Grönsinkavägen 810 20, Österfärnebo Sweden
Once upon a time, a little family built their home in the countryside in the north-east of Sweden. The house was located by the entrance of a large spruce forest so that the family could be the first ones to access its delicious chanterelles during the harvest season. The home was so grand that it had to be equipped with two chimneys. It was later inhabited by a couple. I know these people as my grandparents.
When I was younger, I used to go there and visit them a lot, but as I got older, I became as busy as everyone else, and I stopped going as often. It was not that I did not want to go there, I just did not prioritize it. I care very much for my grandparents. My grandmother's name is Ann-Mari and she is interested in reading literature like me, and also, she is a good cook. I always requested kärleksmuffins which directly translated means “love muffins”, something I have never understood, considering that it is actually a cake. Göran is your typical granddad, both in appearance and attitude. If someone who was completely unfamiliar with the phenomenon of a grandfather was asked to draw one with only the knowledge of them being “old and cosy”, I am sure it would have turned out as an exact copy of mine. Other than that, he used to be an electrician which makes him very handy, and he does not hear much of what is happening around him, as I think his hearing aid is constantly turned off. Occasionally he replies yes or no, depending on what he feels like, just to participate in the conversation. Sometimes it seems legitimate, other times it is wrong, but that is okay. He is the cutest.
This is how I know them, and when their time comes, their wonderful house will disappear with them. Sometimes I actually think that I know this house with all of its hidden rooms and practical storage spaces more than I know them. Some people move a lot throughout their lifetime, and not all homes will be as meaningful as others, but this one is very special, and I know this because I have only felt the same kind of attachment to a home one other time in my life. During my parents’ separation, my childhood home seemed like the only stable thing in my life at the time. Unfortunately, they had to sell it due to financial reasons, and it is the greatest grief I have ever experienced. My biggest regret is not knowing that it was the last time I was there. Therefore, I have been very aware of this type of attachment the last couple of times I have visited my grandparents in Sweden, always checking behind my shoulder one extra time leaving for the airport.
I now know that they are the home that they built. The once fantastic house will no longer be as fantastic without my grandmother trying to fill all her special cupboards with random things because she cannot get rid of anything whilst collecting absolutely everything. As I get older, I believe I have taken my relationship with these people for granted by the commonality of our blood. This I regret. Just like people, homes are not a permanent security that will last forever. I have started calling more often, asking the questions I do not want to regret not asking. And now, I have also put their house on the map, so maybe the memory of it will make it last a little longer.