A little memory.

I was reading the blog “Keep the Coffee Coming” this morning and normally lots of old memories pops up in my brain when I read what Kat has written. But when it comes to Christmases it´s unusually blank in my head. I remember the early ones some and those from when I was around 20 ish. But in between there´s nothing. Just the same today but suddenly I remembered the first Christmas I spent alone and how much I loved it 🙂

I and my two closest friends leased an old cottage in a part of Sweden called Dalsland. Dalsland is a county that seems to be forgotten by the rest of the country. It sort of hides behind the big lake Vänern and is a neighbor to Norway. It´s mostly gravel roads, forest, mountains and lakes and I love it 🙂 I had leased another cottage by the same owner before and that cottage had electricity, the one I leased with my friends, called Red Cottage, was without electricity though. Once it was used as a sort of restaurant for all lumberjacks in the area. It had a big kitchen and one room on the bottom floor where the lumberjacks ate. On the upper floor the woman that made the food lived and she had one room with a kitchen stove.

I don´t think I´ve ever seen as many deers here as I´ve done today. In all it must have been over thirty. I guess they gather where food easily can be found.

Can You see the deer? It´s almost impossible for me and I know where it stands 🙂 Make a guess and I´ll show You tomorrow 🙂

I had the upper room but shared the kitchen on the bottom floor with my friends. Anyway, back then I lived in Gothenburg and it didn´t go a single day that I didn´t long to go to Red Cottage. This year Christmas eve came on a tuesday (and as You know Christmas eve is our big day and all workers in our factories are free from work that day) so we were lucky enough to have the factory I worked in (Volvo) closed down on monday and Friday too. So suddenly I decided I was goin to Red Cottage during Christmas vacation 🙂

The deer is waiting outside the stable while my neighbor fetch more food for them 🙂

This was one of the few winters we had snow even in Gothenburg for a long time and it was really cold too. But as soon as my work ended for the day I packed myself, my two dogs (Sickan and Viran), my cat(Doris) and all warm clothes I could find in the car and off I went 🙂 I knew there were firewood enough for a week but I remember stopping at every petrol station I could find on the way buying even more firewood just in case 🙂 🙂 🙂 I must have had a big car because I know I bought lots of firewood 🙂 🙂 I stopped by one of the grocery stores in the little village Bäckefors to buy some food and I remember how the owner asked me if I was crazy and I had to promise to drive down there the next day to show that I was alive 🙂 🙂 🙂

I think this is as close to sunshine as we come today.

This is a part of the photo above that I have cut out. i like how the trees on Mount Mösseberg can be seen in the light from the sun 🙂



What I didn´t understand was that there was over a meter (a yard) of snow all around 🙂 But the road was rather important to lumber lorries so that was really good plowed. I was also lucky when I came to Red Cottage because they had plowed the road almost all the way to the cottage for some reason so I could park the car so I could see it from the kitchen windows. After unpacking the car I had to start a fire and to my surprise I had remembered matches 🙂 I decided to stay in the kitchen the whole time because it would take to much firewood to keep my room on the upper floor warm. We had a kitchen sofa witch one lifted the seat and under that there was a bed. If I wanted I could drag the front of the sofa so the bed became wider too.

A piece cut out from the photo above and now the red colored male Bullfinch is so much more visible.

The sun showed itself for an hour or two yesterday, so the coming photos are from our afternoon walk.

I had to stay up all the night to keep the fire alive and around 8 am I finally could take a nap. I remember having lots of clothes on me and both my dogs jumped in to the bed and slept beside me too. I thought I was in paradise 🙂 But before I could relax some I had to shovel my way to the wood shed and to the out house. I have to admit that I didn´t go to the toilette if it wasn´t really necessary 🙂 🙂 🙂

Christmas eve was really cold and I can remember that I´ve never seen more stars in the sky in all my life. No light from the surroundings disturbed because there were no humans fore miles and miles around. It was so silent that I could hear it but the cold weather didn´t feel that cold as it would feel today 🙂 I sat in the kitchen late at night listening to the radio and writing letters (no laptops in those days 🙂 🙂 ) in the light from a kerosene lamp. When it was time to go to bed and the kerosene lamp was out I looked out the window and first I saw a fox sniffing around where my dogs had been walking around and just before I got to bed I saw a big moose slowly passing by. That was a Christmas to remember 🙂

Today I almost live like that all year long, but I seldom uses a kerosene lamp and I do have electricity 🙂 Well it´s time to fill the stove with more logs!                                                         Have a great day now!


