Maggie M Chmiel 1 | 3 26 Aug 2013 #1Hello, first I am new to this interesting forum! My name is Maggie Maria Chmiel. I am married but kept my Polish maiden name as I didn't want to loose my identity to my family. My husband is not of Polish decent and has been supportive of me reconnecting with my heritage as it was missing in my life for a while.When I think of Poland or the Polish, I immediately think of my Grandfather, My Fathers Dad. My Grandfather was Joseph Chmiel, he was a hard working Coal miner and our family began in America in Windber, Pennsylvania. The area I grew up was a very high population of Polish immigrants who worked in the mines and steel mills etc of this area of Pennsylvania. My Grandfather had a large family with his siblings and his parents. He married my Nonna who was an Italian and my two heritages are very important to me. I was always very close to my grandfather, he was a father to me. After he died, I lost connection to his family. I was more closer to my Italian relatives it seemed, but I have wanted to learn so much more about my Grandfathers People, the Polish who I can relate to in so many ways.My Chmiel family were very proud of their Polish ancestry. One side came from Trzebnica, and the other from Poznan supposedly. Polish music played in our house regularly and the Polish food was always the best! My Great Grandmother Eleanora Czarnecki Chmiel always made Pierogies, Halupki, Kielbasa, all the good food! It was a good time in my life. As with many families,, some strife came into the family and many of us stopped communicating out of grudges and not many want to ever say sorry.... unfortunately I became bitter and distanced myself. Now that I am getting a little older I want to reconnect with my Grandfather and who he was and what he passed to me was his value of hard work and his Polish heritage. I remember him speaking Polish and teaching me the words, counting, greetings, bad words etc LOL,,, alot of that I forgot. I want to regain that again. I've been building my family tree and wanting to learn as much I can about my Polish ancestry. Is there any recommendations on how to achieve this more??I would love to hear from anyone who would share their thoughts or their Polish memories with me. I would love to be able to find relatives who are still in Poland and wonder how to go about searching information in Poland about my ancestors going back farther. I have very little understanding of the language unfortunately but am willing to learn. Thanks so much for reading this and I hope for so much in the future to understand more about my Grandfather and ME! Thanks!