The day after the concert, we visited Övarp - the place where most of Leroy's father's ancestors lived. We started at the church to look at the interiors with renowned mural paintings from the 1470s. The church itself was built around 1150. After lunch at the nearby golf club, we drove to the house in Övarp where Brewer Anderson was born. Several people were waiting there, among others the current owner Mats. Mats told the story of the house and how he got to live there. His great grandfather had purchased the little house from Brewer's father Nils when they had decided to emigrate in 1882. The visit to the ancestral home was definitely one of the high points of the day. Later in the afternoon we went to the local historical museum, and the ladies on the board had the coffee and five kinds of homebaked cookies ready for us. The concept of Swedish "fika" (coffee-break) was explained to the Americans. Fika is very important here. At the museum we also met the oldest living relative the Andersons have here, Sture, aged 94, who had travelled from Malmö to be there. In the evening I managed to serve dinner at my mother's house. It was an easily arranged meal with pickled herring, boiled eggs, crispbread and smoked salmon from the local fisherman.
Monday April 28 most of the Andersons and I attended a music class at Furuboda. It's an education center for people with disabilities, where my mother is doing a fair amount of volunteer work. We got to listen to several Swedish hits in somewhat unusual versions, and some American ones also. The joy for music was evident, as the teacher and students kept on playing long after the class was supposed to end. We also got an introduction in English about the activities at Furuboda. Later in the afternoon we visited Ovesholm castle. We had been invited there by the owner, whom we had met at the concert. Ovesholm is a pink three-storey large manor house situated in a very pretty area outside Kristianstad. We got the guided tour, and were shown impressive paintings, old furniture and a huge handwritten ancestor chart from the mid 19th century. The owner belongs to a noble family and he could trace his ancestors back to the 10th century!
Tuesday we got up early to go to Växjö in Småland. We spent a few hours in the House of Emigrants, where we saw the exhibit about the emigration to America. Part of it was dedicated to famous Swedish Americans - Leroy Anderson was one of them. After a quick tour of the archive we met two relatives who live in Växjö and went to lunch together. The Kingdom of Glass is in Småland and we stopped at two different places to do some bargain shopping at the outlet stores. We returned to Kristianstad to have dinner at a nice restaurant where they served up-scale pizzas (very tasty). On the way back to Nyehusen we had to return the van (which had been very useful to us).
Wednesday was a day of goodbyes. Mark A left early for Copenhagen, where he got a train ticket to Berlin and would later fly home from there. Jane, Anders and Rolf all went on a train to Stockholm for a few days of touristing. I had lunch at an Asian restaurant with the remaining Americans, Mark B and Cindy. I then went to the local hospital, to which my mother had been transferred the previous Friday. It was the first time I saw her after the accident. Her injuries force her to use a wheelchair for the next six weeks or so, and it will be a problem because her house is not really adapted for it (narrow doorways and steps). Wednesday evening it was Walpurgis Night, the time when we chase out the winter. Mark, Cindy and I attended the event at Furuboda. We listened to the Ultreia gospel choir and then we watched the large bonfire and fireworks. Very nice.
Thursday was a holiday (both Ascension Day and Labor Day) and we took a scenic tour of the northeastern Skåne countryside in Cindy's fancy new Volvo. On the way back we made a short visit to my mother in the hospital, so that she would at least meet two of the American relatives.
Friday we went on a trip to Denmark. We went over the bridge and couldn't see anything of the water because of a very thick fog. We parked the car at the Frederik Church and walked to the royal castle, harbor, Nyhavn and the walking street with all the shops. Then we continued the coastal road north to Helsingör (Elsinore) after having lunch at a very picturesque place by the sea. In Helsingör we visited Hamlet's castle, Kronborg. A large castle situated very strategically at the eastern tip of the town. We took the ferry over to Helsingborg on the Swedish side, and could see absolutely nothing of the scenic view because of the fog. The fog was only over the water, we didn't notice any of it on land. We took the scenic road alongside the coast, going south to Lund. We did some souvenir shopping there and looked at the Church of Dome (also from around 1150). In the evening we were invited to Mark's relative Tommy who lives south of Lund. He treated us to elk and potato gratin he had made himself, and then we went for a walk to a part of the village where all the houses looked like medieval replicas. We had dessert at a restaurant there, blueberry pie.
Saturday morning Mark and Cindy left us, they first went to visit friends in Lund and then they would return to the US from Göteborg. My mother had come home yesterday and expected to be waited on. I did quite a lot of household chores, and tried to make it easier for her to move around in the house. I also attended my aunt's birthday party. Several of the guests there had seen the concert and praised it.