Pomaly

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On the evening of the first formal dinner on The Splendor of the Seas, I was pulling on my compression stockings, which are difficult to get on any time, but right after a shower and in the confines of our somewhat narrow cabin it was even more of a chore. Once they were on, I found that there was a narrow line around each ankle which would require further tugging to prevent the fabric from leaving an irritating ring around the ankle for the duration of the evening. After the stocking struggle I found that the half-slip I brought along was longer than the dress, so I managed to hoist the slip up right under my arms which solved that problem, but I did mumble something about being such a Baba (old lady or grandmother) which set my roommate giggling remembering the word from her own early family life. Before we actually headed out to the dining room she asked me how I was doing and I responded, pomaly which in Slovak means slowly. Her family background includes Polish, and I have found that a number of words are similar if not exactly the same.

When I was a young child I recall my maternal grandmother’s next door neighbor saying pomaly when asked how he was. I remember thinking that slowly was a peculiar answer to how one was doing until I became a senior citizen and now I understand very well, how suitable that answer is at this age.

I recently read a story in which the author spoke of being from a family of winter people, in Latvia on the 57th parallel. The word describing them was very close to the Slovak, Zima which means winter or outdoor cold. While I thought my family were also winter people, we are at the much lower latitude of 41 degrees. Still considered north and still cold every winter, but not up there like Alaska or Latvia.

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