Saturday, December 28, 2013

Happy New Year!

Martha, who is very organized, said that last year on New Year's Eve I expressed my wish. My wish was that I would live one more year. So here it is almost New Year's Eve and I did achieve my wish. Can all of you say that you were as successful?

New Year's is important and I'd like to wish everyone who reads my blog Happy New Year!

I was reminded this weekend how frail people are when they get older. On Christmas Eve, I went outside and with just one wrong move, I wrecked my already bad knee. If you protect someplace where you are hurting, you ruin the balance in some other parts of your body. However, now I feel fine and my knee is not much worse than it was before.

 I am happy to inform everyone that I now have a new event in my life -- I have a great grand-daughter. She is 4 months old but until I held her it was a dream. Holding her and seeing her is an entirely different event that seeing pictures and videos of her.

She's a good baby and she looks intelligent in her young age and I wish for only good things happen to her.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

What's in a Name

Before I married, my last name was Svensson. There were many in Viken with the same last name. Viken was a small village, 2200 inhabitants. A lot of us were related and some were not. Kallentin Svensson was one of my father's cousins, they were double cousins, their mothers were sisters and their fathers were brothers.

Kallentin had two children - Fritjof and Ingeborg (read Icelandic saga with that title). Ingeborg was my favorite relative of all time. She and her husband Curly (named so by my children when they met him) had two sons and legally changed their name from Johansson to Kallertin. There was someone already with the legal name Kallentin so they were denied that name.

When you go to work for the government in anyway you were seriously advised to change your last name if it ends with: sson, ssen, sen, son and sue for a new name and if someone else already had that name and if they objected, then they had to think of a new name. The government it too difficult to keep track of all the different spellings (this obviously was before computers).

Kallentin had a brother Karl who also had to take a different name than Svensson and he chose the name: Remberg. Heaven's no, I don't know why he chose that name. He was a coastal traffic officer so he had to change his name. He saved people who's ship went down. Unlike our Coast Guard, they were not armed.

Karl had as sister name Nanny. She never married, owned a weaving school and wove large pieces for churches and public buildings. I went in her studio one time and there 4 women at one loom passing the shuttle one to the other and it was a huge rug they were making. At one time I knew where it was going but I don't remember.

Her brother owned a place where you could order fence posts and gates and decors for inside or outside a house. He forged. It was a very noisy business.

The bakery was owned by a cousin of these two brothers also named Svensson and they had to change their name. They owned the bakery up by the windmill in Viken. If you wandered through the little village I could have named many, many more whose name was Svensson.

Until I married, I never thought to change my name from Svensson but I was very happy to change it to Stockton.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

World Series Time

I watched President Obama introduce the new head of the FBI, which made me think of a young man who's father was an FBI agent and my search for his name in the World Series baseball roster for the past fifty years.
My son and this young boy, the star pitcher, played on a Little League baseball team together. When it became apparent they may go all the way -- a bombshell hit. The star pitcher may not be here because his father was being transferred to Seattle and thus the team would lose their pitcher for their big World Series type play-off.
We asked the pitcher's parents if he could stay with us until our Little League season ended. They agreed, provided their son was okay with the arrangement.
It was a fun time having him with us. I remember especially scaring him witless when I cackled like witch dressed in black on Halloweeen when he was out trick-or-treating with my children.
Rather than accept his parents' offer of money for room and board, I asked the young boy to sign a contract saying: I promise if I ever pitch in a true World Series, I'll send you air and game tickets.
For years and and years and years I kept checking pitchers on rosters and never saw his name.
I'm now nearly 94. My son is nearly 70 and this young would-be pitcher must be the same age as he is. Now I've stopped checking.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

A Voice from the Past

This is in order to tell you why I've been quiet for so long. I moved from Santa Cruz to Mill Valley and am now living at the Redwoods. Life here is wonderful. We are constantly occupied and educated and there is no reason for anyone to ever be bored.

I've had a strenuous time trying to get news of my eyesight which is waning faster than I want it to. But I'm fine otherwise. I go shopping across the street to a Safeway store. I do my own cooking and I feel well.

