Slava and Vasyl were married seven years ago. They have no children, but have a large farm — two horses, a cow, one piglet, forty rabbits, ducks, geese and chickens. They live in the village Chishky, which is located 70 kilometers north east from the city Lviv, close to the Olesko Castle. When the weather is good you can see the castle from their yard.
Farms like these are almost gone in the countryside. They are expensive to run, the work is difficult and some say that they are no longer necessary. Fewer than 100 people live in the village, mostly elderly, and they get most of their food from small shops.
The houses in the village are located along one wide paved street. Twice a day a bus runs through the village, connecting it to the outside world. Many houses are wastelands — windows with broken glass, warped doors and an oppressive silence. In contrast, at Slava and Vasyl’s home the fruit trees are blooming — apricot, apple and cherry.
At the entrance visitors are greated by iron figurines of a stork and chicks and a huge bush of red roses. The flowers are still small, as it is early spring, but the warm spring sun will change that in the coming days. Easter is soon and the preparations have started.
Slava, like many housewives in the village, traditionally bakes Easter cakes on Thursday. The baking process takes the entire day. First, you must knead the dough. Wait until it rises. Then place it in the forms and bake in the oven.
Most modern housewives prefer to bake bread in the oven, not on the stovetop. Moreover, it doesn’t matter where these housewives come from — whether they live in town or in the countryside. Vasyl says, that his mother still bakes cakes according to the old tradition. This way the bread becomes lush and fragrant. Vasyl’s mother is in her nineties.
Slava needs a lot of Easter bread — to give to children, to neighbors and to share with family and friends. And she needs to concentrate and work silently to maintain a good mood. Easter is close….
Easter is close….
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