Friday, December 5, 2008

our trip to Sweden

I forget what year it was when I decided the children had to meet their grandmother before it was too late. I asked Sam if this was the summer we could afford to go. he informed me that the two most important weeks in the furniture business happened during the summer. He had to attend the furniture week in Chicago and one in San Francisco, and I would have to go without him. And yes, we could afford it. I got in touch with my mother and she said 'Yes, she would love it if we came.'

I spoke to my friend, the realtor, and asked if she could rent our house for three months. She said maybe. then I asked if Sam would agree to live in the largest of our guest houses. He said 'what a great idea.' It would then be much easier to afford the trip. And he said he would travel a lot farther in his territory and business would grow and improve. I had three months to get the house ready for strangers, I would get the guest house ready for Sam to live in, and I would pack for our trip. Little did I expect that to be so difficult.

There were private things that would be locked into one of the little guest houses. And Sam had to have a bed with bedclothes, he had to have cooking equipment, he had to have one of our TVs. When I think of all the hard labor I wonder how I survived. I was tired but felt I could revive on the long flight. We left on a Monday morning and on Sunday afternoon before leaving, Gilbert broke his wrist while swinging on a rope over the creek. We drove to Kaiser in Walnut Creek and they set the askew bones and said for him to try to hold the arm elevated till the next day when he should be seen by an orthopede to check that there was not too much swelling in the arm.

So we got aboard a SAS plane in Los Angeles after having flown from Oakland to LA. I was so exhausted I thought I would not be able to hold myself together much longer. The girls slept most of the way across the Atlantic and Gilbert and I tried to. When we arrived in Kopenhamn we rented a volkswagen and since I had never driven a car with a stick-shift we jumped through the city. Gilbert was so embarrassed. We drove to Elsinore and got on a ferry and then headed North to Viken where I grew up. We drove past a beautiful spot and saw spires and flags and Anna said: What's that. I said that was the King's summer Palace and when the flags were flying, it meant the King was in residence. Anna said, 'I have never met a real live King. I would like to meet him.' I said, because I was exhausted, 'write him a letter'. And then I forgot it. We got to Viken and I unloaded the car and the children and then turned around to go back to the city, Helsingborg where the hospital was. There we waited and waited and when we finally saw the doctor he said the arm was OK but come back tomorrow and we will take an X-ray. And so we drove out to Viken again and both Gilbert and I fell into bed and slept until 4.30 am. to be continued


Emiana said...

It's wonderful to see your and S's portraits.

Foreshadowing of a visit with the King??!!! I can't wait to read about this and other memories from your visit.

Anonymous said...

G: Beautiful picture of your children - I used to wear my hair in those kinds of braids too. We have been waiting for this story- loved the part about the VW, I can relate since my father insisted I learn to drive a stick shift for the amusement of our neighbors - I think - not fun!!! Thanks for the wonderful stories!!!

M & K

Joanna said...

To be continued??? How cruel! :)

Anonymous said...

Love your stories!! Thank-you so much for sharing your life with us. Is Gilbert Shreve's father?