Wednesday, July 24, 2013

An Old Photo of My Dad & Memories of Summers on the Baltic Sea




My dad with our dog Troika circa 1955, showing off his tan while dispelling the myth that all Swedes are blond and fair. My dad loved to take pictures, and when no one else was around, or for group pictures that included him, he would place his camera, a Hasselblad, on a tripod, set the timer and pose for his own shot. 

This picture is very special to me because it speaks of our summers in the Stockholm archipelago. Every July, we left our house and set out in our boat, my dad, my brother, Troika, and I, while mom was happy to stay ashore. In our small motor boat, made of beautiful wood, we passed by the inner islands, stopping here and there at a fishing village to stock up on supplies or visiting friends. We were headed for the outer islands, those craggy rocks that meet the Baltic Sea head on, deserted islets, that from a distance look lifeless, except for their sea birds. But we knew better, we knew that there would be meadows with beautiful orchids and many other exquisite flowers, often a lagoon where we studied the small creatures of the sea, where the water was warm and swimming was a pleasure rather than an act of bravery. 


How simple the tents were back then. Small too, so I slept on the boat.

Living a primitive life at sea, I learned about the planets and constellations and I learned to navigate from sea charts. I was very proficient with those charts, which was a good thing since there are about as many rocks below water as there are above in the Stockholm archipelago. I learned to dock the boat on a rocky isle and to read the wind to know if it was safe to dock in a certain place. I also learned about engines, to discern engine problems, and to help fix those that inevitably would occur. If all else failed, since this was not a sailboat, we had to be self-reliant, so I helped row the boat if necessary. And it happened, once we had to row for an entire night. 

I also learned to fish, to clean fish, fry fish over an open fire, make a fire, pitch a tent and much, much more.

This was my father's gift to his children, a gift never forgotten, and often thought of with love.........













26 comments:

  1. wow, what a great childhood experience, inger! it sounds wonderful.

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  2. so many rich memories and i love the one of your dad shaving... that is a special memory all by itself.. photo's are great for stirring the memories that hide until something jogs them.

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  3. Wow! What a surprise you are! I think you know more about ships than I do! The life at sea is amazing, isn't it? The stars are so wow, and there's a certain peace about the sea that becomes a friend. You were lucky to have a father who taught you all this! These are truly, treasured memories. Love the photos! :)

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  4. I absolutely love that first photo, Inger. It is just a wonderful slice of everyday life, and truly represents a memory of a dad that a child would hold dear. I'm very glad you shared, my friend. Debra

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  5. You are sooooo fortunate to have known your Dad, Inger! Love that first pic!!...:)JP

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  6. You had so many rich experiences when growing up. I really love looking at the old photos. They bring back another time period for many of us.

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  7. Hi Inger - how fantastic .. your father was very far-sighted in encouraging you with all that knowledge. What great skills to have ...

    Wonderful experiences and great memories ... love your story line here and seeing your Dad shave himself, while he took his own photo - those were the days!

    Cheers Hilary

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  8. What great memories to have of your father and this special time you spent together. And what great skills to learn! I just love the photo of your dad and Troika. Beautiful dog!

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  9. Amazing, beautiful and Powerful memories - making you the unique person we all come to visit regularly . . .
    love & love,
    -g-

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  10. Such lovely memories, Inger, and you write of them so beautifully. Not all Norwegians are blond and blue-eyed, either. My grandmother had red hair and brown eyes.

    Love,
    Janie

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  11. What a great post! What an amazing experience. I hope someday to visit the Baltic Sea.

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  12. Love hearing about your camping experiences, Inger. I never camped until I got to college. Your camping sounds like an adventure.

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  13. What priceless gifts your father gave you!

    You rowed all night?!

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  14. Had your father and my father known each other, I believe they would have been friends. I know you miss him.

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  15. What an amazing photograph. I only have formal photos from the 50s, people lined up and smiling falsely. Your Dad sounds like a most inspiring man. And all those skills he taught you. Priceless!

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  16. How lucky you were to have such adventures when you were a child. Now you have those sweet memories to relive in your mind.

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  17. Oh Inger your Father gave you an incredible gift. You were very lucky. I think you should write a book, you have had such an incredible life Inger it needs to be shared. HUGS B

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  18. Oh I forgot to say your Dad was a very wise photographer, I appreciate his talent. Hugs B

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  19. What wonderful childhood memories!

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  20. A great gift from your Dad - thanks for sharing Inger

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  21. Vad trevligt, var nog ganska vanligt förr att göra så vilket borde göras mer idag med sina barn.
    Trevlig helg!

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  22. How adventuresome your youth was with your brother,Troika. By the way my last name is Troke, how close is this?! Any connection maybe?

    I can appreciate your love of nature because we live on very craggy lands with lakes, swamps, forests and beaches. You have mentioned this before with the trees.

    You are so fortunate to have learned so much about Nature from your father and now you are passing it on to us in this new cyber-world friend ship.
    Thanks!
    Ron

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  23. That is so wonderful to have those sorts of memories. Mom said photos weren't as common "back then" so the ones that are still around are often treasured.

    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley

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Thanks for leaving a comment.. ~~ Inger

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