I spent the morning worshiping the porcelain god. My poor grandma-ish lifestyle couldn't handle the smoke, shots, and 4 am bed time. AH's mom had to listen to me all morning while she and SC played quietly in the living room while letting the girls rest from the night before. So is life I guess.. pretty sure the appropriate saying for last night is YOLO. Between getting sick and sleeping in, I didn't make it out of the bedroom until around 10:30AM.
After forcing down a piece of plain bread and trying not to get sick while watching everyone drink coffee, we headed over to Babea's house for a morning of working on things for the wedding! AH's grandma greeted us at the door with kisses and lots of Czech I didn't understand. She was petting my face and speaking very quickly to me. AH said she was asking me if I was feeling ok, because, apparently, AH's mom told her I was getting sick all morning. Totally feeling like a dumb American who can't hold my liquor. She then spoke again, well, Babae is pretty much constantly speaking. But AH told me that she was saying my sickness was probably from all the cigarette smoke, I had to agree a bit.
Babae took me by the arm and led me around her modest apartment. She has lived there for around 50 years, moving there with her husband because of the near by military base in the town. She had a sense of pride in her eyes when she was showing me around and talking in Czech about her life. AH lightly translated that she was the youngest of 7 children and that she is currently working as a cleaner at a local hardware store. Still has a job, at 85 years old, I've always heard the key to staying alive is to keep moving! Her husband died a few years ago.. 6 or 7.. and there were pictures of him on the table in her kitchen. Babae brought us two pairs of slippers while we were busy working on wedding things, saying she didn't want our feet to get cold. AH said we didn't need them, but you just do what Babae says. We worked hard for a few hours with Babae fluttering around, never missing a beat. She was so helpful and wanted to be involved. She made us Turkish coffee and gave us a huge plate of cookies, expecting us to eat them all.. we did without hesitation. When at Babae's, eat what's in front of you, and eat it all.
She made us lunch, a traditional Slovakian meal, Haluski. Haluski is cabbage, ham, and gnocchi. Apparently Babae always goes to the store and gets ingredients for Haluski when she knows AH is going to be in town. We ate at the table while she continued to work tirelessly on things for the wedding. With our full bellies in her cold kitchen (glad she made us wear those slippers after all) we were just finishing our work for the day when SC and AH's mom came in! Babae just lit up when she saw her great grandson, and he did the same for her. Lots of giggles, smiles, and yelling 'Babae!!'. She offered us some chocolate cake and I said that I would 'take a piece'. She proceeds to cut an entire loaf of chocolate cake and sits it down in front of me. The saying 'when at Babae's, eat what's in front of you, and eat it all' was a little frightening. I had my one piece and gave AH the eyes of 'help me eat this dang cake!!'. Of course little SC helped out and by the time it was time to go we had polished off 5 out of the 10 pieces (they were quite small). Babae gave me a look like I was supposed to eat them right then and there and I told her I couldn't! So, she wrapped them all up for us and sent us on our way with lots of kisses and face petting. You guys, I could totally get used to the face petting here.
I can't wait to party hard with Babae at the wedding. She told me she loves beer, so we are basically best friends. But really, I just can't wait to spend a little more time with her! She is such a fire cracker and I loved every minute of my day with her! Thank you Babae for giving me an unforgettable 'true Czech experience' at your house today. It meant the world to me, and I will cherish it always.