Once upon a time, there was a grandmother who lived a peaceful life in her village Olesnic. One day she received a letter from her daughter Theresa asking her to move
in with her family. Grandmother came and devoted herself to baking and housekeeping. The children liked her very much and carefully listened to her stories and advice.
Grandmother got up at four in the summer and at five in the winter. She prayed, spun on
a spinning wheel and sang folk songs. She also fed the animals every morning. After breakfast, she went for walks with the children in warm weather. They collected herbs, which they then dried.
Behind The Old Bleachery, the house of the Proshek family, was an extensive orchard.
In front of the house was a nice yard with a majestic linden tree in the middle and a bench under it, where Grandma often sat with the children.
On Sundays, Grandma went to early Mass and did not wake the children.
The children were most looking forward to the afternoon, when they would visit the mill. In the early evening, peasants came to the mill.
Grandma told them a story about how once the grandmother was a young girl and she was sitting on a stump until a young gentleman came to her. He had some kind of magic pipe and handed it to her to look into the distance. The young man was the Emperor Joseph and he gave her a silver coin.
Once, on a beautiful day, Grandma and her grandchildren met the Princess on a walk. They had a warm conversation with her. The grandchildren and their Grandmother were invited to the castle.
The gamekeeper filled up his pipe and started mentioning Victorka. She was the daughter of a peasant from Zernov. She was charming
and beautiful. A soldier fell in love with her, eventually she disappeared with him and never returned home.
The gamekeeper continued talking about Victorka. She lived in the woods for up to fifteen years and was found by shepherds. She sang about a dead child and was very strange. The children dressed up for the visit to the castle. Mr Proshek brought them there. The visit was excellent, everyone had fun. The Princess liked Grandma Madeline very much.
An annual event at The Old Bleachery was the Feast of the Corpus Christi. Mr. Proshek took the whole family to mass and later to the beautiful parade around the square. The family celebrated at home, the neighbours, the miller and his family and even the Princess came.
Before winter came, all the swallows flew away and everything was sad. In the fall, Grandma usually spent long hours spinning on the spinning wheel and the children listened to the stories she told them while working. Before Christmas Day, Grandmother’s son Caspar appeared in The Old Bleachery. She was moved to tears. It was
a beautiful Christmas Eve. Before long, winter was replaced by spring.
The snow from the high mountains melted quickly and caused ugly floods that destroyed people´s gardens, yards and partly houses. Luckily, no one was hurt and the water receded after a few days. After a long winter break the kids went back to school again and always had fun with their Grandma in the afternoon.
An unpleasant letter arrived from Vienna in May. The father announced they would not be returning home soon because Countess Hortense had fallen ill and they needed to postpone the trip. Theresa and the whole family were really sad.
Grandma was thinking about her youth times.
There was a great mood again at The Old Bleachery when Mr. Beyer arrived with his son Orel. Adelka liked the boy very much.
Mr. Proshek finally returned in August. Grandma received the letter from her daughter Johanna who wrote her news about her fiancee George. Later, Hortense showed Grandma her drawings from a long trip.
Hortense wanted to paint Grandmother. Later, Grandmother explained to the Princess, that Hortense is sad because she misses the young man she knew in Vienna.
A violent summer storm broke out, Mr. Proshek went to check the surroundings of the house and spotted Victorka on the hillside under a tree. Later, she was found dead. Not long after the harvest, the Princess and Hortense left for Italy.
Grandmother became very respected in the valley and young girls came to her for advice and help. When she died, everyone cried.
She was an extraordinary woman.