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.