Winter storms 34th Day 02-03

by Administrator 3. February 2011 02:48

 

Today in Texas very unusual weather …cold!!!…not only here, but in  at least 30 U.S. states …according to NASA.  I’ve heard it could be called “Snowpocalypse” 2011 –one of the biggest and worst winter storms since 1950s.  Just  wishing and hoping everyone will stay warm and safe…the days like that reminds us, of how  powerful nature is and how we, human beings with all advancement in science and technology are helpless in the face of weather changes on this scale.

The regular winter time is one of my favorites…with “White Christmas”, skiing , skating , fire places , fresh and crispy cold air, hot chocolate and blanket of white snow everywhere.  I grew up in Poland, Krakow …city located about 2 hours away from beautiful Tatra Mountains. Skiing was a very popular sport and my  first recollection dates to, when I was 4 or maybe 5 years old…learning to ski at a nearby hill, close to Wawel Castle of my hometown. As I became better, we made a tradition of skiing escapades for winter vacation and weekend trips to mountains.  I loved the feeling of the total “exhaustion” after all day of skiing, when hot bath and a simple meal in front of the fireplace felt like heaven. On some days, we had enough energy left, to go skating to the ice ring and when the nature cooperated ….snowflakes appeared out of nowhere falling on your face …the magic presented itself with an unforgettable moment, frozen in memories forever.

Not all of the memories of snow and winter are equally happy. There is one, which I will always remember….It was 1981/1982 ….very difficult moment in history of Poland, martial law introduced by authoritarian government in attempt to crush political opposition…The “opposition” was just us …people, all different ages and “walks of life” wanting to live in the democratic country, free to choose for themselves. The movement was known to the western world as Solidarity with Lech Walesa.

I went to the church that day with many other people to pray for free Poland and to show our support for political prisoners and to feel united in the hope for our free country ….One may call it peaceful demonstration…which turned out to be very different, the moment we left the church.

  Just to paint a better picture, it is worth knowing Krakow is the city with 750 years of tradition ….beautiful, with an amazing architecture, very rich history, full of interesting and talented people. The Main Square is the large area, thought of, as a  natural center of Krakow .Usually is buzzing with life, people, artists, museums, cafes…one may say it’s the heart of the city.  St.Mary’s Basilica is the Gothic Church build in 14th century.  On every hour the trumpet signal is played from the top of the two towers (standing 260 feet tall). Basilica is simply beautiful and it means something special, almost sacred to the people.

  That evening the mass was in the Basilica…as we left the church the special units of police were waiting for us…I remember running through the streets, covered with fresh, white snow….everything seemed to be quite unreal… On one hand, my city with buildings remembering past centuries, “looking” at us with the  understanding of time and its passage …..Snow falling… making everything look so  pure, magical and peaceful…..and the shouting of the people , trying to escape the rage of special forces….hitting and grabbing everybody in their proximity…

 I was just 21…and I could run pretty fast…even though it was slippery….I managed to find a way to escape ZOMO (infamous paramilitary police formation) from the steps of the church…trying to make my way to Small Market (for those, who know Krakow)…to just get home safely… But there …was something that made me feel ……as the hunted animal…they had water cannons…attached to the car. As they started shooting in our direction …we sprinted as fast as we could….but they were driving pretty fast too… Running, and out of the breath, I looked behind me , just to see in horror the markings of water cannon in the fresh snow on the ground…getting closer and closer….I remember thinking…how surprisingly powerful those things are…the high pressure of the water and the coldness of the night…as a deadly combination.  In last attempt, out of breath I skipped to the right pushing with my whole body against huge doors to one of the buildings …it gave away the opening and I hid behind old, massive entry, just to feel in the same instance, thunderous trembling at my back where I leaned against the sturdy structure…the water cannon landed ….. Didn’t have time to be scared…just numb from the feeling of being reduced to “nothing”….

Poland is the free country now….

The first moment I was able to teach my kids how to ski…I did.  My husband, luckily loves skiing too…so since our youngest child was four , we started trips to Colorado. Love it over there…in the summer and winter. It was not easy in the beginning, after all they were born here in Texas…and the cold weather …let’s say wasn’t that thrilling for them in the beginning…  Just dressing them up in all these layers was a challenge on its own…

When we finished with the last one …first was either sweating or already undressing to use the bathroom….needless to say ..my husband and I didn’t ski that much in first few years… Then it got easier…but still, we were not only the instructors but careful “brain washers “repeating over and over “ know your limits, ski within it”…As you guessed…they loved the speed ( just like me ..but …that’s … a secret)… we wanted to make sure they are safe and responsible skiers...before all the fun… As the years progressed and ..they turned out to be quite a good skiers…we thought “We made it…finally …we can ski ...the way we want to…”. Yes, we can ...except …they have to wait for us…asking...” why are we so slow?”…. Life never fails to make me laugh and to amuse me…

Wishing  everybody  to stay warm and safe. Bundle up, have a hot chocolate or anything that you enjoy, maybe put your favorite movie on or read a book….  This storm will pass like many others before….

 

 

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The Little Prince

"People where you live," the little prince said, "grow five thousand roses in one garden... yet they don't find what they're looking for..."

"They don't find it," I answered.

"And yet what they're looking for could be found in a single rose, or a little water..."

"Of course," I answered.

And the little prince added, "But eyes are blind. You have to look with the heart."

 

 

 

 

 

 

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