If you were asked to guess who lived in my apartment, based solely on the knick-knacks and baubles arranged on my shelves, you’d be forgiven if your answer was an elderly Polish woman of peasant origins.
Among the accidental collection, this wooden piece from my dad's village. Click the "read more" to see other images.
I’m not sure how or why it started, but I seem to collect Virgin Mary icons the way some people collect ceramic roosters or wine corks or creepy dolls. This was not intentional. I didn’t sit up one morning, say, “Virgin Mary – that’s totally my thing,” and make haste to the flea market. I would not even call myself religious. (Neither would my parents. Kind of a sore subject.)
I guess there’s a comfort in it, a familiarity. Because when you grow up in a Polish family, there are three things certain to be hanging on the walls of your home: 1) a photo of Pope John Paul II 2) a wall calendar from a local Polish meat market and 3) an image of the Virgin Mary. I don’t make up the rules, I just follow ‘em. Continue reading
I’m thinking this should be a regular series. Placards of Pope John Paul II. Dried palms, dusty from last year’s Palm Sunday and tucked, inexplicably, behind wall-mounted mirrors and photo frames. Kitchen calendars from the local Polish meat market, each month’s featured ring of kielbasa reclined on a bed of parsley, its bronze, glistening skin rivaling that of a swimsuit model.
We could have fun with this, yes.
Add to the list a sign like the one below, typically hung above door frames, asking God to bless this home. Go ahead, just try to sound out the jumble of letters. My husband’s been working on it, and it thoroughly amuses my parents. Thing is, the letters aren’t what they appear. That l in the second word, with a slight line running through it? That’s pronounced like a w. The w at the end of the word? Why silly, that sounds like a v. Don’t even get me started on the sz of the third word. I’m not sure you’re ready for it this morning.
This has hung in my parents' house as long as I can remember.