Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Red Yellow

That was the summer of 1985. Sometime after the garage sale and before school started in the fall, we loaded up our trailer with all of our things, and we moved to Seattle to live with my grandparents - just until we could get settled in our own place.

Things don't always turn out just like you plan...

Scratch that.

Do things ever turn out just like you plan????

I know that my parents never planned to stay with my grandparents as long as we did, but those months contain many many fond memories for me.

These grandparents are the Swedish grandparents: Mormor and Morfar. Daddy said that we all gained 10 pounds the first month we were there because Mormor was always feeding us. Morfar was forever trying to teach me Swedish too. His method was full immersion with lots of sign language. It might've worked except that i didn't have anyone else to speak Swedish to.

While we were there, i tried very hard to write down Mormor's recipes for all of her wonderful Swedish pastries and was very disappointed to find that most of the time she didn't use a single measuring instrument; and when she did, it was METRIC. I gave up altogether.

I'll tell you a funny and fond memory i have of my grandmother.

Mormor (and of course the whole family) came to live in the United States in 1969, when Mormor was 51. I've been told that the only English word Mormor spoke when she arrived in this country was, "hungry?"

Between 1969 and 1985, she learned English quite well, but as you might imagine, her Swedish accent remains very clear to this day.

The house where we lived was not too far from some sort of little store, and if i remember correctly, my grandmother would sometimes send me there to pick up whatever small grocery item she was missing.

I was nine or ten at the time, and i have this very funny memory of a long and difficult conversation between me and my grandmother in which, from what i could decipher, she really wanted me to go to the store and buy some yellow.

Yellow what, Mormor?


Red Yellow.


Red or Yellow what?


Eventually my grandmother reached into the cupboard and found an old box of ( i know you guessed this already ) jello.

Oh! You need Jello, Mormor?


Yes, Yellow.


Yellow Jello, Mormor?


No. Red Yellow.


I'm not sure how long this went on, but in my mind, it took FOREVER. I think i finally got the picture, and presumably, i successfully brought home the red yellow, but all i remember is that conversation.


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November 28, 2007

I got an email from my mom a couple of days ago.

Mormor and Morfar are something like 88 and 89 years old, and they live with my parents now.

A couple of days after Thanksgiving, the four of them were having Thanksgiving leftovers for dinner.

My mom related the conversation between Mormor and Morfar:

Mormor: What's the red stuff?

Morfar: It's yellow.

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