I am loving the end-of-summer-early-fall bounty found in the farm stands here in Lancaster County, PA. We have been eating corn on the cob slathered with butter, cantaloupes dripping with their honey-sweet juice and red, ripe tomatoes that actually taste like tomatoes, not the pale, wan version of tomatoes found in grocery stores in February. Peaches and nectarines can still be found, too, which I have been eating sliced into yogurt, in fruit salad, and just plain. Early apples have made their appearance, and I have several containers of applesauce sweetened with brown sugar and lightly dusted with cinnamon and nutmeg sitting in my freezer. I am desolate every Thanksgiving when the farm stands close and I am forced to buy produce at the supermarket until next May.
“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted.– Ecclesiastes 3:1-2″
I am reminded of this quote from Ecclesiastes every autumn. The summer-to-autumn transition is the one I am most aware of. It seems like the most abrupt transition. Changing seasons also makes me think of the song “Turn! Turn! Turn!” by the Byrds from 1965. Click here for your listening pleasure.
There is a season (turn, turn, turn)
And a time to every purpose, under heaven.
“Ho imparato a parlare Italiano.” I think that means I learned to speak Italian. My hubby and I just got back from an Italian vacation. Watch for a future post describing it in excruciating detail! Before we went, we were not sure how much English would be spoken in the locales we visited, so I learned some basic Italian phrases using an app on my phone. We needn’t have worried. Many Italians speak English, and communication was not an issue. The best part of learning Italian was when I got to tell a young mother with an adorable toddler “Belle ragazza” (Beautiful little girl).
After striking out with many of my book selections this summer, I finally hit a home run. “We Were the Lucky Ones,” by Georgia Hunter was well-written, captivating and poignant. It is historical fiction, based on true accounts.
The story begins in the spring of 1939 and follows the Kurc family through World War II and its aftermath. The Kurcs were a Jewish family living in Radom, Poland, a town that, in 1939 contained 30,000 Jewish citizens. Only 300 of those Jews survived by the end of the war.
The family is headed by Sol and Nechuma who were the parents of five adult children – Genek, Mila, Addy, Jakob, and Halima. Mila, married to Selim, a doctor, is the mother of a one-year-old daughter named Felicia. The author of the book is the real-life granddaughter of Addy.
The Kurcs owned a fabric store and were financially comfortable. The children were well-educated and resourceful, a trait that served them well in wartime Poland.
Not only was the book compelling to read, it was also educational. I learned a lot about the history of this period from reading the book. At the time Hitler was ascending to dominance, many people discounted him. They considered him a braggart and a bumbler, never imagining he could become the leader of Germany.
Educated people saw his white supremacism and advocacy of institutionalized racism as views that would preclude him coming into power. Once he actually gained control of the country, the discrimination against, and mistreatment of Jews and other minorities were rationalized by German nationalism. Deutschland über alles! Germany first!
Hitler and his minions were responsible for propagating a smear campaign to turn German citizens and their allies against the Jews, presenting propaganda portraying Jews as sub-human, deserving of cruel treatment. The persecution of Jews was gradually ratcheted up as the Nazi reign progressed, culminating in death camps such as Treblinka and Auschwitz.
The Kurc family was flung to the far corners of the world during their attempt to endure Nazi horrors. “We Were the Lucky Ones” tells their remarkable story of survival.
I am linking up with Heather Gerwing for her “Four Somethings”. Thanks, Heather, for giving the opportunity to think and write about four such compelling topics. Also with Debbie at Dare 2 Hear, Random-osity for Little Things Thursdays, My Little Tablespoon and Laughing My Abs Off for their Fab Finds Friday, Anita Ojeda for Inspire Me Monday, A Jar Full of Marigolds for Selah, A Glimpse of our Life for Scripture and a Snapshot, Peabea Photography for Sunday Scripture Blessings, Char at Trekking Thru, Abounding Grace for Gracefull Tuesday, Meghan Weyerbacher for Tea and Word, and It’s a Small Town Life for Thankful Thursday.