By doctor's orders, I'm not supposed to take the local bus system but one of the bus connected to this place has walker accessibility and I can go to whatever doctor's appointments I need to or go shopping locally. Everyone here, all the staff are so unbelievably loving and caring and its a joy to live here.

For example, we were told our electricity was going to be off for two hours the other day. I was sitting in my recliner taking my afternoon nap and forgot my recliner was electrical. Suddenly, every light went off and I couldn't get up because my feet were up in air in the chair and I couldn't get them down because of my electrical recliner. I had to press the button I wear around my neck. In came a wonderful person we have who is friend to everyone. She moved a couple of things out of the way that had been blocking me and I could climb out of my chair. She said goodbye and the whole thing was over. In couple of hours the electricity went on and I put my chair in it's correct posture.

I have much joy from my cat Edgar who is here. He now has two homes, having adopted my neighbor. She leaves her screen door barely open and I do, too. If I miss him and he's been gone too long, I call Adele and she says, oh, yes he's sleeping on my bed.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Once more

Since moving here I have had a lot of trouble with three things: my computer and my two eyes. The computer became slow and dim, I became slow and dim. My eyes are not only dim, they are also distorting. If I am reading, the first one or two letters are missing from most words / difficult when I go to the store and see that Cod costs 00. Lately I have a magnifying glass with my shopping list and I catch the 9 which was missing.

I love living in Mill Valley. There are so many things to get involved with. A person named Elizabeth took the time to help me get this missive off. More later.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

The end of Blix, More about Svensto

Several readers guessed that Blix was supposed to be my mother' story.

I can tell you that my mother went to America. A new friend took my mother along to see a friend on Long Island. The name of this friend was Hilda and Hilda's home was in Viken.

Hilda was older than Blenda and had left Sweden late in the 1800 hundreds. But she was excited to meet another Viken-bo. And Hilda said, My brother is coming in a couple of weeks. Let me know how to reach you so you can come and meet him. 

Sunday, August 25, 2013


Blix felt so lonely. She did not understand herself. She had been offered a great gift and she was not sure she could accept it. I think I will go down to the grave yard and see if I can somehow reach Mother's spirit. It always made her cry when she visited the grave site. It was dalways cold and stormy near the grave yard where her Mother and all other dead relatives were burried. There were grave markers from 1500, so she could not blame the situation on any living person. Probably, the early people who chose so foolishly were Danes during one of their captures of our province. They wanted their dead beloved to be as near Denmark as possible.

When she arrived at Mother's grave, she was thankful for the bench Father had placed directly behind the large grave stone of the adjoining space. It was a large expensive stone that was also a good wind breaker. She thought of her Mother and cried. She thought of the kitten she lost when she was little and cried. And then she sat up, wiped her eyes and blew her nose. She would go to see the Blacksmith.

Malte's father had been sdo kind to her; He tried to save the kitten and when that failed he had burried the kitten out on the heath. Andd then he gave her work so she could repay him. She weeded and watered all the flowers in front of his house. And he always went next door to the bakery{the owners called it Konditory and got her a drink of water and a cakelet with whipped cream. It took her all summer to repay him and since then He was always very friendly when they met on the street' Since father retired and the family moved to Viken that happened quite often. Maybe he could help her decide.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Should she?

Blix was not sure that she wanted to become an immigrant. She loved her Aunts who always were so kind and friendly when they came home for a visit. But on the other hand, they seemed  a little odd when they spoke Swedish.

When her Uncle and Aunts had returned to Sweden in the past, their language was no longer really Swedish. Their consonants were so much heavier, the constant use of little American words, such as OK and YOU SEE, often mispronounced YA SEE became irritating.

Aunt Alma was the worst offender. She threw in You see every time she was trying to explain something and every other word was OK.  If she left for America she would make a huge effort to to keep her English English and her Swedish Swedish.

Aunt Alma had false teeth and when she came to visit at supper time, she would join us at the table, but not to eat. Instead she would read the evening paper. Suddenly she would fall asleep and her head would roll back and her teeth would fall forward. And Mother would say, Why don't you go in and lie down on one the children's bed? And Aunt Alma would say, "I wasn't asleep, I was just closing my eyes!"

