My dad probably wasn’t like most other dads. He had his problems and his demons. I will not highlight them here, after all, he is no longer with us and can defend himself. However, memories of him are mostly bright. He had an imagination far beyond that of many others. For example, no one ever read a book to me during my childhood. However, he always told stories invented by himself. Everything from ghost stories to outright pranks. It was my Astrid Lindgren! Yes, I read his books too, but to this day I don’t know which stories are the best. (They probably loved each other).
That said, we can start on this warm early summer evening. I was maybe seven years old. At that time we lived in a red house with white knots a little outside Örebro. In the countryside in the middle of Närkeslätten with Kilsbergen in the background.
I think my dad sensed that I was pretty bored that day, which rarely happened, so he decided to change that. Sullen, I went to bed but after a while John Blund had sprinkled sleeping pills in my eyes and I slept soundly. With a start, I woke up about an hour later to find Dad leaning over the bed and whispering, “Anna, now it’s time!” We have to go see the Ghost Lilacs and pick them for mom. But we have to take it with caution. It’s haunted over there! The story goes that it was a quite ordinary grove of wild lilacs growing about 100 meters away in a field. However, they had appeared in countless of his made-up ghost stories, so I was quite nervous and excited as I followed my father through the moonlit fields. Fearfully and quickly, I picked up a small bouquet. I don’t think I’ve ever run as fast as on the way back. Heart pounding, I then fell asleep with a smile on my face. What an adventure!
A May evening a few years earlier. The day before Mother’s Day, he trapped me in a distant neighbor’s garden. This neighbor had the privilege of having his entire lawn full of Gullvivor. The goldenrod, which by the way is the flower of the Närke landscape, is, as you know, protected, and if you steal it from someone else’s plot, that is also a crime . Dad, on the other hand, thought it was the best idea in the world to sneak into his plot and choose a big bouquet for Mom to receive on Mother’s Day. Of course, I was quick to follow. At dusk, we lay in the bushes outside the neighbor’s plot, waiting for him to come in so we could get his free-spirited Gullvivor. While we waited, Dad suggested a bunch of excuses we could use if he caught us. Fortunately, we never had to use them. Smiling and a little nervous, we stocked up on the neighbour’s “gold”, but the next day Mom put on a skeptical face. “Well, I even want to know where those peaceful flowers come from,” she asked suspiciously. “Probably not” I replied with a small laugh and looked at Dad who was happily pretending not to understand anything.
Innocent little stories like these, I have accumulated countless in a little box in my heart. He had an incredible ability to turn the smallest insignificant things into the greatest adventure in the world. A magical quality I think. I don’t know if it was because on top of that he was distracted and/or just mentally in a different place, but funny things, maybe not according to him, were happening around and because of him all the weather. Now as an adult, it’s quite clear that my mother didn’t always appreciate all the pranks and mistakes either. She probably both swept the road, closed her eyes and supported each other.
As a small example of scattered thoughts, we can still count their trip to IKEA. It was Sunday morning and Dad thought to plan ahead and take the trash down to the road. It was to be emptied Monday morning. The house was about 30 meters from the road where the garbage truck stopped. To empty it, it must be there. Purposely Dad put down the full barrel and hooked it to the tow bar so he could pull the barrel a short distance to the road and unload it there so the trip could then continue to IKEA . After about 8 km (about 1 km from the final destination), in the rear view mirror, mom sees the trash can that has miraculously remained on the hitch all those miles. “TOMMY LINDER!!!” I won’t quote the rest of the conversation from the car. But be aware that among other things, they ran into a cop on the road who probably chose to overlook the show and thought it would be an incredibly funny story to shoot on coffee break. Since I wasn’t there myself, I can only imagine how they tried to find the best place for the car and trailer in IKEA’s large parking lot. Yes or car and barrel. The barrel should also be taken home, but that’s a whole different story…
People who know me today, but not since childhood, probably say to themselves: Yes, yes, that explains one thing or another!
Why were weird things always happening around you dad?
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