Twelve – Family Stories

 

 

In my childhood summer.

Yes, that`s was what I was thinking about when I visited Eriklia with the kids before Christmas. The happy kids throwing themselves into the hay in the barn. The high activity level.  Jumping into the hay, up from the hay, running up the bridge and then jumping in again. Again and again…

That’s how it was. I can remember the anticipation while grandfather Torvald sneak around and checked whether the hay was dry enough. I guess there were a few sleepless nights with our wet and rainy climate. Was the hay dry and the weather good – and yes, it was full speed. It was important to get the hay indoors before the rain came

I was a kid and all I can remember is the fun stuff and how much we loved to sit on top of the hay wagon when it was time to go back to the barn. For those who were older, this was the hardest working session of the year.

There were many loads of hay that was in the barn before we could jump in the hay. In my childhood valley we ran barefoot in the sun and jumped in the hay all day long. I am sure that`s not all there was to it because I also remember a lot of yelling.

They were afraid that we would break the neck in the jump. Most of all, they worry that we might trigger a fire in the barn. They concerned themselves with all the right reasons.

My grandfather Torvald always had a long nap after dinner at noon and that`s when we kids owned the barn. My mother Ragnhild was good at keeping us on our toes but this time of the year was too busy for her to have total control.

We climbed up on the smooth wooden-bar and jumped with a sinking feeling in our stomach. In the other end of the barn it was deeper and there were hanging ropes in the beam in the ceiling. The little ones were admiring the older ones for their courage.

We built tunnels all over the barn and we made caves by the windows. That must have been one of the things that scared my mother the most. Tunnels collapsing or someone breaking their neck…So much fun – but I also remember tight airways and the itching at bedtime.

In my childhood valley the grass was green, the summer filled with sunshine and the smell of dried hay.

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