And then there was the smell. Would she have to smell of Moth balls? She owned several garments made of wool. An ankle long skirt and an ankle length overcoat. Both she had inherited from Ida when she gor too tall. And she knew that the weather in New York was too hot for using these clothes in the summer. And then they had to be packed away for the summer, and that must be when the moths created havoc with wool clothes.

Blix wished she could ask her Mother for advice.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Blix's plan for her future

Blix was seventeen years old when her mother died. Everyone in the house missed her. It was such a surprise when it became evident how much of a peace maker the mother had been. Nils, the father,the teacher, the tyrant, no longer had anyone who could tame him. He suffered his loss in silence and if he cried. there was no evidence of it. Ida, the eldest child still at home, was his closest friend. I have to tell you Ida's sad story here.
When Ida was a late teenager, eighteen or nineteen, she and a young fisherman fell in love. Ida wanted to get married but her love had other plans. He wanted to go to America, to join the hordes of men    who had gold fever. He bought her an engagement ring, swore her to remain virginal and sailed away. Ida's heart ached with longing and she searched for mail. She saved all his notes and they were a small raunchy mess. When he and Ida were both 51, he returned to Sweden, married her and they sailed for America. Colorado was going to be their new home, Ida was too old for child bearing. She was still a handsome woman. He was a wreck of his former self. He had built a house for them in Colorado. Ida had lost the dream man of her youth, she loved the ocean and she could no longer see any water. But she loved the view ov the mountains.
Now Nils had four of his children living in America. He had Blix to help him run the household and Olof who was still in school. Blix and her father seldom agreed on anything and when a letter arrived from Karin and dAlma telling her that she should begin thinking of going with them when they returned to New York. Blix saw an escape for her and agreed to the plan.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

I'm here in Mill Valley and I LOVE it.

The actual move was fairly strenuous. I knew I was taking too much material but was told 'take it all. And all of you know how obedient I am. We had stuff all over the place. The man from COMCAST came and spread wires throughout while the movers were still bringing more and more THINGS in. WHAT A MESS. Then Martha pleaded with the movers to begin putting things back on the truck to take to the Salvation Army or Goodwill and they willingly did just that. And finally we were alone with our mess and Martha and Jane began hiding items in the closets and under the bed, The paintings were hung, the lamps were shaded and lit and all of a sudden this place looked like home. I'm not the only one amazed by the good looks. Everyone who enters the door, is as surprised as I am.                     i have now lived in Mill Valley one week and every day I am pleasantly surprised about something. Yesterday I discovered that I have an official Buddy who will help whenever I need help. There is also a buddy number 2 but I have not yet met her. Everything that seemed crowded the first day, now looks elegant. Jane has magic hands and can shrink things so they fit in perfectly.                                         This doesn't work for me and I will have to finish and begin a blog when I am more settled. Just wanted everyone to know I am well and happy and looking forward to a new life.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Bad News

Blick put her arms around her mother dand half carried her the few steps that were left on their journeyBlick and her mother were half way to Helsinborg when Blick noticed that her mother's breathing was labored. Blick stopped walking and holding both of her mother's hands asked: Mor, are you sure you are able to walk this far. The hospital is a long way from here. We should have asked Birger to take us. No, I will walk a little slower. I know we have to be there at 11.30, but I will make it. Lean on me, mother. Then we will both make it. And don't talk. I will hum for you.
Blick tried to not increase the speed of their walking. She was so worried. Her mother had always been so strong. Blick remembered when she had lost her cat, many years ago. Her mother had been so strong and caring when she, Blick , had been so difficult. First, she had been unable to eat anything for weeks. Then she had developed  ear aches and her mother took her to Hoganas to the doctor. Then father, who reached his sixtieth birthday was retired, and they all had to move out of the school house before the fall term began. They had lived in Alerum since Ivar was born, Six other children were born in that  place and it was difficult for all to leave.The new living area was difficult to agree on. Botilda who grew up in Helsingborg wanted to live there, but Nils wanted to live near the water and he chose Viken as their new hometown.For a couple of years they  had tried to fit in, Viken was a seafaring village. People were either fishermen families or long seafaring people who would be gone for years at a time.  Most  were on sailing ships and the trips around South America and around South Africa were often delayed by lack of wind for their sails.
Botilda and Blicck had half a block to walk and Blick put her arms around her mother's back and practically carried her mother into the hospital. Instantly a nurse saw them and rushed over with a wheelchair. Bliuck found a seat and sat down sayinng a prayer.

