Wednesday, September 7, 2011


Around 1930, there was a building fire North of Viken. It was a big two story house which looked as though it was made of cement. Our house on the beach, directly below the church, was close enough that we could hear all the emergency vehicles hurrying to save the burning house. It was owned by a wealthy seafarer. His wife and grown daughter were told to go to a neighbor's house. The fire was soon taken care of and the only sign of it the next morning were black streaks sweeping out the window of the daughter's upstairs bedroom.
Nothing like this had ever happened before, during my ten or twelve years of living there. It affected my life seriously. We four children were constantly warned of the danger of fire. At Christmas time we had real candles in our tree. During the school Christmas party we danced around a giant tree festooned with hundreds of real, lit, candles. When the last Christmas party (the 6th of January) was held in our house all our friends were invited and we got to share the candies and cookies that had decorated the tree during the holidays. Then we grabbed the tree and danced through all the rooms, and finally opened the front door and threw the tree out in the snow. And with this we had never heard about a fire around Christmas time. Our trees were of course greener and less flammable.
You may ask, why did the fire in the big house affect you so seriously. I don't know enough about Psychology but for the rest of my life I walked around with so much guilt. I had never been in the house with the fire but never looked at the streaks of black around that window. Even after WWII when Sam and I walked around Viken I never looked in that direction. In 1960 when I showed my children where I had grown up, I never showed them the house . I think my mother had imprinted in my brain that I was So Bad. The fire must have been my fault.


Kelly said...

It's heartbreaking that your mother made you feel that way. I'm sorry.

hello haha narf said...

awful that you somehow accepted that the fire was a result of your behavior. i simply cannot fathom why a mother do that to her child.

weeder1 said...

Oh how sad! But you rose through all that negative stuff your mother piled on you and turned into a sweet, loving and delightful woman and mother yourself. "Living well is the best revenge!"

spirou said...

Some people live to punish. Punishment is their lifestyle
one must feel pain and be reduced to nothing in order to comply with their madness . It's a very European religious way of thinking. Your mother was very ill, I feel sorry for her, she only enjoyed pain and tormenting others. But out of that you came out a fabulous person and enjoyed life despite her teachings.

Anonymous said...

so how did you turn out so well?