Our Czechs (Moravians) are about to experience their first of the three Christmases Hugo Chotek referred to in his title!
Our exclusive translation continues from the 1921 edition of the wonderful Czech-American annual journal, Amerikán Národní Kalendář!
Continue with us now and enjoy this wonderful look at the lives of some Czech immigrants in 1850s America.
Amerikán Národní Kalendář
Volume: XLIV, Year: 1921, Pages 154-168
A Page from the Lives of American Czechs from the Fifties
Written by Hugo Chotek
Translated by Layne Pierce and Mila Saskova-Pierce
©Onward To Our Past®
“The Day of Christmas Eve arrived. Standing on the Bláha section was a voluminous, but also sturdy cabin between strong trees, in which Mrs. Bláhová together with her daughter, and with the help of Marie Lešovská were cooking from early morning. They were boiling, baking and frying to the point that the aroma of the food was wafting into the distant prairie. Vojtěch was a true omnipresent fellow. He was bringing water. He was chopping and bringing wood. He helped in the kitchen and also outside. — Mostly, however, he found work in the space where his fiancée Anna was. It was visible on him that he felt unspeakably happy, since from his face there exuded a whole sea of happiness. He knew that he was close to the ardently expected joy. He knew that in several days Anna would be completely his.
And Anna too was happy, since she became convinced that the two year-long separation did not diminish the ardent intensity of her first and affectionate love. To the contrary, it had built it up into a powerful flame and in her own happiness she did not see anything unusual in the behavior of her beloved. “He loves me and he is happy whenever I am close to him and if he can help me,” she thought.
Around nine o’clock old Lešovský came bringing the last load of furniture and pine branches for the decoration of the temporary supper place and he did not forget to bring with him also a nice Christmas tree.
“Probably we will have bad weather tonight,” he said.
“Oh I wouldn’t think that,” opined Bláha. “After all the skies are blue and clear and it as warm here as our country in May.”
“Well, exactly because of that,” advised the experienced settler,” because it is so hot and so stifling, we can expect an early change. I would not be surprised at all, if within six hours we would be overcome by a strong northern wind. It is good that we made the cabin quite sturdy.” He turned then to Mrs. Bláhová and to the girls and he added: “Hm, and what about you house ladies, how far have you gotten with your culinary arts? Hurry up, and get done soon, since you will have to help us decorate and beautify our dining room and prepare the tree. I am truly curious what the little Anna will give me for Christmas!”
The young girl gave him a merry answer and during the general amusement, jokes and laughter, which did not slow down the work, the noon came. The weather, meanwhile changed somewhat. Even though the skies were still clear, the air was quite hot and heavy as lead, so that a person was sweating doing nothing. After the third hour there appeared on the north horizon a black dot that was approaching and growing with an unbelievable speed. At the same time there was rustling, and a roaring sound from the north, as if it were the noise of thousands of mighty wings that increased in intensity and grew with every second.”
Continue with us tomorrow as we experience the severity of winter visiting our Czech immigrants back in 1850!
Onward To Our Past®