Monday, December 15, 2008


Before beginning on the next chapter= Anon asked about Mother''s mental health. She was one of the most intelligent people I have ever known. She was up on world history, and the state of the world. She was strong physically and into her late eighties could work circles around an average human. I began writing her memoir from the time she knew she was pregnant with me and the first days after she came home from the hospital. (things she told me and things others told me) Anon also asked about my relationship with my father. He died at sea when I was ten or eleven. He was a captain in the Merchant Marine and came home for vacation every other year or year and a half.

The reason my mother gave for having nailed the cellar door was that it wasn't safe to go down there for there was a broken bearing beam holding up the kitchen. I asked her why she had not told me, never got an answer.

The whole trip was not miserable. We all made friends and the children were honestly happy and were surprised when I related some of the worst stories to Sam when we got home. At one time I was about five minutes away from deciding to go to Norway, to finish our trip there. But Sam said when I called him: Keep a stiff upper lip, and stay as planned.

One day the children and I were returning from the harbor when we ran into a tripod in the middle of the street, with a Hasselblad Camera ready for taking a picture of the church spire which looked denuded. The Cross was down for repair. Along came a man who told us he was there for the summer, on vacation from being a teacher at Lund University. We talked and I told him the Cathedral in Lund was one of our future visits. He said the Cathedral is being restored and the public can not see it. What a disappointment. But then he said: In exchange for a ride to Lund, I will take you and the children for a tour.

So the following week, he in the passenger seat, I in the driver's seat, and three children in the back,(Jane was too young) took off for a fabulous history lesson. He knew every bend in the road. Look to the left. Do you see that farm house? There the Danes killed fourteen Swedes on June 12 in the war of so and so. Next corner the Swedes got even and so it went the whole way. The children were bored ( his English was hard for me to understand even, and with the children making noises, I missed a lot.) I wish it could have been filmed an taped. He was fabulous.

He told me the reason he had to go to Lund was so he could buy his ration of liquor. He had to have his Motbook in order to buy snaps. I don't quite understand. If you did not have money in the bank, you could not have a Motbook. It was a very undemocratic way of rationing. Meant that if you had money, you could afford to get drunk. This system has been changed. But I remember when Sam came to Sweden in 1945 he borrowed my uncles Motbook.

When we got to Lund he took us to his favorite Conditorie. There he told us all to have what we would like and the children (and I ) were in 7th Heaven. It was a fabulous day. When the children got noisy in the car and I tried to shuss them, he said: Don't do that. Don't kill that wonderful American lust for life.

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