Exercising Democracy

I voted today. As always, it felt important and solemn. Not least because the polling station I belong to is housed in a building from the 1700s. Outside, a couple of musicians dressed like the songwriter Carl Michael Bellman (1740-1795) and his muse, performed time typical songs, playing cittern and mouth harp. I felt very... Continue Reading →

Revealing Past Summers

They had spent a couple of lovely summers at “Strömsborgs Vilohem*” when time came for Dagny and Robert to once again set out to China to fulfill their obligation as missionaries in the year of 1912. This time was to be quite different in one deciding way. Four of their children were too old to... Continue Reading →

Icons forever

Painting icons is an art in itself. You need to have a lot of patience and the technique is quite elaborate. Icons are painted with egg tempera - a combination of color pigment, egg yoke, water and a drop of vinegar - and they are, as you can imagine, full of symbolic meaning. Icons are... Continue Reading →

Collecting time capsules

Sweden and Finland have a truly interwoven history. I have thought a lot about this lately, as the Finnish decision to join Nato speeded up Sweden's application to do the same. Many Finnish and Finnish-Swedish as well as Swedish-Finnish people live in Sweden and just like me, there are many of us who have relatives... Continue Reading →

Finding Family And Family Finding You

Researching family history is interesting in many ways. Aside from understanding more about where you come from, you can connect with present-day relatives that you might not even have known existed. This has happened to me on a few occasions since I started researching and writing about my geneaology findings, and is also a big... Continue Reading →

Celebrating spring and graduation

Today, students all over Sweden, get to wear their student hats for the first time. In Sweden we call it "mösspåtagning," and it's a sure sign spring is here. Tomorrow, we celebrate Walpurgis night/Valborgsmässoafton, and all the bonfires will have choirs wearing their student hats, singing to welcome spring. Looking back to the beginning of... Continue Reading →

Remembering those we have lost

We are many who have lost loved ones the past years. Coping with grief is part of life and something we all go through at one point or another, always hoping it will be later, rather than sooner. Through the years I have written a few obituaries. It has always felt a bit strange, trying to... Continue Reading →

Not everyone can still be found

Driving back from a short ski trip to Dalarna, about 300 km northwest of Stockhom, I came to think of an old map I once got from my grandmother Edna. She had kept it as it was a record of how grandfather's relatives had moved around in Sweden, from the 17th century onward. As I... Continue Reading →

Living in turmoil

What we are experiencing in Europe today is on everyone's mind. No one knows how this will end, how many lifes will be affected or what will happen to our world. WWII is not that far away in the past, and even though my own generation did not have to live through it, our parents... Continue Reading →

Celebrating and harvesting

As we're finally leaving the dark, cold and poor January behind us in Scandinavia, the Chinese are about to enter their big festivity of the New Year. In 2022 the year of the Tiger starts on the 1st of February. In 1905, the newly baked missionary Olga spent her first Chinese New Year celebrating the... Continue Reading →

It’s coming on Christmas

... and I have not been writing or researching for such a long time. This autumn has been pretty intense. I have had to make some priority changes - mainly focusing on seeing friends and family when I have not been travelling with work. We've had a short window of social possibilities in Sweden, which... Continue Reading →

Persistence – the key to change

This year, September is a month of celebration in Sweden. A hundred years ago women could finally vote in the Swedish election of 1921. On the 17th of December 1918, the Swedish parliament decided in favour of voting rights for both men and women. This was the first procedural decision that paved the way for... Continue Reading →

Exploring the past in the present

Following the trace of family members from generations ago can be a very interesting and rewarding pastime. Research is often very time consuming and requires a lot of patience, but sometimes you get those fast rewards - and that is an exhilarating feeling! I had one of those moments this summer.After a vacation with my... Continue Reading →

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

My great grandmothers Olga and Dagny were both alone when they travelled back to Sweden after having spent their entire adult lives in China being missionaries together with their husbands. Olga’s husband Nils passed in ileus, in 1942 (age 61) and Dagny’s husband Robert died from heart disease in 1930 (age 62). They were both... Continue Reading →

“Spies” On A Mission

During my research into the history of my missionary relatives, I have found a few telegrams. Whenever there was a need for speedy information and one didn’t trust the postal service to deliver in time, the solution was to send a telegram. Letters could take a month to arrive from Europe to China – sometimes... Continue Reading →

A Laughter Extended Through Time

What traces will we leave behind, once we're gone? I don't know if my missionary relatives asked themselves that question in respect to anything but their ultimate goal - heaven. To them,  the salvation of souls within their mission in China was number one. They didn't try to reach fame or become uplifted members of... Continue Reading →

Walking on water

The Yellow River or Huang He is the second longest river i China after the Yangtze River. It's an impressive flow of water, vital to the transport of goods and people in a country where it's not always been easy to travel by land. Huang He was of course very important for the missionaries as... Continue Reading →

Moving on, moving in

With the pandemic still blocking what used to be our lives, people are looking to dig where they stand. In Sweden, house prices are soaring as we move out of the city centres to do our distance work from a more pleasant environment. People now mainly look for that extra room where you can put... Continue Reading →

Taking risks during Christmas in China

From the stories my grandmother used to tell me when I was little, there is one I often think about come Christmas. It was 1895 and my grandfather's parents, Dagny and Robert, were newlyweds. They lived in a small Chinese mountain village called Hancheng in the northwest. There were no other Europeans there, and it... Continue Reading →

A Puzzle That Keeps On Growing

How I love research! It's something about finding those connections throughout time that fascinates me. When you make that discovery you didn't expect to - even if it's a tiny one. It's like laying a puzzle where you don't have all the pieces when you start and you never know how big that puzzle is... Continue Reading →

Create a website or blog at WordPress.com

Up ↑