Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Tuesday's Treasures & Things



I think these candle holders are a great example of Swedish handcraft (hemslojd). The pair was a gift from my cousin's son, Thomas, when he visited us in Los Angeles in 1992. It was a bittersweet visit for us as his dad, whom I was close to, had recently died in an accident. Thomas came to visit soon after the Los Angeles riots that passed by our neighborhood. Rioters burned down businesses on La Brea, the commercial street about four blocks away, on their way to Hollywood. These were the riots that affected the entire city and caught fire after the Rodney King trials. Of course we toured the wreckage and, coming from peaceful Sweden, this must have been a sight. We later took Thomas and his girlfriend down to Mexico where we spent a lot of time in those days. The extreme poverty in Tijuana, cardboard homes and children begging in the streets, deeply affected them both. The girlfriend cried, I remember. I felt bad for taking them there, and remembered how shocked I was when I first saw Tijuana many years earlier, and wondered if I had just gotten used to it. But at least Thomas and his girlfriend got to see the great Pacific Ocean, Venice Beach and Hollywood. They probably returned to Sweden with some mixed emotions though. Thomas recently became a follower of my blog and I want to welcome him. Thomas, if you read this, please leave a comment every now and then. And as you can see, your two Swedish candle holders are still very much a part of our lives here. And they fit just as well in this house as they did in Los Angeles. Sending love and hugs to you and your family. 

26 comments:

  1. sweet memories. i can imagine the emotions they had from that visit, though.

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  2. Ohhh, so sweet and tender. There's something about those candlesticks that touch the heart. When I was in Sweden three years ago (wow, time's flown), the hand carved/painted ones were verrrry expensive.

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  3. What a wonderful gift from your homeland -- and hello Thomas! :)

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  4. Hi Inger. You are definitely following my blog because I followed you from my followers page on the dashboard.
    i love that you treasure your gifts so much. I feel the same whenever someone gives me something. I can never part with it.

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  5. Yes I can just imagine how this all looked to them, not us at our best for sure.

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  6. I am going to forward your blog to a gal who was born in Sweden and is now in Ireland. Her name is Eva. sandie

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  7. Gentle memories, lovely candle:)
    Hello, Inger!

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  8. Vad trevliga ljusstakar. Det är verkligen svenskt. Kul att du berättar lite om Sverige och annat från Sverige som din julberättelse...
    Jag skriver på svenska och hoppas det är ok. Man kan ju översätta detta om någon annan är intresserad och läsa min kommentar kanske.

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  9. Hej Inger,
    So lovely to see those beautiful candle holders - my first reaction was WOW! Brings back so many memories from home, and especially the Midsommar celebrations ^_^ I am Eva a Swede living in Ireland and a dear friend of Sandie [chatty crone] she guided me to your blog.
    Have a great day!

    Eva

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  10. That was a very interesting--& frightening--to be living here in Los Angeles! I remember we stayed in our home for about a week, afraid to go anywhere. Many businesses temporarily closed, but they wouldn't have had many customers, anyway.

    I LOVE your candleholders!!

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  11. Love the candleholders,you truly have unique treasures!

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  12. Thank you for making a visit to our blog "Les Fous du Cap" and to have left a comment.
    Céline & Philippe

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  13. very pretty indeed. I love folksy art.

    I've just finished reading the Millennium Trilogy. Larssen made Sweden sound a little less peaceful than I imagine the country to be. But I did find the books fascinating.

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  14. Inger, this is so sweet! And so nice that you still have these gifts that your nephew gave you.
    I too have difficulty visiting/travelling to countries where the poverty is horrendous.

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  15. I love the candlesticks... and wow, they really seem to bring back so many emotions from your cousin's son's visit. Your comment about getting used to things being the way they are (Tijuana) is interesting - I do think that happens and sometimes it's nice to see things through 'beginner's' eyes again.

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  16. These are wonderful heirlooms indeed!

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  17. Those candle holders are great. I have a few things that belonged to my Norwegian grandmother. I treasure them.

    Love,
    janie junebug

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  18. Hei Inger.
    Jeg fant nettopp bloggen din, go synes den er interessant og flott, så nu har du meg som din nyeste blog-follower.

    Hilsen Gunn

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  19. Hi, my friend.

    What beautiful handicraft! On the way to Park City from Salt Lake City, you pass by Midway, a place that the Swedish people settled. These dolls reminded me of that beautiful place.

    I just read your comment on my Traveling in the Desert post. So we are the same age! Your birthday is on the very day (but in 1932) that my dearest (deceased) friend of 45 years (who is in my memoir) was born. Small world!

    I too LOVE Wallace Stegner. Angle of Repose blew me away when I read it back in 1982, two years after my divorce when I was in Virginia in graduate school, before my daughters' accident. I've been wanting lately to re-read it. Have you read his collection of essays called The Sound of Mountain Water?
    Ann Best, Author of In the Mirror & Other Memoirs

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  20. Sweet candle holders Inger!! A very touching story... what memories!

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  21. Dear Inger,

    Those candlesticks are a delight. So bright and cheerful. Do you use them often or do they stand in a special place where you can see them each day and remember Thomas and his visit?

    I've been thinking about the many lovely things I don't use. And I've decided to start using them daily so that I can enjoy their beauty and utility. Why wait any longer? I'm edging into being older and still older and then oldest!

    Peace.

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  22. The candlesticks make me smile.

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  23. I just read your comments on Friko’s blog. I have been following Friko since 2009 and she always has such interesting posts. I saw your were in London in the same area as me and at the same time. You may have been visiting the same coffee shops. I have written a post talking about these coffee shops and cellars (here is the link if you’d like to see if you know them http://avagabonde.blogspot.com/2011/12/recollection-new-year-party-to-remember.html. I used to have a parakeet when I lived in San Francisco, his name was Dimitri and he could speak. Does your bird say a few words?

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  24. I find it fascinating how objects in our lives can stir up so many memories.

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Thanks for leaving a comment.. ~~ Inger

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