Generational Differences

Since I suspect I will not write a proper blog post in a while, this forum post will suffice for now (The rest of that that thread might be worth a look).

Hmm, my grandparents I think are relatively good as tolerance goes, though I think I know less about them than I’d like. My paternal grandfather was going to go to Finland as a volunteer in Winter War and fight the Soviets, but he ultimately didn’t because the war ended before he had the chance to go there. He later ended up working in the same factory as my father worked in his youth. He died an atheist, before I was born, in an accident involving a bridge.

My paternal grandmother started out a maid, became a waitress at some point before retiring at 60. I went to her 86th birthday last weekend. And I can honestly that while she might seem frail and senile now, she was strong like hell. I can honestly say she’s done more physical labour during her retirement than I have done my entire teens. She seems to have played football (soccer for you Americans) sometime in the past. She was pretty cool with immigrants until some gypsies asked her for directions and robbed her of her purse in the process. She once was on vacation in Italy, and because it was so hot she dressed only in a bra and was arrested for indecency.

My maternal grandmother was a jail guard. I’m thinking it’s pretty awesome that she as a woman had such an apparently masculine job back in those days. She was pretty skilled with the accordion, and was a member of an accordion club. I really liked visiting her when I was a child. She had lots of candy and a television, and would take me to see places. It made me happy. She later had lots of problems with her health, likely because she was a heavy smoker, and she died. And I knew death.

My maternal grandfather was a farmer, I think. After my mother and uncle were born, he and my grandmother divorced. After his retirement he started a horse club in Jämtland, high up in the country. He seems to work as hard as ever, still keeping up farming for his horses. I actually seem to know the new SO (he and my grandmother never actually married each other) better than him. A pleasant gentleman who likes to refer himself as “herr Johansson” and who is good with children. Gets rowdy when he’s drunk, though.

I do not notice the different social mores as much as the socio-economic differences I’ve had compared to them growing up. Before the “People’s Home” which was constructed during the 40’s and 50’s, Sweden was one of the poorest countries in Europe. It’s especially noticeable in how much labour my grandparents had to do as well as the seemingly subpar education. On a car drive once, my mother pointed towards one of those stereotypical red cottages and said that my grandmother went to school there. In fact, I’m actually living in one those schools right now. We’ve had visitors who come to see the old building they went to as children.

This got me a bit nostalgic and sad…

As an aside, my paternal grandfather was born in 1915, before the Soviet Union, and I was born in 1992, after the Soviet Union. I’ve always found that pretty cool, somehow.

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One Response to “Generational Differences”

  1. malin Says:

    Jätteintressant inlägg Erik! Visste inte att farfar ville slåss i vinterkriget. Jag minns inte så mkt av honom tyvärr men jag och mamma pratade om honom härom dagen och hon sade att han var en genuint bra människa. Liksom väldigt lyhörd för människor runt honom samtidigt som han var principfast. Det känns konstigt att höra om folk som man inte minns, eller som man inte träffat, och som hade så stor påverkan på människors liv. Jag minns att när farfar dog så åkte pappa till stugan och åkte ute och fiskade. Vad fint du skriver om farmor. Jag saknar henne!

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