Blog 4 Peace for Ukraine

A pear tree in Yampil

Yampil is a small town in the Sumy Region in Chernihiv Oblast, North east Ukraine. This town was the home of my Mother from 1934- 1942.

This church built in 2004 which my mother never saw. I wonder if it still stands? We saw a lot of people evacuating from Sumy in this invasion of Ukraine 2022. The church stands at the end of Kirov Street where my mother once lived.

There is a very old withered, but still erect and producing pear tree in Yampil. It stands on the corner of a half-acre property at a fork of Kirov & School Streets.

At the beginning of the 2nd world war this spot was safe but after Hitler’s army invaded Poland and then crossed over the border into Ukraine all hell broke out!

My mother recalled that whenever the shelling started and the German tanks rolled through, her family would run for shelter in the underground vegetable cellar. Every house in the outer villages and small towns had a cellar to preserve vegetables and meat and pickles. Often these cellars weren’t under the house they were dug in the garden.

This is the land where the family house stood. Image taken 2010

On one particular night sometime in1941 the family sat tight in the cellar. My grandmother Olena suddenly cried out “where is Motya”? One of her daughters was missing!! All became distressed!!

When the shelling and noise subsided they all ran outside looking for Motya!!

To their relief – they found her sitting in the top of the pear tree. Nobody knew wether to laugh or cry. I think my mother told me this to demonstrate how brave and sometimes very naughty her younger sister was. She was my role model- a spunky lady!!

We were lucky to find that pear tree when we visited Yampil in 2010

Kirov & School Street image 2010
These daisies were growing on my grandmothers land in Yampil. Image 2010.

Travel discoveries bring reality to ones heritage

My mother on School Street – 1938 carrying water from street well!
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