 22 Poland celebrates Grandmother’s Day and Grandfather’s Day. It is celebrated with handmade cards called laurki, flowers and cake. 

 This is my grandma & grandpa on my dad’s side: Władysław & Władysława.

They passed away when I was 13 but I still remember the smell of their home. Mixture of garlic, cabbage and freshly baked bread. They had 6 children (5 boys!) so there was always something cooking in the kitchen, and there was never enough. Grandma did all the cooking, and there was no shortcuts… everything made from scratch. I don’t know how she did it. She had a garden behind the house with some veggies and herbs. Grandpa tended to the chickens and pigs. They were always doing something.

This is some of the grandchildren, before we all spread to all winds of the worlds, that’s me in the way back 🙂 

Thinking of them warms my heart and brings tears to my eyes, that I can’t see them any more. But sometimes, when there is just the right amount of spice in the air, my house smells like that too, and then, I close my eyes and I feel like I’m there again. 

Happy Grandma’s and Grandpa’s Day! You will always be in my heart.

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8 Comments

  1. I love that story. My wife’s family is from Rzepin in the western part of Poland. Her mom and dad told stories similar to your story of Władysław & Władysława. Her father Felix, one of 15 children told me so many stories of his grandmother and the kitchen. He said he could always smell him mother’s kitchen. My wife’s mother Stasia, cooked for Polish parties for over 50 years. My wife tells me she can still smell her mom’s kitchen and her babcia kitchen. That is where I have learned to cook many Polish foods. Our daughters, who live in different cities, tell how they miss the smell or their mom’s cooking, and they can’t wait until they come home.
    Thank you for sharing that story with us. I have come to love my wife’s Polish heritage and I always look forward to going back to Rzepin.

    1. Those smells are ingrained in my brain and I will never forget them. Sometimes, once in a blue moon, I can make those exact smells happen in my kitchen, and somehow they’re connected to my emotional side. I’m sure you know exactly what I mean. 🥰

  2. In our Polish family, grandpa was “dziadzia” and grandma was “babcia”. (I hope those words are correct.) Unfortunately, I didn’t learn those words until I had children of my own, and my parents assumed those roles ad my dad taught me Polish cooking and my mom, Polish baking. I never met any of my four grandparents, since three died before I was born, and the fourth … well … let’s just say my dad’s relationship with his stepmother was problematic. The good news: a couple of months ago I became a dziadzia for the first time! Tradition …

  3. In our Polish family, grandpa was “dziadzia” and grandma was “babcia”. (I hope those words are correct.) Unfortunately, I didn’t learn those words until I had children of my own, and my parents assumed those roles and my dad taught me Polish cooking and my mom, Polish baking. I never met any of my four grandparents, since three died before I was born, and the fourth … well … let’s just say my dad’s relationship with his stepmother was problematic. The good news: a couple of months ago I became a dziadzia for the first time! Tradition …

  4. In our Polish-American family, grandpa was “dziadzia” and grandma was “babcia”. (I hope those words are correct.) Unfortunately, I didn’t learn those words until I had children of my own, and my parents assumed those roles and my dad taught me Polish cooking and my mom, Polish baking. I never met any of my four grandparents, since three died before I was born, and the fourth … well … let’s just say my dad’s relationship with his stepmother was problematic. The good news: a couple of months ago I became a dziadzia for the first time! Tradition …

    1. Congratulations! I feel I’m getting more and more sentimental as I get older, and some things become important. Keep those traditions going!

  5. Babcia and Dzia Dzia have been gone for many, many years. I was fortunate to meet one of Dzia Dzia’s sisters when mom and I visited Gdansk in 1990. She was a mini version of him.
    The first time Babcia met my husband, she gave him a shot of Krupnik. He learned to like it so much that he got her recipe and made it for years. This recipe is now passed on to the next generation.
    Family is made of these kinds of memories.

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