Friday, August 8, 2008

1939

Sorry about the earlier post of the same name. I was sitting at my laptop looking at the page and suddenly it said:YOUR POST HAS BEEN SUCCESSFULLY PUBLISHED. I tried to retrieve it but I am not that smart. I really didn't know what to write and my laptop knew and said, stop this nonsence and get going on housecleaning. To all of you who read this blog and comment, I am so overwhelmed with the kind words you are sending my way. I feel I have a few hundred new best friends.

I arrived on the Kungsholm late August of 38 and we are just coming into the holiday seasons. I had never heard of Halloween before and loved the festivities with masks and costumes and candy. Then came Thanksgiving which was also new experiences. Had never had turkey for dinner. Nor cranberries, nor Pumpkin pie. All was exciting and sooo much work. Everything totally differentnd and so were me of the traditions concerning Christmas. I learned a lot. When New Years eve came I gave notice of my leaving to Urban. He informed me that it would take two weeks to replace me, I could leave on the 15 of Jan.

Meanwhile I feel I should tell you of a festive time I Sweden that in a way was comparable to Halloween. Comparable only in that the tradition arose from pre-christian belief in unseen powers. Ours was called VALBORGSMASSOAFTON. Happened on the evening before the first of May. Children would go from house to house singing a song welcoming spring and in our province we had huge bonfires on the beach. There were old Christmas trees and furniture that people wanted to get rid of and anything else burnable. In the olden days people were afraid of bad spirits enduring the winter and the fires and the singing drove them away.

Instead of Thanksgiving, we celebrated Martin Luther's birthday and instead of turkey dinners we had goose. And blood pudding and blood sausagee. Why, I don't know. I loved fried blood sausage.

Christmas was different in that it was so much more serious. We would sit for months working on items to give loved ones. Secrecy was important. I don't remembering buying a christmas present. And Holiday parties did not begin until Dec. 26. I felt blessed by having learne dall the new ways. But I was homesick.

18 comments:

Carmen said...

I don't have a grandma to tell me stories like this...I thank you for your memories and your willingness to write them down for all of us!

Pam said...

I wondered when you would start to feel homesick.

Have Mercy said...

Wow, this is so much fun looking forward to your post every day. I am thinking even this early in the story of you live someone should be thinking of making it into a movie!! Just like Shreve's book I can not wait to buy I would be one of the first to see this movie!! Svensto, you better go ahead and think of a name for the movie and who should play you!! Ya, good question, who would fit as the actress to act in your roll? And the others, any thoughts?? Hugs and kisses too you. XOXOXOXOXOXOXO.

.... said...

Är du svensk?

Hittade din blogg genom The Daily Coyote och tänkte att namnet Svensto lät så svenskt och sedan.... Kungsholmen och Valborg och.. jag måste fortsätta att läsa bakåt i din blogg och reda ut det här.

And if you didn´t understand a word of this, sorry!

scargosun said...

What did you miss the most about your home?


I am loving your blog! I know I said it before but it is just so great to read about someone's history. :)

Katherine Bennett said...

Who would play the young Grandma Svensto? Why, Meryl Streep, of course!

Pat Austin said...

I heart Shreve's grandma!

Thank you so much for sharing your stories! What a wonderful story teller you are!

KRS said...

Thanks so much for the memories. I love fried blood sausage - ours was sweet and had raisins in it. Who remembers the early TV show
"I Remember Mama"?

Martha Alderson said...

What a perfect last line.... makes me ache for you.... and want to hear more.

Love the stuff of the olden days....

Stacy said...

Your stories are truly wonderful & I simply love your style of telling them. I feel like we're sitting over a cuppa and giggling over silly things. You're wonderful! Thank you for writing. My Grandmom always said if everyone wrote their life stories; they'd all be best sellers. I wonder, is that cos we're such busybodies *laughs* or because we yearn to link up with our fellow beings. Can't wait to read more; you'd better be ready for a book deal!

Stacy

Evelyn said...

In my experience :) sometimes the computer just does things all by itself!!

I'm glad you decided to go to a safer place (and sounds like it might be a nicer boss)

Kate and Brett said...

Thank you so much for your stories. I come from a family that has been in America for so long that the stories of the beginning have been lost. Reading your stories makes me feel that now I can beter understand what my ancestors must have felt coming to a new country for the first time.

MJ's doghouse said...

and i told two friends and they told two friends and so on and so on....you are going to be one very busy blogger...and in high demand soon...i am so excited for tomorrow...

Leni said...

I just got back from holiday, looking forward to catching up with a weeks supply of 'Daily Coyote' which I had missed, not having internet access where I was staying, and look what was waiting for me! Shreve's grandma has a blog! And what a wonderful blog it is, too :-D

I love your story! I'm going to tell all my friends about you, Grandma Svensto. This is just wonderful! Thank you so much for sharing your story with the internet world.

Leni in the UK

Ann from Montana said...

Like everyone else I look forward to each entry...wanting to know what is going to happen, what you are going to tell next.

But, I also LOVED that you "listened" to your computer and went off to do something else for a bit! It not only made me laugh as it sounded so real, but it is a brilliant metaphor for all those times we need to "walk away" and do something else.

And apparently it helped as you DID figure out what you wanted to write!

Love from another fan! -

Allie said...

Kate and brett said that his/her family has been here so long that the old stories of emigrating over have been lost. My family is the same way.

I know my roots trace back to England, Ireland, Scotland, and Denmark, but we have been American so long... My maternal great-grandparents owned a farm in Kentucky that had been in their family for over 100 years!!

Meghan said...

You are an amazingly brave woman. I have learned something new with every one of your posts and I cannot wait to read the next.

Thank you for sharing your life with us.

Jo in Minnesota said...

I am 21 years younger than you so I can't call you Grandma, but I love your stories, too! I grew up and live in Minnesota where we had lots of Scandinavian people who made their homes here. In my neighborhood they were all my Grandmas, and were so good to me. When two were together and I was there, they wanted to say something I wasn't to hear, it was all Swedish/Norske, whatever they were speaking! So thanks for the memories, and I will keep reading as long as you keep writing!

Jo in Minnesota (also a fan of Shreve and her gang!)