I found a picture

After going through this morning’s worth of new blog posts and comments, I was playing around with some background images for this blog … to see what it looked like with a pattern instead of just plain white. In my files, I found a picture of my first school. I’d found  it online somewhere, I shamefully «stole» it because this is the only time I’ve seen a picture of this building. If I knew who took it, I’d ask permission of course, but I don’t.

It’s not a school anymore … there’s a company that makes a certain kind of old-fashioned stoves.

Here I spent my first, six years of schooling. I know every little corner of this building and the outside surroundings. I was seven when it all started. This school — Frölands Skola — housed six grades, so there were kids that were almost thirteen. That’s a big difference at that age. Most of us knew who the other one was … our parents knew one another — at least they knew of one another.

I remember, when I was in grade 1, hearing that one of the kids in grade 6 had started smoking. This was something so utterly horrible — it could have been compared with heroine or something like that today. We had a tremendous amount of respect for our teachers, opened the door for them and addressed them Miss.

Behind the school, a little stream was running, deep down in a ravine, and we weren’t allowed to go there. That, of course, made everyone want to go there. One of my class mates climbed a tree down there, fell down and got a concussion! The ambulance came, I remember seeing him lying there, unconscious …. big event! He was a relative of Alfred Nobel … as in the Nobel Prize.

We had lunch in a separate building. There were two lunch ladies and one was really mean. She checked out everyone’s plate, so that there was nothing left. We could not refuse to eat. One boy in my class only liked meatballs (!) so he cried every day, except the few days meatballs were being served. What a problem that guy had!

What I remember best from these years are the days before the summer break. Always around the 9th of June … which coincided with my Mum’s birthday. Always a new dress, flowers in the classroom and on our benches. There’s a hymn that is forever associated with Swedish ‘school’s out for summer’…

So many memories … all recorded on my mental harddrive. I hardly know anything about them — my school mates … what became of them. My first teacher, Elsa, died not too long ago. I always check out the obituaries online in the local paper.


18 thoughts on “I found a picture”

  1. It so enriches our lives that we can share things like this with pictures and videos. Now I know more about you, your childhood and Sweden, all in one swoop!
    there’s a couple here in Nova Scotia who build ceramic heaters/furnaces. It’s something that I would love to have some day.
    walk in beauty.

  2. I enjoyed reading about your childhood school memories and listening to the sweet-sounding hymn. There are many positives about attending a small school – one probably doesn’t get lost in the crowd! I love your blog theme – my husband and I love colder weather, too. Sometimes we think of moving farther north to compensate for global warming… The background you chose is very nice!

    1. Thank you, Barb … it’s funny how intimately music is connected to the memory. As soon as I heard the beginning of this hymn, it all came back to me — the feeling of the long summer break!

      If the temperatures would stay the way they are now, I wouldn’t mind at all. It’s the really hot, and most of all, humid weather I have a problem with…

  3. This sounds very similar to the school went to as a child. Good discipline and manners.Mine was a boarding school
    I can remember the names of some of my school friends and I have tried to trace them but with no luck
    I enjoyed reading your blog , it brought back happy memories

    love P

    1. Thank you, Patrecia … Yes, there certainly was a lot more discipline back then.I remember many names too, but haven’t been able to find hardly any of them…

  4. Your post brings back memories of a quieter life, one that I shared growing up in the rural south. One building housed all 12 grades.

    I really liked the statement “all recorded on my mental hard drive”. Would that we could pull all those memories out to recover the names that are forever lost.

    1. Yes, Linda … it seemed quieter. I think all is there on the ‘hard drive’ but sometimes too deep to recover. Or sometimes, it just take time..

  5. My school days were similar. I was in a huge building with grades 1 through 4. There was a kindergarten but not when I was that age. Grades 5 through 8 were in another building next to it. We never ate lunch at school. always walked home. Only the high school kids were forced to eat in school. Had to have parental permission to leave on the lunch hour. I think all classes have one quirky kid. Over the years, mine had several. We always called our teachers Miss, Mrs, or Mr. Never ever by their first names. I have some old photos from those days. There are a few kids I cannot remember their names and some I remember well but have no idea where they are.

    I love that swedish hymn. One of my faves.


    1. Julie-Ann, From grade 7, there was no more Miss or Mr. We called them by first name. All kids get free lunch — a real, cooked meal — in school … at least through grade 9, which is the last compulsory grade.

  6. So glad you found that photo of your old school to bring back those wonderful memories Rebekah! It sounds a bit like my first school many moons ago when we were taught deep respect for anyone older than ourselves. Shame it doesn’t abound today.

    1. Yes, I was very glad to find it and now that I’ve uploaded it here to wordpress, it will stay around. It’s funny how most of the memories seem rosy now — I know for sure it wasn’t all that rosy all the time, but I guess that’s a good thing … that we remember the nice stuff.

  7. Hi,
    It is always nice to look back onto early days, and what we did back then, I’m glad you found the picture, now that it is on your blog, it is always there as a memory. I loved the song, very nice.

  8. Nice to see this photo and hear a bit of your memories. 🙂

    My memories of my early school are mostly very positive but having reconnected (one in person, several just in letters) with old classmates from there, I learnt that because I was aways so much (from illness) I just didn’t know the school as others did. That came as a bit of a shock because I’d love to be able to share the nice memories with people from there and mostly I can’t.

    My school was also fairly small. I’ve a photo of everyone in it and can name quite a lot of them – but one of my friends from there can name nearly all of them!

    1. I have one class photo — it’s still back home in Sweden — but I think I’d be able to name most of them, if not all. I know it’s from grade 1, because there was a boy who was only with us that first year … the family moved away. I remember him well, because of his family name: Darling. We thought that was funny.. I’ve no idea where they moved or what became of him.

  9. Nice to read these childhood memories. I had to stay over for lunch as well, because the school was too far from home to travel back and forth on my own. Usually kids were going home at noon for lunch and return to school at around two PM. So I sat down with a bunch of kids I didn’t know at first, I can’t even remember if there were any classmates at all. What I do remember is that you weren’t allowed to play outside until you ate everything your Mom had made you for lunch… and my Mom included an apple everday. I still have this mental image of me sitting alone at that large table slowly eating away that dreaded apple… I can’t really believe now that it was like that every day, but is a single memory that got stuck with me.

    1. Gerda, Such different experiences/memories from our childhood… In Sweden, they all have to eat lunch in school … it’s included, regardless whether you live next to the school or far away..

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