Sunday, May 19, 2013


Blicken said, where can I go to cry, where no one can see me. Mother frowned, thinking, and then said, The only place is in the kitchen garden. Father and I will see to it that no one will go out there. Take a pillow or a blanket and sit on the bench. You can lie down and cover yourself. But while you are trying to understand this, your poor little cat was still hurt when Malte's father had tried to get her better. She still would have had many difficulties if she had lived. And promise you will come and gat me if you need me. I will bring paper and  crayons and then you are on your own.And when you look for me, remember I will be in the cellar fixing the large crocks of lingon berries. Just open the door and call me.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

What happened

Blick ate her oatmeal slowly. She loved her daily breakfast and missed the time she had before she started School. All attention then was heaped on the older children and she could sit in and dream by her plate of mush. But suddenly she was aware of her mother being gone a long time. Where was she! Had she gone to the outhouse? She hurried finishing her meal, put her plate by the dish pan and decided to go find her.
The house was quiet. Her mother was nowhere in sight. She must be in the back of the house. Up the slight hill where the outhouse was located she saw the door open. So she knew her mother wasn't there. She must be in the school room.
She walked around the whole building. When she came to the front, the door opened and both her mother and father cam out. Blick rushed over to hug her mother's knees. Mama, I couldn't find you, and I was so worried about you.
Come with us. We will go out in the kitchen garden. We have something to tell you.
Come here. I want you to sit in my lap. What we have to tell you is not easy for us. We know how much you loved your kitten. The reason she did not wake up when you did, was because some time during the night she died from her injuries. It's alright to cry. but better it will be for you if you draw a picture for her. You can also write a letter to her. We know you do not know how to write grownup. But if you take a pencil and pretend to write, your cat will understand what you were trying to tell her. We will put it in her little box and bury it when we bury her. And come and ask for help if you need it. When you love some one as much as we love you this magic will work. Now give me a kiss. And give your father a kiss too. He will help you too.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The day after/

It had been a long day, yesterday. Blick was so tired she wanted to sit right down on the kitchen floor and cry. She was smart enough to know that would never work. She also knew the whole family was as tired as she was. There would be trouble around the corner. Were could she go to be out of the way? She had no room of her own, there were only two bedrooms in the Schoolhouse.

Blick went out in the kitchen, found her mother and asked her if she could hide somewhere and get some sleep. Don't you want to eat supper first? No , I can't eat. I know I will get in some kind of trouble if I am around. Tell people if they ask that I am around. I won't leave the school property.

Blick found her cat and walked as far away from the kitchen a d the laundry area where the lingon berries would be prepared. She clutched the cat to her and they went to the Northern most corner of the school playground. There, by moving a bench she knew she could escape discovery. It was late enough to give her a safe place to hide. She held her cat so close she could feel the little heart beat against her own heart and soon they were sound asleep. She was told the next morning that she did not wake up after midnight when her father carried he into the bedroom where she shared the bed with two of her sisters.

Next morning it was still dark when Blick woke up. She went into the kitchen where her mother was boiling the oatmeal and brewing the coffee. What can I do to help. First you have to eat. Because you missed supper, you have to eat a hearty breakfast. A bowl of oatmeal with apple sauce and milk and a slice of the bread I baked yesterday before news of lingon berries. Then you can help clean up after last nights production. Blick sat down in her chair, enjoying the aromas filling her nose. The bread was sliced and put on the table and Blick could not tell which she liked better, the smell of the fresh bread or the opened can of apple sauce. Her mother said, do you remember the day you sat in that same chair and pealed and quartered the apples you are now going to eat on your oatmeal. Blick shivered slightly as she remembered the fall day when the first snow of the season had fallen. The smell of the apples with cinnamon and brown sugar made her feel very hungry.

Have you fed your cat this morning. And given him fresh water. No, he is still asleep.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

AS stressful evening

On the outskirts of Allerum Ivar came running. 'I finished all the chores and thought I could help pushing the wheelbarrow.' When he saw t;he bandages on his father's hands, he said, sorry if I am too late. Father said: I am glad you came. You might have saved me from more blisters. If you don't mind, I think I will walk ahead and supervise doings at home.

