Tuesday, July 31, 2007


We're out of apartment now. Spent the whole day moving the rest of the things left to Karen's house, cleaning the apartment. What an exhausting day!!!!!!!!

Tomorrow we'll see our banker at Citibank about the account in Poland.

Talked with the Doma general manager here in Chicago but he couldn't do anything about our box problem. It has to wait until we arrive there Friday. Getting an apartment will be the first step in the resolution and then we'll see what happens from there.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Goodbye 23" Screen

Sunday night and time to dismantle my computer. I'm gonna miss this 23" screen. We moved out more stuff from our house and went to visit our friend Krystyna's for our goodbye to her.

I'll still have access to the Internet via Joan's daughter Karen's computer at her house but now it's time to delete every personal item I have on this computer and restore it back to it's original state for someone to buy. Today we threw out our microwave, ironing board, shelving, packed our bags of all remaining clothing, toiletries and prepared for our move to Karen's house for the last 2 days.

Tomorrow, Monday, I will rent a van and move the remaining "stuff" to Karen's house. We still have some small things to do before we exit our apartment for the last time but I think we are ready.

3 more days and we'll be leaving. I can't believe it. We have gone through a lot in preparation for this move and only the box issue has presented a big problem for us. I think we have prepared well but only in Poland will we know if my preperations were correct.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Stressed Out 2

I recieved an email from cousins Luka and Krzysztof. With their help it is clear what we must do to have our boxes released.
Hi, David! It is too late for IM, but i have to write news i have for you. Krzysztof was calling to me today afternoon and he said: - he called to Warsaw and they told him - they have 14 your boxes for Marek's Paluch name and 9 boxes for mine name (Małgorzata or Luka Paluch?). They have 23 boxes and those 17 next probably will come soon if you sent them for different names or in different days. -they said also - these boxes will be waiting for your arrival with none or minimal costs of stocking them, but you should have with you any documents which say that you were living in US last year, it may be your phone bills from all last year, or for example bills of renting the flat in US, or for gas , one kind of them. It will show you really have lived in US last year. - the second is: you should have register's paper in Poland, that you live somewhere, so you should rent any flat soon and than to receive NIP number, it is the number - indyvidual TAX identificator - you are able to receive it in the office where you will be have renting flat-.........and then you will receive your boxes without paying any costs, they will transport them to Poznañ. The costs will be of course for their office's work , not very high, but not custom fee.
It still causes us a smaller problem because just before this mess started Joan and I went through all of our old receipts for phone, elect, gas, etc and thought there was no reason to take these paid bills to Poland and we threw them all away. Now I have to contact those company's and see if we can get the old bills. The other thing is we sent ALL of the boxes at the same time so I still am not surse where the 17 boxes are.

On a bright note, the surprise for Joan went beautifully. I took her to Chicago Friday on the pretext of seeing Chicago for the last time. I told her we would have lunch at the Westin hotel. We parked the car in front of the hotel, went in and we walked through lobby (where Sherry, her friend was waiting). You should have seen the look on Joan's face when she saw her. We brought Sherry home with us and I made a reservation at our favorite restaurant for them where they had dinner Friday night while I stayed home and packed. Saturday we took Sherry to stay at another friends house and they said goodbye. It was a wonderful, surprising event for Joan.

Today, in the afternoon, we go to Krystyna's house to say goodbye to her.

Tomorrow I dismantle the computer, pack everything left into a van I rented, and take it to Karen's house. The only thing left will be the bed. Tuesday morning I will dispose of that and then we go to Karen's where we will stay until the flight on Thursday. I'll still have Internet access through computers at Karen's house.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Stressed OUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We received an email from cousin Luka that they received a letter from Doma Shipping in Warsaw that 14 of our boxes are being held because of Polish Custom agency problems with the paperwork. The letter said they wanted a complete list of EVERYTHING in the boxes, appoximate value and place of origin. Our shipping agent said we just needed a "general" listing of what was in the boxes and that was sent with each box. The other thing is that they only mentioned 14 boxes and we shipped 40 so I don't know where the other 26 are. I called Warsaw today but with my still limited Polish I wasn't able to find out much so I asked cousin Krzysztof to call tomorrow to see if he could find the answers for us. We may have to stay in Warsaw for a few days before we get to Poznan to straighten out this mess. I'm bummed.

6 days to go and I'm stressed out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Give Away

Gave away more things today, a desk, blenders, cleaning supplies, an ergonomic chair Joan has had for a long time and set up a secret meeting for a friend of Joan's. Joan wanted to see her before we leave but her friend lives in Cleveland and it wasn't possible to make the trip. I told her friend and she is driving in to see Joan this Friday. It's going to be a surprise. I can't wait to see Joan's face.

Went to Citibank to set up the account in Poland but couldn't complete the transaction because of the time difference so we will go back tomorrow to complete the account.

8 days to go. 8 days to go.

Rediscovered the deed to some property owned by Jan and Julia Piekarczyk from Babice, Poland, home of my grandfather Piekarczyk. The deed is from 1874.

Monday, July 23, 2007

SS Check

We got our bank statement today. I was surprised to see my SS check was already in it. They said I wouldn't recieve my first check until the 4th week of July, the same time for Joan's, but I already have one for June. A nice surprise!!

Tomorrow we go back to Citibank because I learned we can have our Polish Citibank account set up here before we even get there. That will be helpful because then we can wire transfer our retirement savings to Poland for $40 and it will be there when we arrive next Friday, August 3rd.

