If you follow Polish Housewife’s facebook page, you’ve probably picked up on the fact that we’re leaving Poland. After five years, it feels like Ed has taught the Polish Air Force all that he can, so we are headed back to the United States. We’re leaving Poland, but not leaving Polish Housewife. I’ll continue to blog about what I’m cooking, much of it Polish. I’ll also write about things that I find interesting in daily life or in our travels just as I’ve done while we’ve been in Poland. I also have a wealth of connections in Poland that I hope will write occasional guest posts for me.
The ball is rolling. The our household goods have been shipped. The keys to our flat have been returned to the landlord. We’re staying in a hotel for our last two weeks in Poznan. It’s an emotional time.
I never expected to feel an attachment to the little two bedroom flat that was originally referred to a Blue Kitchen while Ed was apartment hunting. Over the course of five years, a lot happens, many memories were made in that flat:
- wandering the flat aimlessly after Ed left for work in my early days, until I found things to fill my time
- a lot of baking was done in the tiny and appliance challenged kitchen
- the fun of getting the guest room ready for family and friends from the states when they visited
- meals shared with Ed’s colleagues from Tucson and our Polish friends
- illnesses and recovery for all three of us, Ed, me and our dog, Benson
- adapting to life as empty nesters, now that our daughters are grown
But it’s time to move on, to treasure these memories and to make new ones.
Life long changes
As you would expect, our move has found its way into most of our conversations lately. When I visited an artist’s studio last week with some friends from the Poznan Internatinal Ladies Club, my friend Kasia (a Polish woman who lived in the Netherlands for seven years) said that, based her experience, my time here would change my life forever. I have to agree with her.
I think it would be impossible to be so connected to a new culture for so long and remain unchanged. If nothing else, the things that I see as “different” about Polish life have all taught me something about American culture — things I knew but gave no thought to.
I’ve become more aware of the fact that we, Americans, are a diverse group, and sadly not all that cohesive. It’s important to most of us that we’re seen as hard working and honest. We think about work a lot! American signage is amazing. And my own sub-culture, as a military family, we are very welcoming to new people, quick to bring them into our lives and to try to help them settle into their new location. We could work on our appreciation of the arts, and our medicine while state of the art, would benefit from a more holistic approach. Of course, I must also think about Americans and our relationship to food. We want it fast, not just fast food. Which do you think is more common in an American kitchen, homemade soup or canned? I think my Polish and international friends would be very comfortable whipping up a pot of soup, no recipe required.
As comfortable as I have become at “Blue Kitchen,” I can’t wait to be back in our own home, with more than just a balconey for outdoor space. I can’t wait to be with our family and stateside friends, without an eight hour time difference and thousands of miles between us. It will also be nice to know how to do everything, to know what is expected of me in all situations, and to be able to understand everything!
We’re planning to visit Poland again, so as we said at our farewell open house, this isn’t goodbye but see you later.