And so now we were just two adults, me and my cat. Ivar still had a lot of strength after his water pumping, and he walked faster than father. Mother and I increased our speed too. Poor Mother, she had a lot to do before she could get to bed. She looked so tired. Ivar, when we get home we will need more water. We will have to rinse the berries after their long trip from Norrland. Luckily there is not much dust when they come across the water route. And then we have to wash all pots and utensils before we can go to bed.We have to get the big Hoganas crocks, filled with berries, down into the cellar. Maybe that can wait until tomorrow morning. Can you help with that before you go to work?

Topsy was sound asleep back in the apron .Blick's arms were tired from carrying her, but never mentioned it to her mother. She knew her mother would have said 'Here, I will carry her. Her mother was more tired than Blick, she knew. And had a lot more work waiting for her.

When they turned the corner by the church they could see the school yard and all six feet walked faster. When the gang at the school saw them, they all waved and called. Father said , when they were by the gate, Botilda, you go in and sit with your feet up until I call you. I have been part of this operation so many years, I can get us started. And Blick you go in and put the cat in her box. And find an old apron and then come and see if there are jobs for you to do. I guess the girls have already brought up our supper from the cellar. But you have to help.

When they were inside the gate, a wonderful smell reached their noses. Fried potatoes and onions. And maybe there would be fried eggs to go with the potatoes.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

The long walk.

Walking through Viken was quickly accomplished, Then there was nothing but farmland between Alerum and Viken. When they saw a small farm with nothing to be harvested Father said they could take a quick shortcut. When hands on the wheelbarrow changed, Mother and Blick walked ahead , hoping it would speed up the rest of the trip home.

Again Father was pushing the berries. The two sisters came running, catching up. Mother said: Girls, run ahead. get out the big copper kettle and pour in two or three pails of water. Rinse it clean. Meanwhile if Ivar is hole from work, ask him to lay the fire where we usually boil the white laundry. Have him help with the pump in the kitchen. Then ask him to go down in the cellar to bring up the big Hoganas crocks to be washed. If you can do all this before we get home there will be a surprise for all of you. Then Mother said : Nils, I will run the wheelbarrow while you and Blick count to two hundred.

Mother looked at the blisters in Fathers hands. Blick, come here. Let me have your apron for a few minutes. She took the hem of the apron between her teeth and gave a tear and off came the hem:'What will I wear to school, Mother?"

You can wear your Sunday apron. Father has to be careful with his hands, He can't play the violin if his hands are bad. Your old apron won't come clean with all the blood Topsy bled on it. You are almost ready to inherit Ida's clothes.

"When we get home, Blick, please put the cat in his box. See that he has water and milk nearby. Then go in the cellar and get what will be suitable for a quick supper. Ask your sisters to help you if you need help. I think we can have lingon berries for supper. Not the new ones. the berries from last year. There are just enough for all of us for dessert. I will be very busy when we get home. Then before you go to sleep I will listen to all you have to say.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

I have to thank all of you who lightened my mood.

I am so grateful to all of you who commented And remember , you need not do it again. I now know you are all out there and it makes me happy.

 Many of my old friends maybe remember how I got into the School of Physical Therapy. I had saved enough money working as a Scandinavian domestic servant. I had saved enough money for the tuition. I went to the Hospital for the Ruptured and Crippled on 42nd street in New York City. And there I met Dr. Christian Hansson. I had an idea I wanted to go to medical School in Minnesota or if I didnt have enough points for that, maybe try for Nursing School in the same University. Dr. Hansson said, I come from the same part of Sweden, I know your School there and anyone graduating from there can enter into our School of Physical Therapy. I will accept you.

Dr. Hansson became my guiding light. He felt the same thrill I did when I got 99 on my first anatomy test. He helped me get the job as head polio therapist in Nashville Tennessee, where too many children were suffering from the big epidemic. When there were only two infants left he arranged a post-graduate membership to Warm Springs Georgia. There I felt successful. Met an Officers graduate, fell in love and married. On our honey moon in New York we invited Dr. Hansson to have dinner with us
The two men found the other OK.

