Sofia as a widow

Sofia Göransson

At the age of 56 she was now the widow of Karl Henrik. After a heavy working mother and matron, Sofia was now suddenly found herself sitting on her chamber, on the 'undantag - exemption'. The farm was sold in 1901 to Karl and Ida for 13000 kr, and the 'undantaget-support' was settled. ('Undantag' is the swedish word for a settled support that the children had to give their parents when the farm was passing hands to the younger generation). It was the chamber in southeast on the ground floor and the gable room in the west on the upper floor. Then firewood. (There were tile stoves on the ground floor and a pipe stove on the first floor. On the winter all stayed on the ground floor, while all slept upstairs on the summer. And Sophia also moved her stuff upstairs then.) In the 'undantag' support there was also half a stop of milk each day (1 stop = 1.3 liter). She also was granted a flax field in the meadow by the lake. It laid southwest of the large birch. ("Basta" - the suna that laid by the Aspen grove, was used to prepare the flax. It burnt to the ground around year 1900.) Half a pot of potatoes set out. Her potatoe box was to the left of the cellar door. A hen on the field. This hen was kept among the other hens. For three, four years it was a black and white hen that Ingrid called the "paltbröhöna" - bloodbread hen.
Sofia in Näs

This hen became very tame and was easy to catch, because every day she was checking if any eggs were on their way. Grandma was supporting herself. The coffee pot was standing in the tile stove and so did the pot on legs. - The mother in law and daughter in law were very good friends. Sometimes grandma took care of the children. Both Ida and Karl were kind to her. After slaughter she got bloodbread, sausages and brawn. On sundays she was invited for dinner and rice porridge in the evening. If there were visitors, grandma had her given seat at the table.


Sometimes the old woman felt that the time was "as long as the difficult year (the poor year of 1869)". She knitted and knitted. Her main interest was, of course, her children and grandchildren. And the knitting was meaningful: there were many warm presents for the grandchildren.

And she was reading all the time. Every so often she came into the kitchen with Luthers 'postilla' - (a religious book) in her hands. - Do you understand, Ida, what Luther wants to tell us here? Once she heard Waldenström in Eksjö (Probably PP Waldenström, the founder of the Immanuel church - KHR). At that occation she also heard the song : "Löftena kunna ej svika"-'The promises could not betray' for the first time. The she bought "Herren är from - The Lord is pious". And Waldenström himself signed the book. She often read this book and it comforted her. The book ""Ahnfeldts sånger -Ahnfeldts songs" also pleased her.

- I think I wanna go travellin'. Then she went by the horse wagon to Hult and the train further. Sometimes she was visiting one of the children, and sometimes she was seeing a grandchild to help out. Still at 80 she could walk all the way to Sjöarp, 8 km. - She was rather small, well built, light and handy, had a vivid way of movement and a light step (I am not so good at translating these words describing her, but the mening is that she was small, slender and quite fit for her age). - Grandma could not read or write handwritten text. Grandfather wrote well.

- Tell us of the old times, grandma! It was the children in Näs who wanted to hear the stories about the friends and relatives way back. It was like fairytales. She told about "Rasås", Ralingsås in Lommaryd parish where she grew up. About her parents Göran Petter and Stina, about the people in the farms around the long lake, or about the lake Ralången with it 'flottholme- moving island', that, whan it raised above the water surface, was an omen of bad times. - This I know all the way down, she sometimes said, about a relations in the family. - Now soon we will have visits from Vittaryd. That's for sure, because far before the folks arrived the dog "Vittas Lona" showed up. She was so sly, so smart.

Grandma told us many times: When I was with my sister Maj Stina in Vittaryd once I should babysit their little daughter Kristin. I might have been 10 years of age. Svente laid sick in the bed with a bad hangover. And when the other left for work he wanted more to drink. - Put the girlie here on the bed, get the jar and go up the village to buy me some more! I went towards the village and was hiding behind a house for a while. When I got back I said: - There was noone at home. Svente sighed: - Is that so! - Behold that I could be that wise, she ended her tale.


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