For anyone who is thinking about moving to Poland I would suggest that you start planning at least a year ahead of time. There are a large amount of things you must have completed before you make this adventure. It will take time to acquire the documents you need. It's not just the paperwork but what to take with you and what to leave behind and how to dispose of the stuff left behind. For the last two months we have been selling and giving away the "leave behinds" and now we are down to a bed, 1 recliner, computer system. TV and antique French Desk.

Yesterday we gave away the remaining dishes, pots, pans, glasses, nightstands, table lamps and pictures to Joan's son, Joey. We're going to be building a new life in Poland of furniture, dishes, etc and that will be quite a new experieince. When we've moved in the past from one place to another we just transfered our belongings from one place to another, but this is totally different.
Here's Joan, with the family tree taken off the walls and mailed to Poland. It's a little different now sitting in the apartment, with no pictures on the walls, everything packed and shipped and knowing that in only 10 days we will be in Poland, land of my ancestors. Not as visitors this time, like before, but like my great grandfather Józef Kazmierczak when he came to America to start a completely new life. We exchange countries for different reasons. I think he came to America with his sons so they would not be forced to serve 25 years in the Russian Army, the country that occupied his part of Poland at the time and I go to Poland to know my family there, to live an easier life, if that is possible with the all the changes in Poland now. For me, I have the added comfort of a wife who is in total agreement with this idea and comes with me. For my great grandfather, his wife remained in Poland because he died before she could come to America and it is because of this that I have such a large family in Poland now. Of course, I never knew these ancestors but standing at the grave of my great grandmother Ludwika in Golina, I felt the connection.

Thursday, July 19, 2007


Two weeks from tomorrow and we're off to Poland. I've been reading from different lists I belong to about things in Poland, the gas is almost $6 a gallon now, the US dollar has been losing value for the last 10 days and prices in most areas are going up. All not good things for us. The good news is we recieved our payments from our retirement fund, received the final copy of my birth certificate and got our Citibank account together. I've been looking at apartments in Konin, about an hour west of Poznań and closer to Golina and they are somewhat cheaper to rent so we may check them out as well as Poznań. Unfortunately, money will play a role in where we live for now, there's no way around it. But either place will give us a completely new life style with the same challenges so it's not a big thing for us. Poznań, being bigger, has more to offer in cultural activities, opportunities, etc but Konin seemed as nice when we were there last in 2004. We'll see what happens once we arrive.

Friday, July 13, 2007

HP Stays!

After working with the new Vista operating system, and buying a "Windows Vista for Dummies" book, I figured out how to do the things I need on this new machine and will keep it. I probably could have gotten by with the 15" screen but the 17" is easier to read.

We're studying Polish many more hours each day now that we are retired. For the last year I've been using an Internet service, tvpolonia.com, that gives me access to Polish programs like news, music, soap opera's, talk shows and history. Some have English subtitles and I've been able to use them for listening to and learning the language. The cost is only $7 a month and it has been well worth the price. I just stopped the service for the end of July because I think we will be too busy in Poland to view it. Of course, all of those shows will be on our TV in Poland :-)

Our last 3 weekends are booked with farewells, two more "Retirement Parties" from our friends and cleaning out our apartment.

Yesterday we went to Indiana to get the long copy of my birth certificate, stopped at the cemetary where most of the relatives are, visited with an old friend, and got our last pizza from John's Pizzeria. They have a carry out service in Muenster, Indiana.

Time is passing quickly now, only 20 days to go.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Hats OFF!!!!!!

Hats off to the FBI. When the normal time for an FBI background check takes 4-5 months, with the letter I sent begging them to conduct the check quicker because we were leaving soon, today we received our clearances from them. It took less than one month and now we have all the paper work we need to file for temporary residency in Poland.

On another note, I bought an HP Pavilion laptop yesterday, with the new Windows Vista operating system and I am not at all happy with it. It has changed considerably from Windows XP and I find the changes not compatabile with what I need. I am going to work with the new system for a few days to see if I can overcome the changes but if I can't I will return it and just buy a regular PC in Poland with Windows XP.

Today Joan's daughter came with the grandkids and we went to our bank to put here on our account so that she will be able to pay whatever remaining bills we have once we leave. Things like the last electric bill, phone bill, internet bill, etc. It was great to see them all and the visit didn't last long enough. Gonna miss her and the kids but we have already put the seed of coming to Poland in their heads.

Friday, July 06, 2007

IRS returned

We received our clearance letters from the IRS today along with a letter saying we don't have to pay dual taxes on our Social Security checks because of the agreement between the U.S. and Poland. It only took two weeks to get the letter when we were told it could take 45 days. Now we are waiting for the clearance letter from the FBI that is suppose to take 4-5 months. Maybe the letter I sent with the fingerprints asking them to expedite the "investigation" will have some bearing on when we get the letter. Maybe Not.

We sold one recliner to Joan's daughter, gave away the kitchen table and chairs to her son and disposed of some shelving yesterday.

Talked with cousin Luka's husband about whether to buy a laptop here or wait until we get to Poland. I don't know a lot about laptops, except they are 40% more expenisve in Poland and I'm not sure I want a laptop. I'm used to the 23" screen monitor I have now and the thought of a 15" screen doesn't really appeal to me. Regular desktop PC's in Poland are 20% more expensive.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

July 4th, 2007

In the morning Joan's son, Joey, came and took our kitchen table, chairs and the remainng glassware from our place. Next week they will take the remaining two nights stands and lamps. We're down to 2 recliners, bed, desk, computer and TV.

Afterwards we went to Joan's daughter Karen's house and spent the 4th with them at a parade and cookout.