Orebro, Sweden. Around 10:15 last night, the sun slipped down. It may have been what I would call night by 10:30 or 11pm. It was light again around 3:30. I have learned to draw the shades in order to sleep but it doesn’t seem to be working. It’s like a giant eye opens out there and it pulls me awake too.
I won’t spend a lot of time on this blog this morning because I have to work on a second draft of a play before the cousins come at 9:30. I wanted, however, to give you the outline of yesterday and a few photos. I’ll save the ancestral discoveries for later.
I woke in Huskvarna; ate breakfast, showered, and packed.
I am proud of myself for taking only two backpacks for six weeks of traveling.
I drove to Skarstad, just fifteen minutes north. I wandered the cemetery of the church, took photos of some grave sites but I’m not sure if they are my Johanssons. I’ll have to dig deeper at another time.
After getting lost and asking directions and getting more lost and asking more directions and then getting found, I arrived in Orebro over three hours later, into the open arms of 4 Swedish relatives from the Ekdahl line. I planned to meet Bosse Granholm (4th cousin and in the blue shirt) but I was pleasantly surprised to meet his half-brother, Hakan, (not pictured) and his cousin Eva along with her husband (shown below) as well.
We spent the next six hours eating, going over old photos I brought from Aunt Florence’s 1957 trip, searching a cemetery at Glanshammer’s Kirke…
searching for my great grandfather’s (Gustav Ekdahl) house from the Aunt Florence photo on my computer…..
asking local residents for help, using my computer with the photo on it as our guide….
It was a relief to have others as crazy about the hunt as I, doing the driving and the communicating. I just sat back and enjoyed the ride.
I got back to Orebro around 7:30pm and took a walk to the Castle. Don’t know much about it yet, except that it was lovely in the late day light.
I’m being picked up this morning by the cousins to head back to Bjorka, where the Ekdahl house is located. One of the residents in the location was going to dig up a map from the 1890’s. Perhaps we’ll find definitive proof that the spot we were in yesterday was where the house stood in the 1957 photo and where it stood in late 1800’s.
In the afternoon today, we’re going to Eva’s for Sunday dinner and she has photos to show me of Aunt Florence’s trip in 1957 as well. Eva was a little girl in some of the photos I have.
I have a hefty cold. I’m hoping it doesn’t slow me down. There’s a play draft to write, family history nipping at my heels, and present-day Sweden outside my doorstep.
“…I wandered the cemetery of the church, took photos of some grave sites but I’m not sure if they are my Johanssons. I’ll have to dig deeper at another time.”
– be careful with that; your host country may frown upon graveyard digging.
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