All this was written for a comment from Prentiss, who is looking for information about his great grandfather. if you have any questions, just ask. I owe him a lot.

Why did I stop in the middle of a sentence?

Just when I was ready to finish the Trek, my page turned dark and it said something I did not
understand from Google. I was afraid I would loose it all, so I waited for Martha, and sure enough she
knew what to do.I could not delay posting.

This is to thank all of you for being so understanding .All your kind words were so appreciated. Now I feel happy about the blog. There were some questions I wanted to respond to and I will try to do it eventually. One reader had relatives in Kalmar. The boat that delivered the berries to our area, passed by Kalmar on the way south. We called that kind of boat en SKUTA. When I grew up one could often see five or six SKUTOR lying waiting either to get unloaded or filled with whatever we had to sell the people up north. There were very few roads and very few trucks, so wind and water was the power used for transferring goods from one area to another.

I don't remember seeing large cranes doing the heavy lifting. Young men with huge muscles did the lifting/ I imagine there were even less machinery in my mother's childhood.

Historically,the windmill was built around the time my mother was a little girl. A man moved his family from Denmark to Viken and one of his daughters became my Paternal grandmother.

The Trek Back

They looked like a gang of Gypsies, moving in an irregular mass. Mother and Father, sisters Alma and Ida. Blick and her cat. The wheelbarrow with full baskets of lingonberries. It was uphill from the harbor 
to the wind milll. Less uphill to the edge of the village but  then flat over farmland all the way to Alrum. Father did the most difficult part of the trip. Others were taking short spells of pushing the wheelbarrow.

Father was panting and blowing air between his lips, long after reaching the edge of the village. Mother was insistent on not stopping and wasting time After getting home, water had to be collected for boiling the berries Fire had to be started. Supper would come after the berries were under control.

Blick was holding her cat in her apron. He seemed happy to be in such a familiar place. He had a strange collar made of sticks and yarn to keep him from licking his stitches at the end of his 2 cm. long tail. Blick wished she could stop to empty he left shoe. Sand or gravel had somehow filled the front of her inherited shoes. 

When they finally reached the school house, everybody was happy to see Ivar was home. He was the strongest of the family and there was a lot of lifting and carrying to be done.

Blick asked her mother if she could tape Topsy to her room and sing to her.

Mother said 'not yet'. first set the table and go to the cellar and get the bread, the milk, the cold cuts and 

Sunday, March 10, 2013

For all my readers

An explanation for my strange blog writing is in order. Martha, my in residence daughter, kept asking me why I no longer blogged. Finally I told her that I no longer had any readers, for no one commented.
She showed me a place where one could find out how wrong I was. And interestingly I discovered that after my blog about my grandfather punishing Blick in the outhouse, caused people to stop reading.

 That blog was criticized and it bothered me. I did not know that somebody 'up there' was checking on the content. The story is supposed to be the story of my mother and how she grew up'. I remember her talking about her childhood and her growing up years. She had one sister who was my grandfather's favorite. My mother felt she was mistreated. But from all I heard about 'Teacher Olsson, he was considered an outstanding man. His spanking my mother was his duty, and I think it hurt him as much as it hurt Blick.

I wrote a story once about the day my mother came home from 'the lying in home' (hospital) where I was born. It gave me insight on how miserable her life was. Alone with two children, and now her third one. When I meet her again I will tell her that I am sorry if I was difficult. (my father, a sea captain on on a freighter, came home every other year. He was sailing on WW1 routes which meant Africa and Asia.

Saturday, February 16, 2013


There were so many people gathered on the grassy
slope above the harbor.
Blick and her family, Mother Father, two sisters.
And the wheelbarrow.
Mr Berns, the black smith, the berry seller and two women who
also wanted to buy berries.
Everybody was talking at the same time.
Father with his strong voice spoke up:
One at a time. Mr.Berns, You first..

The horse is going to be fine. He hurt one of his legs in the
heavy wind as they came around the corner of southern
Skane. I have fitted him with a splint and if you can keep him
quiet on the way home tomorrow, he should be fine.
Mr Berns, how much do I owe you?
I will take three liter berries. What time will skutan sail.
Day break?

