When I was 15 years old, I traveled to Poland with my Aunt Mary Piecuch (my father's sister). We visited our family in Ostrów Mazowiecka (in Eastern Poland) and I was fortunate to run in the Polish Olympic Games in Kraków, Poland, in July of 1977. It was still a communist country at the time, but I learned a lot of history from my extended family and cousins and it was an outstanding trip for a young girl from Cleveland, Ohio. And even though money was scarce, food and drink always seemed to be provided no matter where we traveled throughout the beautiful country of Poland/Polska.
In addition to the food and drink, my Polish relatives presented me with gifts to bring back to the States. One of my favorite gifts is this ceramic "vase" with the Kraków castle (Wawel) imprinted on it. This vase has traveled with me in every moved we've made, and most recently, I've gained an even greater appreciation for this piece because it came from my grandparents homeland. When I look at it, and use it, it reminds me of that glorious time I spent there with my Aunt and our Polish relatives.
At one point, I tried to use it as a coin collector, but then it got too heavy to lift. I then used it for rolled up posters; it kept them nice a tidy (should have hung posters on the wall, but didn't), and once it held dried flowers and peacock feathers. In the last several years, it trustfully holds my grippers in using my long-arm sewing machine. Grippers are used in a system that grips the fabric around a cylinder inside a pocket instead of pinning the quilt. (Faster to load and unload the quilts).
For far too long, I laid those grippers on the floor and stepped on a few which cracked immediately. I then decided to put the vase back to work holding the grippers and keeping them safe. Works beautifully.