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Beyond the Lone Islands

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

A Bit of Family History

After looking at my blog pictures of the Town Hall centenary (see previous post), my aunt pointed out to me that my maternal grandmother, back in the 1920’s, worked as a secretary in this very building.
This is a photo of my grandmother at work.  Thought it might be fun to include that here, since you have already been shown the building!

I borrowed my aunt’s family album a couple of years ago and quick-copied some of the photos and notes in it using my digital camera. So my copies aren’t top quality. The ones I’m showing here I have tried to edit a little using Picasa, to make them sharper; and adding new frames in Windows Live Writer. 


Here’s another photo of my grandmother from the 1920s which I like.
I asked my aunt if she knew any details about the car, but unfortunately she doesn’t. If any old car enthusiast among my readers has an idea about what kind of car it is, please comment!
Wedding picture from 1928.

A fun piece of family history is that my maternal grandparents got to know each other by a newspaper ad leading to correspondence between them using shorthand/stenography!

My grandfather was from the north of Sweden, and in his youth worked at a sawmill up there; but went on to study to become a teacher (and later in life headmaster). My grandmother lived down here in the south. When my mother was born the family was living up north; but a year or so after that they moved down here.

My grandmother died when I was 6 years old, only a few months before my brother and my oldest cousin were born (my cousin just before Christmas and my brother three weeks later). So I’m the only grandchild to have some memories of my own of my grandmother.
(My grandfather later remarried.)

In a interview from another blogger about a year ago, I shared a childhood memory that included this set of grandparents. I decided to repeat it here, and include a picture that I did not have back then:
What is your favourite childhood memory?
Some people seem to have their childhood all sorted out in a series of stories. For me it's more like scattered snapshot images and I think they often involve something that seemed a bit unusual or new to me at the time. Quite a few early images are connected with visits to other people's houses.

The surroundings where my maternal grandparents lived changed dramatically while I was growing up. When I was little, their house was one of just two in otherwise rural surroundings, with a view overlooking fields with cows and haystacks. As I grew older, the town kept coming closer and closer - blocks of flats towering up in the late 60's and early 70's, shopping centres and villas added, until the house my grandfather built back in the 30's was just one among many other houses in a suburban street.
An old photo of the view from my grandparents’ house (sent to me by my aunt). This is what it looked like in my early childhood. Since the 70s the view is quite different – actually reminding a bit of Lars Lerin’s suburban paintings that I just recently showed in another blogpost…

Other people own that house now since many years back. But whenever I am in that neighbourhood, a series of memory snapshots from the late 50's or very early 60's pop up in my head. Me walking with my grandfather over the fields on a sunny summer day, with an old-fashioned metal milk can, to fetch milk directly from a farm in the neighbourhood - "straight from the cows". (This was unusual to me, because in town, the milk in those days came in brown glass bottles with soft metal caps on top.) Opening wooden gates and shutting them. Stopping to pick wild strawberries. On the farm, two huge carthorses inside the stable (I see them from behind, standing in their boxes, towering up high above me - it's dark inside the stable with just some light coming in through the open door). My grandmother (who died when I was six) in their big kitchen, skimming the cream off the milk in a bowl on the workbench by the window overlooking the front garden. Tasting the lukewarm milk - I didn't much like it. Grandma making small pancakes in a special iron on the stove - no one else I knew made those. (My parents are not in the picture, I guess they had gone on a short summer holiday on their own and left me with Grandma and Grandpa.)


Ginny said...

What a wonderful, and nostalgic post. Children who miss having their grandparents miss out on such a big and important part of life, because there is really no other person who will relate to them in the same way. these pictures are priceless! The old hayshocks look so totally different from the round modern ones of today. And the wedding picture is amazing. It all looks so very serious. The little crown on her head must have been in fashion then, I've not seen that even in very old pictures. She seems to be wearing glasses in the wedding photo, but not later in the workplace one? You are blessed that at such a young age as six, you still have memories of her.

GB said...

I always enjoy reading your reminiscences. This one is no exception. There is something about the lives of 'ordinary' people that I find more fascinating than the often manufactured lives of celebrities.

jeannette stgermain said...

Lovely Photos, Monika! I love the one with the old car -magnificent! And your last pic -I see that the wheat is arranged differently to dry than they used to in Holland ad Germany.
That is one thing I don't like about our modern times, there is not much too look at when you see square packaged things in the landscape!

Sandra said...

my memories are like yours, snapshots here and there. my favorite one is my grandfather owned a motel in Florida. we were 3 hours drive away. the biggest thrill was for mother to drive my brother and i to granddaddies motel and we got to sleep in small cabins and the resuturatn we could eat whatever we wanted because it was FREE. he would NOT let me have TWO milk shakes in a row. I could never understand why.


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