~ nesting storkes ~
Along the road, we had lots of stork sightings - nesting, eating in fields, flying through the air. Storks are amazing birds; they are mute, and cannot call, but rather clatter their bills to each other in order to communicate. Two frequently used terms to identify groups of storks are a muster of storks or a phalanx of storks. They tend to glide and not fly, thus relying on air currents and I was told they migrate to winter in Africa. Birdlife says storks migrate to both western Africa and Spain and if you'd like to see a huge phalanx of migrating storks, click here for an amazing video.
~ teenage drivers ~
The next time your teenager complains to you about not having a car, show him or her this photo. These boys have transportation but when they get home at night, they have to put away the wagon, un-harness the horses, groom the horses, feed the horses...and all before the boys sit down to supper. They probably have to unload the wagon as well, depending upon their day.
~ drinking may be dangerous to your health ~
We passed through a village where torrential rains had damaged businesses, homes and roads. These gents were drinking and smoking at their local bar, seemingly, not too impressed by the fact the foundation was gone...wiped away from rains and a flooding creek.
~ my new best friend ~
One afternoon, while others wandered around a church and graveyard, I wandered around the village. Please don't misunderstand, I honor the past but I don't ancestor worship. Trust me, if folks could have it better in their lives, they would have it better...lots better. I've carried water, shoveled snow from inside the house to outside the house, cooked on a wood stove and over an open fire, thrown snow off the bed covers when I awoke in the morning. When life is hard, it ages a person and when life is this hard, there's, generally, little enough money to go 'round. This gentleman was coming home from work, it was late afternoon, and he spoke. Usually what I do when I don't understand the language is smile, nod my head and, sometimes, give a little curtsy. This is what I did to this man, then gestured to my camera and "asked" if I could take his photo. He smile and nodded "yes"; this is one of the shots I took. He thanked me, I thanked him and gave a little curtsy then, he kissed me on the check; another sweet and precious memory!
By the way, his hat is their version of our baseball caps -smile-.
~ harvest season ~All over the northern hemisphere, it's hay making time; no different in Romania.
~ two shepherds ~Sorry for the poor photo but I wanted a photo of me and the deceased shepherd's grave marker. Merry Cemetery is an UNESCO site and a great testament to working with what you've got. Sometime during the mid-1930's, local folk artist Stan Ioan Patras began carving and painting wooden crosses to commemorate the lives of villagers. Shepherds, woodworkers, farmers, home makers, spinners, weavers, foresters...no matter what the deceased did in life, their death was captured in their cross. Mr. Patras passed away in 1977 and his apprentice, Dumitru Pop Tincu, carries on his work and people travel from all over the world to visit Sapanta, Merry Cemetery, the grave markers and the village crafters and artisans.
~ Mr. Tincu ~
~ drop spindle spinner ~This woman sold me two balls of hand spun yarn; I'm not sure what I'll make with it but love knowing the spinner and the story. No, we didn't speak each others language but we got along just fine. She had me try my hand at her drop spindle and laughed when I proved to be not very handy. I mimicked spinning on a wheel and she said, "Ahhhh, a machina." Yikes! I need to go back to basic skills, it appears.
~ my spinning friend ~Mercy, we've put almost 4,000 kms, or 2,000 miles, on the vehicles and our bodies in two weeks. I am exhausted but the trip is almost over and soon, time to go home. Next stop, Ukraine!
Blessings ~ friends, old and new ~ Merry Cemetery ~ spinners ~ safe drivers, thanks Inez and Jozef ~ great weather, most of the time ~ storks ~