And then it was Father's turn. I will take 50 liters. Please
divide them equally in the two baskets. And Mr berns. How is our cat?
He only lost one of his nine lives. There was an angry infection near the
upper part of the tail. I am sorry to say that  Topsy is now tailless.

How much do I owe you, said Blick/ I have no money but I can work.
With a tiny hick up she added, there are some weeds near your front
door. I can also wash dishes.

Mr  Berrns said, Lets not talk about that now. It is going to
get dark before you get home. Let's go to get the cat.

topsy is now tailless

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


There was now a large crowd gathered on the little grassy plot above the harbor. Two or three women who were waiting for mother to get served by the berry seller. The berry seller paid no attention to mother for he wanted to speak to the blacksmith to find about his horse.Father wanted to know if Mother was ready to start for home. Blick's two sisters had to know if Blick had heard about her cat.

All were talking at the same time. Finally there was a loud voice heard.  Father said: Let's take turn speaking. I think that most important is finding out about the injured horse.

The horse is going to be fine. I have put a splint on his leg. On the return trip it would help him if you could keep him either lying down on something soft, or else tethered so that he can't move very much. The berry seller had a tear in his eye when he shook Malte's fathers hand. Then he said "How much do I owe you?"

I will take five liter berries.

Father said" My turn.  We will take 50 kilograms. Half in each basket. And then I need dto speak with Mr  Berns. We have a cat to discuss.

While this was going on Mr Berns, Father and Blick moved to the outskirts of the gathering.

Tell me, do we have a cat, or did he pass away.

The cat spent only one of his nine lives. There was an infection in the open area of his tail. I am sorry to say, he is now a tail-less cat. If you keep him clean he should recover.

Blick began crying when she tried to say Thank you. but the words came out with a hick-up. Then she said, how much do I owe you. I don't have any money, but if father will let me, I can work. There are weeds in front of your house that I could work on, or I could wash dishes if you want me to.

Father spoke up. If you are to work you are to take one of your sisters with you..

Mr. Berns said, we will figure it out later.  If you are to get home before dark, we better stop talking. Stop by on your way home. Try to keep the cat quiet on the wheelbarrow.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

At last

The road became straighter and when they saw the outline of the church they knew they would soon be at the harbor. Mother speeded up her steps and luckily the road was slightly downhill.

They passed a large empty lot. Mother had heard that all the construction gear was for a Danish man who wanted to build a wind mill at that place. As we turned left at the next corner Mother said 'guess what we will see at the next corner. THE HARBOR.

There we could make out the lingon salesman and a couple of shoppers.  There were two sailing ships tied up in the harbor. A man was walking toward the activities from the right. Mother, that is Malte's father.

Aren't you lucky. Now you will hear about Topsy.

Mr Bernd, the black smith. obviously had come to discuss something with the lingon berry salesman. They were in a deep discussion about someone named George. When they were finished, the salesman could attend to Mother's wishes and I could ask what had happened to Topsy.

Is this your mother? Let's tell her too. The  cat is healing and can go home with you, when you are through with the berries. I now have a new patient whose name is George. He and the berries came down from lingon land on that 'skuta' in the harbor. They met heavy winds and waves when they entered Oresund. The owner thinks that George has a broken leg.

Down the hill came a great crowd. It was Blick's father pushing a wheel barrow and a crowd of girls. All Blick's sisters

Friday, February 8, 2013

Don't walk so fast, mother.

Blick was almost running to keep up with her mother on the long way to the harbor. She was surprised her mother could walk so fast, for she was sort of old. And she was carrying the two large baskets. They were not heavy but uncomfortable to carry. And wait 'til they were full of lingonberries. Then they would be really heavy.

Mother, how soon can I find out about my kitty?

You will have to speak to  your father about that. It will be too late tonight to go to see him. When you go to bed tonight say a prayer that he will recover. Have you thought about how you will pay Malte's father for whatever he has done for the cat.

