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 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 🙂
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 🙂 🙂 🙂
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.
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!