44 thoughts on “A little memory.

  1. Love the misty parts of the photos, and the blue sky. Never saw the mystery deer in the one photo, though I thought I saw a snow-covered cat or fox in the lower left side. Your Christmas memory is very interesting, if somewhat cold and shivering! Solitude, even in a frigid place is rejuvenating.

    • Hi Robin!
      It was so beautiful when the mist came. More will come because I´ve saved lots of photos from yesterday 🙂

      That deer is more or less impossible to find 🙂 I would never have found it if I didn´t know exactly where it stood 🙂 🙂 But it is standing almost in the middle of the photo!

      I loved that place but no one were allowed to live there year round if one leased one of those cottages. I guess it was for tax reasons for the owner. It got really warm and nice in that kitchen after a day or two 🙂

      Have a great day now!

  2. Christer, your pictures and vignettes are wonderful. They make a life so different from my own so real. Thanks for this memory. What happened to the other friends who were with you that Christmas Eve?

    • Hi Ralph!
      Thank You 🙂

      I´m not sure but I think that winter was when they had their first child. Or was that the year after?? Anyway they didn´t know I was going there for Christmas and would probably have tried to talk me out of it if they knew 🙂 🙂 🙂 But to be honest, I think that was the best christmas I´ve ever had 🙂

      Have a great day now!

  3. What a beautiful memory. Kat inspired me, too — on my other blog… but I do love today’s photos… epecially, in front of MY warm fire! Have some more tea and a great day…

    • HI Sharlene!
      She does that 🙂 Every time I read something of hers I remember something way back in time 🙂

      Lots of tea will be drunk today, it´s nasty cold outside 🙂

      Have a great day now!

  4. Hi Christer,
    Beautiful photos today. I found the deer. 🙂
    The photo of the sun shining through the dark pines is my favorite although it was difficult to choose that one over three or four (or five or six) others that I like as much.
    This was my first Christmas day alone but I had the dog so it wasn’t really alone. It was a lovely day. Peaceful and quiet.
    We have sun after blizzard weather but it is still very windy and cold outside. Time for more coffee. Have a great day.

    • Hi Caryn!
      You found it!!! Fantastic 🙂 It is really hard 🙂
      I think the second photo from the top or the fourth from the bottom is my favorite today.

      I love having the chance to stay alone during Christmas. Even if I like it all year round it is even better at Christmas 🙂 The funny thing is that I´m actually a very social person that talks all the time wether people like it or not 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Have a great day now!

  5. hi christer..what a wonderful story. it sounds so ideal. thank heavens now you also have a WC inside your own cottage! your photos just keep getting better and better. it is such a treat to come to your blog every day and look through them. they are so relaxing. joyce

    • Hi Joyce!
      That was a truly magical Christmas 🙂 The world could have collapsed and I wouldn´t have noticed 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Thank You 🙂

      Have a great day now!

  6. What great memories of that Christmas. I’ll have to search in my memory to figure out my best Christmas. My husband Steve & I love looking at your pictures every day. Thanks Christer!

  7. Hi Christer,
    Today you left me dizzy with so many pictures 🙂 All nice, all with something interesting to stop and observe. I have no idea where the deer are 🙂
    I loved listening to … ops read … his Christmas story alone. It is very different from anything I have experienced. Christmas is a family reunion, many people join, so here it is summer too hot, fragrant aunts and holding you in the end you have so many perfumes that even the food is fragrant.
    I envy your Christmas 🙂
    A good day to you and kisses …. indeed where are the boys today?

