This photo...

...from the 1950's shows Torsten Ljungdahl (Kerstin Lindman's eldest child) with his son Olof. To me, the past seems far less idyllic when I see pictures of people working hard. And if you add an acing back, tiredness, sweat and irritation, I get an almost realistic view of it.

A classic drawing by Ulla

"To do what's impossible" (Copyright Ulla Wennberg).

May I present...

...Johan Larsson (born 1947), my mother's first cousin, with his grandson Jakob (born 2007). Johan is married to my father's sister Elisabeth. I have only met Johan a few times but when we have met, we have always had interesting discussions.

A poem by Jonas Gardell...

...that I appreciate very much:

För allt du hatar hos dig själv - förlåt dig själv.
För allt du älskar hos dig själv - förlåt dig själv.
För allt du skäms över.
För allt du är stolt över.
För allt du vill dölja.
För allt du vill visa upp.
För allt som inte blev som det skulle.
För allt du är.
För allt du ville vara.
Förlåt dig själv.

My translation:

For everything you hate about yourself - forgive yourself.
For everything you love about yourself - forgive yourself.
For everything you are ashamed of.
For everything you are proud of.
For everything you want to hide.
For evertyhing you want to show.
For everything that didn't turn out the way it should.
For everything you are.
For everything you wanted to be.
Forgive yourself.

This is Cathy herself...

...with her boyfriend Raul.

My third cousin from the US...

...Cathy McKay sent me this photo (along with several others), featuring her great grandfather Chris Andersen sr. and great grandmother Greta nee Lindman, and their children Bob and Maggie (Cathy's grandmother). It must be taken around 1922. Thanks Cathy!

This is my beloved brother...

...who has a stubborn mind, a heart of gold, a restless nature and a sense of humour! Although we are very unalike, we have some (family related) glimpses of similarity. My brother doesn't like to be photographed, therefore I chosed the best picture ever taken of him, in 2008 by Rainer Ulonska.

This photo...

...from 2005 shows Dick's daughters (with Joan Treloar): Carolyn, born 1963, Debbie, born 1958, and Debbie's husband Bernie. He is a high school teacher, of philosophy among other subjects. I should say that Debbie has made a good choice of husband. A man who knows what he wants is good, but a man who knows what it is to want something is even better.

If I should give a piece of advice to my relatives... would be to write a diary. Thanks to Lydia's diary, which she wrote for almost all her adult life, we now have a unique access to her life, her thoughts, her problems and her character. We know her. We wouldn't have known her otherwise. I wonder if she ever thought about the possibility of the coming generations to get to know her by her diary.  My great grandmother Anna also kept a diary, by which we know her (not so pleasant) thoughts and feelings when she was 20. In the family archive at Skeda we have Lydia's father Olof Christian Telemak Andrén's diary from the 1860's, when he served as vicar in Asarum. The diary is difficult to read but there are some things one can learn from it.

Myself I have kept thought-diaries since I was 26. It is a way of communicating with oneself and one's situation. And since oneself is the only true friend one ever has in life, it it best to make that relationship work. My thought-diaries are absolutely private until the day that I die. After that, they will be open to anyone who wants to know who I was. And hopefully there will be someone who wants to.

This is Lydia's parents... a picture, probably taken in Moline, Illinois, USA, in 1858 when Lydia's eldest sister Ellen was one year old. Lydia was to be born two years later, just before Olof and Mathilda returned to Sweden. As we now, Olof died of typhus only 47 years old, while Mathilda lived to be 91. And Ellen, who married a priest just like her mother and grandmother, lived to be 98.

May I present... Canadian relative Barbara Young, daughter of Louise Ring, granddaughter of Kerstin Lindman. Barbara, born 1963, lives in Toronto where I visited her at the family reunion last summer. Here she is together with her husband Frank de Bartolo and daughters Sienna and Mia. In fact Barbara has been in Sweden once, in 1977, when she came here with her mother, uncle Dick and Margaret. We all hope it will be more times!

My great great aunt Karin...

...(1893-1985) was, just like her mother Lydia, quite a character. The photo was taken at Skeda on her 80th birthday, May 1, 1973 (just two weeks before I came out). She worked as a teacher in Malmö, Karlshamn and, finally, the junior secondary school in Ljungby where she stayed after she was retired. Her pupils appreciated her, just like they usually do with colorful teachers. And just as I can be upset when  my pupils don't know things that I think they should know, Karin was upset because her pupils didn't know the names of the Greece gods.

I remember visiting Karin, together with my parents, in her apartment in Ljungby. She was very short, smoked a lot, had black pants and (if I remember it correctly) kept money inside books. She gave us candy that looked like pieces of orange. She had a hearing problem and was very clear about her situation: "It is no fun becoming old."

Gösta's essay about Aunt Karin
Göstas berättelse om moster Karin


This man...

...was Reginald H. Ring, whom Kerstin Lindman married in 1920. Their friends called them Reg and Kitty. In a conversation with Jennifer Ring, their eldest daughter Louise characterized her father in the following way: "He was a cultivated Englishman, from London, England, with a very noticeable English accent. He was a modest, well-liked man with many friends [...]. Reginald was an avid reader and a great lover of music. He attended all the cultural events of the day. As a family man he always organized family outings on Sunday. He was a man of European sensibilities, through and through."

A drawing by UIla

"When the cleaning woman is not there..." (Copyright Ulla Wennberg.)

May I present...

...two of my mother's first cousins: Hans Larsson and Ulla Wennberg. The photo (by Rainer Ulonska) was taken at the family reunion in 2008. Ulla, born in 1948, has worked all her adult life as an artist, among other things with graphics; in the blog I will now and then publish some of her interesting works and drawings.

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