Museum Day, but that’s not the half of it

Every year all the little country museums (and there are quite a few) hold open houses on the same day, usually the first Sunday in August. I’m not sure if it is the entire country or just this region but they draw a lot of visitors and it helps keep traditional Swedish culture alive.

Years ago, Mariette’s paternal grandfather started collecting artifacts from 19th and early 20th Century Swedish home and farm life. As a builder he often renovated or built new homes for people and began saving the “junk” other people no longer wanted. It became a passion and he collected literally tons of stuff. An antique dealer from the U.S. would go nuts if let loose in the museum he established.

Mariette’s paternal grandmother had the idea to create a foundation to run the museum, not only to make the artifacts available for people to appreciate but also to keep the family together, since all five of their children are the museum trustees today.

We have been to a few of these now and today was especially wonderful for a number of reasons. The least of these was the (again) perfect summer weather. It is 3 months and counting of spectacular weather throughout much of the country but especially here on the west coast. The bigger reason was getting together with many members of Mariette’s family who are truly a special bunch. Anyway, photo time.

ImageImageThat’s the museum. It was once where Mariette’s grandparents lived before they build another house on the property and turned this place into the museum.

But before Swedes do anything, they chow down, especially when the family gets together.

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The star of the proceedings was the newest member of the family, 4 week old Lucas Braggins. The parents toyed with giving him the middle name Bilbo but wisely decided better.

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Here is new Mom Helena and her cousin Elin holding Lucas.

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Now that I look at Lucas a little closer, he does have a potential hobbit ear going there. But what do I know. He will probably grow out of it and just become a normal happy Swede. His mom is one of the sweetest people I have ever known and his dad is a New Zealand transplant, newly emigrated here and also a fabulous guy. This is one lucky kid.

Here is Daddy Craig and me chatting it up.

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Anyway, after a great meal it is time to throw open the museum doors. Not so fast. What about desert?

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This is a roll cake filled with currant jam or something and topped with whipped cream and wineberries (aka currants). I couldn’t believe how good my first helping  was so I had to verify it several more times. So did Craig.

Okay, now we can go inside.

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I have posted photos of the place before so today I took some different shots. Also, the family put out other items that I had not seen before. They probably have enough stuff to fill out a space two or three times the size of the current space.

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Animal traps.

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The museum has around 800 oil prints which were very popular in the 19th Century and they have been loaning them out to museums in Gothenburg and Malmö.

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This one of the polar bear preparing lunch for her cubs is one of my favorites.

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This figure is of Mariette’s great grandfather done by the sculptor who did the other figures you have seen.

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These are some really old phonograph players and radios. Mariette’s Uncle Ejve used to own an electronics repair business until he bought a forest and became a lumberjack.

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When he is not chopping wood he plays some fine Swedish folk music on the fiddle. And did I mention that he can eat more than anyone I have ever known? He is the Swedish Kobiyashi (of hot dog eating contest fame). He and his wife Gunilla have entertained us on Midsommar celebrations with their traditional costumes, folk dancing and music. They recently went to Germany with their choir and performed there. Evje must 70 and Gunilla just retired, but for many Swedes retirement simply means getting more active in life.

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One of the visitors drove up in this sweet old Volvo.

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Cousin Elin work for H&M in Gothenburg and likes her ink.

Image It must have been two hours since we ate, so that means it is time for fika, i.e., coffee and cakes.

The open house wound down around 5:00 and we headed back to Halmstad (about 25 miles to the south). To top off the day we went for Italian ice cream at Riccardo’s which is right next to a nature preserve in the middle of nowhere. People come from all over for some really, really good ice cream, us included.

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And finally, for no other reason than it happened one evening when I was out walking the dogs on the golf course, a mama moose and her mooslings getting a drink from the water hazard on #3.

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And finally, finally, a shot from a recent trip with Mariette’s dad to the Mjellby art museum, also in the middle of nowhere (but which gets some really fine shows because the founder of the museum is very well connected).

Image  If you are getting the idea that it has been a really good summer, you’d be right. (The water temperature a couple days ago was 77 F. but that’s another story.)

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2 thoughts on “Museum Day, but that’s not the half of it

  1. Great to see the both of you. We are now seriously considering to turn the most boring town in Sweden in to the most exciting town…

    • Hah! I think it will take more than you and Craig to change Eslv’s reputation. Lucas may be able to do something, though, so you should enlist his help in your efforts! Was so great to see you all again. What a super great day. Hope you will send a link to the house. We want to see it.

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