When the Graur women returned, they had to work hard to get by and survive the winters, occasionally being oppressed by their own neighbors.

Ana recalls, “Winter approached and we didn’t have any boots. My mother thought to go to Nicolea Lis, the one who bought our sheep [when they were taken from us when we were deported], to ask him for some wool to make our shoes with. But she got herself into a fine mess! She entered the yard, she bid them good-day, and Mrs. Grafira asked her the reason for her visit. My mother kindly asked her for some wool to make slippers for the girls, but Grafira snapped at my mother, telling her that she should keep out of her yard, because she payed for those sheep. And then, [as she cursed our mother], she let their dog loose on her. By the time mother walked out the gate, the dog had bitten her leg. So with a heart full of sorrow and a bleeding leg, she went to Alexei Conovali’s home (a neighbor at the time) and his wife, Mrs. Olga, put a cold Romanian coin on her wound and bound her leg with a scarf. My poor mother came home limping. It was very painful for us. However, we swallowed this bitter pill and moved forward.”

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