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Thursday, January 22, 2015

Hectic week

Over the weekend I contacted the woman who had posted a query about the same ancestor as I was searching for information about. She was pretty surprised to hear from me. We have now spent several days exchanging old family photos via e-mail. I had a photo of her great great grandfather that she had never seen. She was thrilled to get it. I was also happy about many of the photos she sent to me. One especially of Arndt and Valborg with her brother, who had emigrated to California and was on a visit to Sweden in 1954. Also photos taken at Arndt and Valborg's wedding party in 1914. We have also, with some effort from both of us, been able to put names on some of the previously unknown people on a few photos. I'm glad I contacted her, she seems to be the one on her side of the family who takes an interest in genealogy.

At work it has been very hectic. It's the first week of the semester and the students are desperate in their hunt for literature. We have been struggling with the workload and have just barely made the deadline the first days of the week. I have been to the storage for the first time since August to retrieve books. I did remember the pin code for the door and the books were placed in the same order as last time. Today was a long day. It started with two meetings from 8.30 until noon, and then I had desk duty. I was rather tired when I got home.

This week I had to go to the dentist in Lund and that was very unpleasant. Very expensive also. One filling had cracked and there turned out to be more problems. My teeth are placed very closely together and the dentist had to use quite a lot of force to get the job done. I normally go to another dentist, but I didn't want to travel all the way to Kristianstad. The new dentist didn't know me and asked several times if I was ok, which I was, despite the abuse. Perhaps you don't want to know the details here, but there was lots of blood and there was no painrelief given (I was offered, but declined). I can say that I have endured worse than this though.

This past weekend I finally removed all the Christmas decorations in my apartment. I have bought some new items on the after-Christmas sales, so it wasn't possible to fit all of it into the boxes. I had to weed some out.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Grandfather's funeral

I worked until noon last Thursday and then walked to the train station. When I got there it was announced that all northbound trains had been cancelled due to an accident. There is always a lot of misinformation in these cases (28 years of daily commuting tells me this). So I stayed and waited without doing anything. After about 30 minutes they had decided to turn a southbound train, so my train was suddenly changed from cancelled to delayed. We finally arrived in Stockholm one hour and forty minutes late. It didn't really matter to me, but I feel sorry for the foreign tourists who were on their way to the far north. Not only was the most important information given in Swedish, it was also incorrect...!

Like every time I stayed with my mother's cousin. Friday morning I went out to take photos of the buildings where my great grandfather Arndt had lived and worked. At noon I had changed my clothes and went by commuter train to a small town west of Stockholm. On the same train I met two of my father's cousins and we talked a lot about family history. My father picked us up at the station and drove to the church. My aunts and cousins were there, along with father's cousin from Denmark and also grandfather's girlfriend and her family. Grandfather's funeral was an event celebrating his long life, with appropriate hymns hinting at his ancestral origin in Dalarna and his connection to Jämtland province (where he had a vacation cottage). Afterwards there was a meal at a conference center. There were a few stories told, mainly about grandfather's special traits and habits.

I spent most of the Saturday doing research at the Royal Library, but also managed to do some bargain shopping at a mall. We had a tasty pizza in the evening. Sunday I visited my other relatives two subway stations away. It's Arndt's nephew and his wife. We had a good time talking about the old days, I think we covered the last 100 years or so. We all have a huge interest in history and a desire to learn new things. Monday morning I helped my mother's relatives do the laundry. It was pretty bad weather, snowy and icy, so I stayed until it was time to go to the train. I returned home, without delays believe it or not, in the evening. It rained in Skåne.

I started working Tuesday and it was not that pleasant. There were lots of books to retrieve and sort to the different locations. I'm not used to such hard work, I haven't done anything like this for several months. Today I also had the first desk duty in three years. I will sit in the manuscript reading room every Thursday afternoon from now on. In all honesty, it was a little boring today because there was only one visitor.

Last week one of my colleagues died of a heart attack, aged 60. He was my boss during the entire book moving project so I knew him rather well. This morning we had a gathering to talk about this, and many of the retired librarians also showed up to pay their respects. We are all very sad, he was a great colleague and a very nice guy.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

First workday of the year

The New Year's celebration was rather quiet at my place. I watched TV and had boiled eggs and shrimp salad for dinner. I had a very good view of the fireworks from my balcony. Most of the free days I have spent in front of the computer doing research. I have also tried to identify the people on the old photos I received this fall. It required some research also in the families of the in-laws.

When it comes to genealogy, sometimes (but not often) the case solves itself. Just a few days ago I saw on the Swedish Roots website that someone else is also researching the same family (Arndt's wife's ancestors). This woman had the same problem I had, locating the parents of a soldier, born 1792. She posted a query about this and she got help from other researchers who were able to find his parents and birthplace. I was very impressed, because it was extremely difficult. I was also very happy because it meant that I got one more generation on the ancestor chart without much effort. And I will contact the woman who posted the query, since we are related.

The library has been closed for many days during the holiday, and it still is. It's the sprinkler system again. They have been working on the pipes and testing it over Christmas, but they are not finished with it. When I arrived at work this morning everything was covered in grey plastic sheets. My office looked like a moon landscape. All the book cases were also covered in about half the stacks. There were lots of book requests, because the students thought that we would open today. It was hastily decided that visitors were not allowed this week. By 9 A.M. only two staff members had shown up in the stacks. Two more arrived later, but the rest (four people) never made it. They had heard of the closure and took vacation. It was slightly complicated to perform the duties. They had taped the plastic, so it was tricky to get to the printers and computers. We didn't even try retrieving books in the closed off areas. One colleague was very ambitious and went to the storage to shelve books. I took care of the massive amounts of returned books that had been handed in through the drop box.

Tomorrow I will make another trip to Stockholm. My grandfather's funeral will take place on Friday.