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so far: Grandma Cecile had reached her relatives back in her home
village of Nieder-Mohrau, Czechoslovakia, after a trip across the
continental USA and the Atlantic Ocean.Grandma had written letters back home and others had written to her as well as letters that were going back and forth at home. Her third oldest son was about to get married and was waiting for proof of his baptism so he could wed in the church.
Grandma had been in Europe for almost 2 weeks already. She must have been busy, because in that time she had only written in her diary once while there, to describe her arrival. On June 26, 1936, she made her next entry:
It’s JUNE 26. This morning Mina’s Hedwig [Grandma's niece] and I went to Romerstadt, I thought I would get my glasses, But they were not there.
When we started it was warm. We had some shopping to do. I got 2 kilogram meat from Schaffer's daughter. It was 20 Kronen, one dozen [illegible word], 2 1/2 Kronen, my how terrible high [expensive] everything is in this mountain corner.
At noon we walked fast, we seen a thundershower in the west and we didn’t want to get wet. We could have taken the bus, but I wanted to see how I could stand the walk. It is farther than to Stayton from our place [about 3 miles].
People were making hay and on Frau Feith’s place, the Festenhof, they had oxen hitched to the hay rakes. I asked a lady from Harachsdorf, to whom the Festenhof belongs and she told me it belongs to Frau Feith and that Mr. was dead and the only son was studying somewhere. There we were by a nice Hotel. She said that belongs to her too. Just
imagine, a big nice hotel by the woods in Harachsdorf, that Lady said they are doing a wonderful business.
My, we passed some fields again, according to how everything stands, food should be more reasonable [less expensive]. I went to a confectionary [dry goods store]. That lady said if it wouldn’t be for the factories, they wouldn’t do such good business.
When we came to Mina’s house it was quarter after 12:00. She had cauliflower soup and barley biscuits, filled with quark [curd, cottage cheese?] and boughten cherries. I stayed there, about 4:00 arriving here [back at Gustie's house]. (I have a key to the front door.) They were all in the field. The hired girl works, too, from four in the morning till about half past seven in the evening. It is 20 to six now. Wonder how long I’ll be alone.
I’ll get me some sourbrunn [???] now, maybe after that if nobody comes I’ll walk to Johanna Schiebel, which is an old Lady, but who is a cousin of us and who knows all the history of this village, please do not think she is mean, she just remembers things so good.
I heard something rattle on the front door, going to the window a young fellow was there with a bicycle, he said he wanted to invite Herr Weihs, which is my brother-in-law [Gustie's husband], to the cino [theater] to Klein-Mohrau and he wanted to buy eggs from Gustie.
When people see me they always want me to come to their houses, but I’ll not do anything like that. I have to answer so many questions. I get tired of it. I guess I’ll have to invite them to come to America.Grandma Cecile seems to be enjoying herself now. She's walking around - miles, in fact. Having grown up in the era of the automobile, it is hard for me to imagine someone walking from the farm to Stayton, we always drove. She does make it sound like she only walked this time just to see if she could still do it like she did when she was young.
If you are wondering what the illegible word in the second paragraph was, take a look and see if you can figure it out.
|the word - after 1 Dz. - ??? Kncies ???|
Grandma must have used her notebook not just as a diary, but for taking notes. In the middle of this diary entry, at the top of a page, there is an entry written in German, in someone else's handwriting. It appears in the middle of a sentence that ends on the previous page and picks up after the insert. In this case, she must have handed the notebook to someone else to write down as answer to her question while the page was blank. Her sentence would have been written around this insert later. Here is the page:
|Page 11 of the diary, address note at the top|
Moravian Ostrawa: Polish ConsulateSomeone must have been answering Grandma's question of where and how to obtain a visa to cross into Poland to visit her brother Josef Schiebel.
A visa for repeated border-crossings regarding [visits to ??] relatives is enclosed
In Teschen call the business location of Polzer Josef
The other puzzle in this entry for me is just what is sourbrunn? According to Wikipedia, Brunn refers to a stream or a source of water. Perhaps this was some sort of mineral water that they drank? Or it could be something to eat, since she was waiting for the others to come home from the fields.
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Story to be continued......