So I went home. I left on January 5th. Took a bus from New Paltz. Then another bus to Newark. Then a 7 1/2 plane ride. Then a 3 hour bus to Örebro. Sweden is in the middle of another record breaking winter and I was all about it.
On friday night we drove up to Goat Valley, Getingedalen, where Kajsa and Gizmo live.
An insanely gorgeous winter wonderland.
The old workshop.
The new workshop. Which also has a boutique and a garage. I did some late night "shopping" during my stay. For instance this handsome wood carrier that has already found a home by our fireplace. Handy!
We had Gizmo's home made pizza, baked in their wood burning stove. Heaven.
Idun (only the coolest dog in the world) and I ventured outside.
Idun is a fetching fool. She would run herself into a coma if you just kept throwing. The item of choice this fine day was a frisbee. I really tried to stick to the shoveled path but sometimes it would take off unexpectedly. She tried to get it once or twice but after that this is the look I got:
Really? Really. So I got it myself and then we went back inside.
Where we plonked ourselves in front of the fire to watch a movie. A Somewhat Gentle Man with Stellan Skarsgård. Entertaining.
If you go for a fika (coffee break, preferably with a baked good on the side) in a kondis (sit down pastry shop) in Sweden and you order a sandwich this is what will likely appear. Ain't she a beaut.
It's almost Semmel time! Fat tuesday is the correct day to start eating them but these days we cheat a whole lot. Semla is something that was traditionally served at the end of lent. Only bread was to be eaten during lent so people started digging holes in the bun and hiding goodies. A Semla today is a sweet bun with the top cut off. Then you dig a little hole and fill it with almond paste. Then whipped cream and you place the top back on and then sprinkle powdered sugar on it. I like it best served in a bowl with warm milk. If you follow the wiki-link as I did you will also learn that Semlan partly killed our King Adolf Predrik in 1771. So be careful.
Tuesday the 11th is the reason I came home. Grandpa Erik's funeral.
It took place in Längbro church, the church where both Kajsa and I were baptized and confirmed. We also spent many years as part of their choirs, and Erik had asked for the service to be held here.
It was a very beautiful ceremony and we all got to say a special last good bye to our dad, husband, grandpa, brother, father-in-law and uncle. We were a small party, 15, another last request from Erik, only the closest family was to attend.
Erik's little brother John (88).
We gathered at my parent's house for dinner. Erik had asked to be here after the ceremony. He considered Flugis his second home.
My sister Kajsa.
Grandma Annalisa with her kids. My mom Agneta and little brother Pererik.
Annalisa will be 95 this May. On April 12th she and Erik would have celebrated their 70th anniversary.
Little cousin Anna, Pereriks's daughter.
Dad reads telegrams at dinner. Erik asked for people to not buy flowers but instead donate money to doctor's without borders and a foundation that plants trees in Africa.
Guests also included Perra's wife AG, John's 2 sons, Lars and Per with wife Irene and son Kristoffer and Gizmo.
We play croquet once a year in my family and this is the group photo from 2008. Erik was 94 but still took part.
My very own special memory of grandpa is that he accompanied me to NY for a week when I was in college. He was 85 and he still had an urge to travel and loads of curiosity about the place that had become my home. He also started teaching himself English late in life, translating National Geographics with the help of a dictionary, calling it his crossword puzzle. He followed James around Flugis when we visited and would strike up random conversations, just so he could practice speaking. You had to be a bit of an interpretive listener, but yikes - A for effort gramps!
He will be missed by us all. It's a beautiful thing we have such great memories of him!
Hej då lilla morfar. Sov gott.