Mormor och Morfar Part 1

Connie and Karin, Genea and Jack

Connie and Karin, Genea and Jack

My (Betsey’s) folks flew into Stockholm on Tuesday, April 14 and stayed until Sunday the 26th.  Their time with us was spent on opposite sides of Sweden.  The first part was in Arvika and then north to Särna in Dalarna and the second part  in Forsa, near Hudiksvall on the east coast north of Stockholm.  My mother’s swedish relatives live there.   I will be blogging on the first and Kurt will tackle the second.  (A small hint on one of the highlights of the second posting: Nobility.  Yep, you heard right.  Aristocracy.  Come on, admit it, you always kind of suspected, didn’t you?)

There was, of course, the pleasure of sharing my parents with our Swedish family.  Leia was a bit intimidated by my dad, but told her dad that she liked him. Connie and Karin were gracious and caring hosts, driving them out to the country to see the summer cabin and where Kurt worked for his first three months.  We shared meals and fika with them.  Jack made three cream pies for a fika/coffe with the Gustafson family!  My mothe’s brother, Jerry, had spent several days driving south around Sweden, looking into his wife´s history and the history of his and Genea´s mother, Helen. He showed up at our house in Arvika and we had the pleasure of his company for a couple of days.  While I was working and the girls were in school, Kurt took them all to the Fordons (vehicle) Museum.   There they each posed with their favorite car.  We had a hotdog roast in the pasture with Camilla and Anders.  The only one we didn´t get a chance to spend time with was Patric and his family as they were stuck in Atlanta trying to get home from Florida.  They finally did, 30 hours and a layover at the Paris airport later.

I think Genea and Jerry really enjoyed their time together.  Lots of teasing and laughter.  They share many similar characteristics. But that MAKES SENSE, don´t you think?

I think Genea and Jerry really enjoyed their time together. Lots of teasing and laughter. They share many similar characteristics. But that MAKES SENSE, don´t you think?

It was nice to spend time with Jerry.  He’s a great guy who shares an uncanny resemblance to Severio, my sister’s oldest son.  

Jerry and his fav car

Jerry and his fav car

We rented a van and travelled north to Särna to Ulf’s cabin.  On the way we stopped at Bränas and picked up Yarrow.  This is a ski resort where Yarrow was helping Mia with the kids and skiing.  It rained, so sadly, skiing was not great.  

In Särne, at Ulf's cabin, Jack and Kurt play cribbage.

In Särne, at Ulf's cabin, Jack and Kurt play cribbage.

The cabin is located in a small village.  It belonged to an old man who loved there after his momma died.  Ulf and Berit bought it sight unseen, expecting to have to tear it down.  It was a mess, but after serious cleaning, they chose to keep it as is.  They are updating it this summer.

The cabin is located in a small village. It belonged to an old man who lived there after his momma died. Ulf and Berit bought it sight unseen, expecting to have to tear it down. It was a mess, but after serious cleaning, they chose to keep it as is. They are updating it this summer.

The heat at the cabin is provided by a small wood stove in the one bedroom.  It easily heats the rest of the cabin, a large room with the table and sink.  The stove in the kitchen, despite our best efforts and the efforts of Micheal, our Särne neighbor, did not work without flooding the entire cabin with smoke.  Micheal dropped by to see if he could help Ulf’s friends.  He shared a beer and a conversation in Swenglish.  The general consensus was that the chimney was too short.  

Our Särne neighbor

Our Särne neighbor

We questioned the sanity of bringing refugees of the Northlands Worst Ice Storm to Särne, which is still covered with snow and ice.  Jack and Genea rose to the challenge, simply delighted that they did not have to shovel the snow.  

Welcome to Fulufjället

Welcome to Fulufjället

You travel up up up until you come to the entry.  There were signs of reindeer, trampled trails and crossings.  We heard later that the local Sami were in the middle of their spring round up

You travel up, up, up until you come to the entry. There were signs of reindeer, trampled trails and crossings. We heard later that the local Sami were in the middle of their spring round up.

The view from the Naturum the visitor center.

The view from the Naturum, the visitor center.

 

This park is home to the world´s oldest tree, almost 10,000 years old.  Its location is kept a secret.  Its a low shrub really, but in the 40´s when the climate began warming a foot long outgrowth appeared.

The view towards waterfall. In addition to the waterfall, this park is home to the world´s oldest tree, almost 10,000 years old. Its location is kept a secret. Its a low shrub really, but in the 40´s when the climate began warming a foot long outgrowth appeared.

We hiked a treacherous trail up to the waterfall.  My mom was a trooper in slippery shoes.  A walking stick helped on the way down.

We hiked a treacherous trail up to the waterfall. My mom was a trooper in slippery shoes. A walking stick helped on the way down.

Yarrow and the waterfall, the highest in Sweden.

Yarrow and the waterfall, the highest in Sweden.

Rare Wolf Lichen in the wild

Rare Wolf Lichen in the wild

 There was a young, energetic and passionate young naturalist at the center.  (Sigh, I remember when Kurt and I fell into that category.)  He showed us the Wolf Lichen, Letharia vulpina,  in the park.  It was unknown at this site until he found it. Called  Wolf lichen because the Sami, in protection of the their reindeer, shoved chunks of this poisonous lichen into meat traps for the wolves to find.  This area is the southernmost range of the Sami.  On our second day of exploring the area, we visited a shop that carried Sami goods. The owner, while not Sami, was married to one, and they had a shelter and two reindeer in their backyard.  The husband was off at the Spring roundup. 

A plastic truck and a lassoed reindeer antler.

A plastic truck and a lassoed reindeer antler.

 mountain-top

 

The evenings were spent drinking Jagermeister, playing cards and sleeping.

The evenings were spent drinking Jagermeister, playing cards and sleeping.

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