Sunday, April 22, 2007

Getting back to my roots

My mother's grandma was born in the Ukraine, and my grandma Sonia grew up speaking both English and Ukrainian, living in central Alberta with her mother, father and 8 brothers and sisters. I love looking at old pictures of my grandma's family, and of my mother as a little girl. Hard working, living off the land sort of people. The kind of genes I really need in my own blood right about now (because God knows how much hard work I'm putting into raising this little brood of my own).

Grandma Sonia always tells me stories of things that she and her siblings did as children. About going to school, learning to read and memorize poems, learning to cook and watch her mom, listening to her dad play the violin, playing in the woods with her brothers, helping her mom make butter, growing into a young woman who was the cook at a logging camp filled with strong hungry men, marrying my grandpa and raising her own family. She also likes to tell me stories of when my own mother was a child. Washing clothes on a washboard and hanging them out to dry, playing in the river, building their own house. Some of my favorite memories are of spending time with her and gr Pete. It's wonderful that my own children have the privilege of playing with her too. (and we miss dear gr Pete each time we go over there).
Since starting school again on Monday, we've decided to leave Fridays open to outings to the library, and to visit grandma Sonia. Math was never invented to be done 5 days a week anyways right?
From Easter bread ...
This Friday, we invited ourselves over to grandma Sonia's house so she could teach us how to make Ukrainian Easter bread decorations. Since she was a little girl, she remembers her mother making these cute bread birds at Easter time. Easter was the biggest feast of the year when she was a child. They always went to church (a Ukrainian Orthodox church on the prairies), and she remembers lots of fun and games after church with treats and punch.
From Easter bread ...
Anyways, we had lots of fun rolling out the dough, shaping it, brushing it with egg glaze and baking them. Actually, Grandma teases me that I had the most fun of all, because the kids just made one bird each and then ran off to play, but I sat at the table and made 5 or 6 while grandma held the babies and we chatted about the olden days.
I really enjoy those hands-on skills and crafts. It feels so good to get my hands into something and create things of beauty and goodness. One of the reasons that I enjoy staying home to care for my children and husband so much is that I get to do exactly that each day-- make things beautiful and good with my own hands all day long. (It might just be a clean pile of laundry, a sparkling bathroom mirror, or a yummy homemade birthday cake, but it's made all by myself to sustain my family, and I love that!).
From Easter bread ...
Here are some pictures of our day. You'll notice we also made cinnamon buns. Grandma Sonia is so great at just whipping up these treats.. no cookbook - just good, simple ingredients and common sense.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Those are just beautiful!
-Shawna V.