Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Grandma used to come to see us every December

Grandma used to come to see us every December. We lived somewhere in Western Hungary and she  lived on the Great Hungarian Plain .On the day when she left  for seeing us she took her two large baskets very early in the morning and took the little train of her village . It was still dark then .She arrived at a bigger town when the sun rose –where she took the train to Budapest .Then arriving there she had to cross the city with her two large baskets to get to the right station .Then  the train  was huffing and puffing again three hours all along the picturesque lake of Balaton.

Her arrival was  always the greatest present for us. Her baskets were hiding delicacies out of this world. Duck drippings, duck livers, plum jam in a clay pot, raspberry jam and syrup, walnuts.

Once there was a very cold winter . December had a grim look .My father had spent much money and even more on wood and kerosene .He had nearly froze to death during WWII as a little guy .As a result – he overprotected his family  and himself against the cold .

When it was about to buy the Xmas presents –simply- there was no money left  .My mother told us about it very sadly :-"No presents this year .Sorry kids ."
But we were not sad at all .All we wanted to know; - "Will Grandma come as usual?" 

As she did come –we were cheerful .  Her arrival was the greatest present and made all our December very special . Besides the delicacies she brought - she had her crochets and wool and she had made us every year a new pair of slipper.She  had a lots news and stories about relatives and her village .She spoke a very special dialect , a kind of old Hungarian and I looked at her as she was a fairy stepped out of from a tale .

Finally  our  Xmas Eve turned out to be very exciting . My father came home from work with a wonderful metal sledge .He had made it himself somehow from some waste metal.  What a wonderful  surprise it was ! On Xmas  day we went to a hill not far from our compound and close to a stream and were sliding all the day.
 Mom says that those days financially were the most difficult ones for our family .But in my memories there  is no hardship or sadness ..
 Actually ,I always remember those days as the most wonderful times  of our life.

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