I have no money. but if he agrees to it, I can clean up the garden in front of their house. There are lots of weeds and junk there. And if Father lets me go that far, I could do other work for him, maybe.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Sale at the harbor

Blick, can you run down to the cellar to get the two biggest baskets. Put your gym shoes on. We have to walk fast. I will carry the baskets if you will carry my purse. But lets hurry. And go in to the class room and tell Father we are going to buy Lingonberries. And for him and Ivar to come to help us carry the berries and the sugar back home. Ask him to lay the fire in the stove and to haul up three of the largest Hoganas crocks. He will understand. This happens every time lingon berries are for sale. And then you and I will hurry as fast as we can.

Tears were coming to the surface of Blicken's eyes. No more dawdling. This is important. If we are late and the lingon berries are gone, our family will have about half of the vitamin C we need for the winter. Your sisters will be here to help with the cooking of the berries. Then you and Father can go and talk to the blacksmith.

I am so scared to talk to Father. He is big and so mean.

Hush. Don't let him hear you talk like that. He is doing what he feels is right to make you grow up to be a decent, honest woman.  Tie your eft shoe again and then let's go.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

What happened to the cat

Blick went looking for her mother after her sobbing stopped. She remembered to get a drink of  water from the pump in the kitchen sink and gave herself a quick wipe around her nose and mouth with her wet hand.

Her mother was sitting in the garden knitting on her eternal socks. Everyone in the house wore socks knitted by her. In the winter the socks went over the knees of everyone, but spring was coming  and from now on knee socks would be the style. She said"come here,Blick". I am so sorry about your cat. And I hope and pray that the blacksmith can fix him.

"Will you come with me when we go to get him?' I am so worried about him.

I really have no time for that. I think your Father better deal with that problem. You have to  remember to be more obedient.  

I didn't mean to be disobedient. I am so worried about that cat. If he dies I don't know what to do.

Just then Carlson's lur tooted.  Hush Blick. I want to hear what is for sale at the harbor.

ASll of a sudden Carlson's voice was heard saying Lingon berries for sale. 15 ore er liter

Come Blick. Let's hurry.I do not want to miss this sale. Let's get the big baskets.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Her father and the out house

Blicken and her father had a moment of silence. Blicken unbuttoned her panties and approached her father. His look was sterrn but he looked funny sitting there waiting for her.

"Do you know why you are getting a spanking?

I left the school yard without telling anyone where I was going. I love Topsy and she looked so awfu;. I thought she was dying.Malte told me his father is good with animals.  wouuld do anything  to help Topsy. And I will work for Malte's father if he can help Topsy. I can weed the little gardenin front os 'smedjan. I could wipe dishes for Malte's mother.You said we have no money for a I thought Aopsy as dying while I was holding her. There was no time to hick ups were slower but her face was b;otchy red.

He said "come here. And bend over my knees. And pull you dress up'.

She intended to not cry, No matter how much it hurt. But the sound of the twigs going through the arch before they actually hurt her, weakened her resolve slightly. When she felt the twigs on her skin she lost her brearh and out came a tremendous scream. From then on she had no control. She had no control. When her father felt the wet spot spread on his trousers, he hit her harder and harder, When he stopped she haad no feeling of how long the beating had lasted. He pushed her off his knees and examined the condition os his trousers, He walked out the door.  She had to calm herself before she could walk across the school yard. She and her mother had to go to Malte's to get Topsy.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013


The mistakes in the previous post came to me in the middle of the night. I talked of 'shears'. They probably pruned bushes and small trees with something very different than what we have now. Blick probbly took a rusty pair of seamstress scissors kept in her mother's tool drawer. Speaking of shears, I remember reading about a class of pruning 'liquid amber  maple trees', to be given on Bainbridge Island. I signed up for the class. But since I had only a rusty pair of scissors in my tool drawer, I went to the local hard ware store and asked for a 'cadilac type tool for pruning. I still have the tool in my kitchen tool drawer.

The second mistake was when her father said 'pull down your pants. Pull gives you an idea of something elastic.Nothing elastic was found in the year of 1890. The panties Bliccken was wearing were sown by her mother and had probably been worn by two or three sisters before they grew out of them. they had a waistband with a button on one end a a button hole on the other end. A lot of material was gathered unto the waist band to make room for a 'rounded' behind. Her father would have said "Unbutton. your pants. and since the button was in the back of this garment, and since her fingers were shaking, his patience must have worn thin and what happened was probably a little worse than uaual.

 I will tell you about the behind of blicken in my next post.