Dwelling on the beauty of Imotski

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I am a stranger in a town I once thought was a slice of heaven on earth. Going back to Runović in Imotski was surreal and humbling.

As I pull up to my grandparents house I am struck with the reality that their is no one waiting for me.

All that waits is a house filled with memories.

“A person’s worth is measured by the worth of what he values” – Marcus Aurelius

Grandparent’s House with their grapes covering the patio.
The front yard, porch and water well.
The well my grandmother used to pull water from.
The yummy grapes that hang overhead.

The moment I walked into the house, my heart was filled with joy. Even though their is no one living in the house, it still has the imprint of family.

I turned on the radio, opened all the windows, grabbed a broom, cracked open a beer and strarted freshening up.

I could hear their laughter as I struggled to kill a few spiders. I could smell them as I dusted off their shoes, and straightened the pictures hanging on the walls.

I was happy being alone with the memories of my grandparents. I finally felt like I was home.

“Nowhere can a man find a quieter or more untroubled retreat than in his own soul” -Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

The rest of the day I spent with family and friends. I got to play Balote (Bocce Ball) with the guys in the hills.

My Cousin Petar (on the left with his shirt open and unbuttoned) He made a bbq in the hills, brought a bunch of wine and beer and had a bunch of friends come hang out and play Balote.
Playing Balote in Runović. I was the only girl.
The winning shot. Don’t think I will be invited to play anytime soon. No one likes losing to a girl.

It was fun hanging out with my cousin, my brother-in-law and all the guys, but I had other places to go and people to see.

I was nervous heading into town.

The last time I went into town alone, was when my grandfather passed away. I didn’t want to relive that experience.

It was time to make new memories.

A door aged and weathered, yet no less beautiful.
The road not taken, is as significant as the one we choose to take.  No idea on where they lead to, just that they look pretty.
Fortress Topana in Imotski
Doors into the Fortess. Is it wrong that I secretly want these on my house?


“Look back over the past, with its changing empires that rose and fell, and you can forsee the future too.” – Marcus Aurelius

As evening drew, I made one final stop.

The Bago’s house.

These people are incredible. Although we may not be related, to me they are family.

They have always been a so loving, kind and funny.

I couldn’t think of a better group of people to end my day with.


anamarija i ja
Me (Left) and  beautiful Anamarija (Right) Yikes,I look like a swollen chipmunk. This lightening is not working for me. 


View from Bago’s House. Are you seeing this? Breathtaking.
One of my favorite people of all time. Zdenko Bago !
Not sure why we are so shiny, or why we look like aliens..MEH oh well.
Teta Zdenka. 
My Cousin Petra..She’s so stunning!
Petar couldn’t be any nicer. I love this guy like a brother. His wife Ivana is equally special and awesome.

I did something bold by allowing life to suprise me.

I came away more grateful for the acts of kindness people unconditionally give.

Life is fleeting, but it doesn’t have to be somber.

I may not have my grandparents waiting for me when I go home, but I still have a home to go back to. And that is priceless. 

Mara Vranješ



  1. Hi Maramara we communcicated during the summer about Irwin Grygienc, my Uncle, and his plane that was shot down during World War II in Imotski in Red Lake. You had stated that your were going to see if you could find out any more information during your trip home. I look forward to your communication and any information that your may have come across. Thank you LuAnne

    Liked by 1 person

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