    • Hi Didi!
      It was a very special Christmas 🙂 I would do it again if I could 🙂
      Christmas is really a family reunion up here too but my family has always been very dysfunctional 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Have a great day now!

  8. Very beautiful pictures, my friend!

    I can certainly appreciate the peace and quiet of being alone, especially on Christmas.

    Thank you for sharing this with us today!

  9. Merry Christmas, Christer!

    Thank you for sharing your Christmas memory with us. And of course, it was accompanied by your beautiful photography.

    Wishing you a wonderful 2011! So sorry to read about the stomach flu…ugh!


    • Hi Valerie!
      Don´t thank me, thank Kat at Coffee 🙂 🙂 She has that gift to bring back memories in all of us that reads her blog 🙂

      Stomach flu is not fun and I was thinking of You and Your family and how bad it must have been for You all!
      I wish the same to You!
      Have a great day now!

  10. We got your card today, thanks so much. Your pictures of the snow covered pines remind me of a State Parks i worked at where Beatrice and i always walked in the snow. And your story was terrific. Solitude is a wonderful thing that too many folks avoid.

    • Hi Grenville!
      Finally! I have been wondering where all those cards had gone 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Now days people actually travels in groups to places like that over here, silence is so rare and many needs the silence to relax. Even if I think this little village is quiet it is still filled with sounds compared to the forest at Bäckefors.

      Have a great day now!

  11. Christer, enjoyed this story – and the photos too. This holiday season was quite busy for us, but I would prefer a quieter one, perhaps next year. Being alone does not both me at all, but of course it is wonderful having Grenville to share things with too. However, we both do like our quiet times apart. And I do understand about dysfunctional families bevcause mine is that way too. By the way, your card arrived today! Thank you so much for the beautiful photo.

    • Hi Beatrice!
      I really need long moments by myself (with my animals of course). I talk all day at work then I go to the grocery store after work and continues to talk (I am the last Gardener in Tråvad, the village nearby so lots of people knows me) and I almost never gets a quiet moment. So when I get home I´m almost hostile towards humanity 🙂 🙂 🙂

      I´m so glad it has arrived and I do hope all other that I´ve sent has reached their destination too!

      Have a great day now!

  12. I love especially the photos of the red bullfinches against the white snow background…and the snow gleaming in the gentle sun! how wonderful to feel the gentleness of the sun at this time of the year!

    peace, love and light in the coming year, Christer!

    • Hi Weena!
      I think the Bullfinch is one of our most popular birds and I love it 🙂
      I only wish we could see more of the sun without it being even colder.

      I wish You the same!

  13. Oh I love those misty photos!
    I was nodding my head and thinking “yes!” I totally understand how you can enjoy the company of people for awhile but for true bliss, one must be in the company of their animals. Beautiful story and it makes me so happy to know that you are now living that dream life. Glad you had a Good Christmas!
    🙂 – Cindi

    • Hi Cindi!
      I can finally have a chance to be quiet and relax from the world when I come home 🙂 🙂 So most of the times I hope all neighbors are indoors when I pass their homes 🙂 🙂 🙂 It´s a really small village and everyone is nice and wants to know that everything is ok and so on … and I love them for it, but I always hope they are indoors so I don´t have to talk 🙂 🙂 🙂

      I am living in a small paradise, but the worst thing is that one comes used to it and it´s not the same feeling of joy as it was back then, now it´s only a great feeling :-9

      Have a great day now!

  14. I loved your memory, Christer. Aren’t you glad you have dogs. I know I am. She sleeps with me…at the foot of the bed..and sometimes with her head on MY pillow, but I don’t mind at all. It’s comforting as I know how fast time goes and I love every single moment I have with her…with everyone. Even you. 🙂
    These are good days in spite of it all.

    • Hi Mona!
      Can´t live without dogs 🙂 But my boys thinks it is way to warm to stay any longer time in my bed 🙂

      Have a great day now!

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