From Malibu to Malmö

Looking forward to enjoying this view again. It’s not quite as timeless or soothing as what we have had here in Vejbystrand since early spring. But as long as I have a sea view, I’m a happy camper.

During the first few years of my life, up to about when I was five, my parents rented the bottom half of a beach house in Malibu, California. I suppose being in the water a lot and falling asleep/waking up to the sound of waves from the Pacific Ocean left a lasting impression on me. The fact is, of all my earliest childhood memories, the only real positives ones are from those first few years on the beach. I wish I could say I remember my mother and father being happy there together. I’m sure they were from time to time. I just can’t visualize it from any of my earliest memories. What I do recall, even if it’s more than 50 years ago, is how wonderful living on the beach in Malibu was. The inserted photo is of my (then apparently happy) mother (on the right) and Stella, the lady she and my father rented the house behind them from. Can’t grasp how I can remember Stella’s name.

From Malibu to Malmö. Who would have thought?

Charlotte and I will continue with our small and big house projects in Vejbystrand and be back on the weekends throughout the fall. There’s so much room for improvement and like all old houses, it both demands and deserves a lot of tender loving care and to be properly updated.

Solveig’s Workbook

While cleaning house in preparation for Elle’s High School graduation party at our place in a couple of weeks, our daughter discovered several of her paternal grandmother’s sixth grade workbooks – all dating from 1945.

My mother, Solveig Ina Andersson, was 14 at the time she finished the book and as there was a page with an Easter theme, I can surmise that it was completed sometime during the spring semester that year – just a few months before World War II ended, on September 2, 1945.

What thoughts must have been going through my mother’s mind at the time? Especially at her age and during that precarious era. As peace approached in the European and African war theaters, yet was still ongoing in Asia and the South Pacific, I wonder what plans she was making for her future. Her parents, my grandmother Agnes and grandfather Eskil, must have hoped their family would soon be able to enjoy a more peaceful existens. For even if Sweden stayed neutral during the war (through dubiuos political bargaining), the rationing and looming threat of being pulled into the war was certainly impacted daily life.

My mother eventually became a nurse, left Järna, her village in Sweden, and moved first to London, then New York and finally settled down in Los Angeles, where together with my father, she started a family and lived out the rest of her relatively short life. There’s some footage of her a little more than a decade later right here.

Though I have zero positive memories of her from when I was a child and in her care, I do find some kind of solace while looking at stuff from days when my mother was a young and innocent woman full of hopes and dreams of an interesting, adventurous life filled with love and happiness. The same kind of hopes I now have for Elle.

Side note: I’m amazed at how well-preserved my mother’s workbook is after almost 75 years. Imagine picking up an iPhone in 75 years…