Four Letter Words and Other Takeaways

In our “hometown” of Czestochowa, Poland, all roads lead to the Jasna Góra (seriously no matter which road we found ourselves on, it appeared to lead back to the monastery). An extensive complex, the Jasna Góra is a shrine to the Virgin Mary and was built in the late 14th century. It is a place of pilgramage and a spiritual center. It is also home to the famed Black Madonna of Czestochowa, believed to have miraculous power.

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No matter your beliefs, this place is impressive. Our recent tour of the shrine with the friendly, humorous and knowledgeable Father Simon was a fitting end to this part of our journey – a journey that has brought us smiles, friends, laughter, challenges, sadness, tears, excitement, anger, knowledge, joy, peace, perhaps a few miracles, and above all together.

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I Believe in Miracles

The best words to describe Warsaw, Poland are not my own. They are said at the end of the English version of a film found at the Warsaw Historical Museum, and they capture the essence of this great city’s story and culture.

“They say there are no miracles. Then what is this city on the Vistula?” Continue reading

Sunshine Days – Krakow, Poland

Last month we visited Kraków, Poland and to our excitement the weather was stunning. The sun shone and the temps rose to near 20°C (70°). I am sure that Kraków has numerous sights to see from castles and museums to markets and churches; however, our time was spent completely outdoors. Fortunately, Kraków is the perfect Polish city from which to idly wander.

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We Call It Home – Czestochowa, Poland

“Do you mean ‘home’ or ‘home, home’?” is a phrase often uttered when trying to differentiate between Czestochowa and Chicago in our conversations. We’ve developed a confusion between our “homes,” but it wasn’t always that way. Continue reading

Perspectives

While the emperor ate his pancake bits, on the other side of the tracks, the peasants were tossing together cabbage and bacon.  Continue reading