Sunday, July 28, 2013


In the torp (former soldier's farm house from 1800s),
So very much like min mormor/morfars (my maternal 
grandparents') 1930-50s Side Lake, MN summer cabin,
Amenities are rustic, propelling me back to childhood
Memories of differences between town and lake.

Neither Sverige torpet nor the  Minnesota lake cabin 
Had indoor plumbing, resulting in outdoor toileting, 
as well as outdoor water pump linked to indoor 
Kitchen sink water. In contrast to torpet, I think
The MN cabin had electric lights, but I could be wrong.

The body WILL eliminate, often, these aging years,
Several times in the middle of the night. Although
Swedish days last several hours longer than in
Minnesota or Washington State, the middle of 
Swedish nights are almost completely dark. 

As I awakened several times during the nights to
Realize my need to walk, yet again, down the path,
I broke into repetitive and futile debate about whether,
Indeed, this specific trip was necessary. Of course 
I wasted valuable time in a debate I always lost.

As I made my way to the toilet several times prior 
To daybreak, the same images erupted about 
Hungry animals hellbent on having me for a
Midnight snack. I comforted myself with a 
Philosophical, "If it is my time, so be it," and a laugh.

Rustic life brought me back to ancient and recent
History, to the foundation of our family experience,
To our Swedish and Minnesota familial and earthy roots.
Rustic life lengthens and deepens our conversations,
Slows our steps, pauses our thinking, opens our hearts.

Ann Beth Blake
(c) July 28, 2013

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