These are the continuing adventures of a Swedish immigrant during her first year as an American. She boldly went where she'd never gone before...please come along on Adventures in America.
When we still lived in Sweden, we were really blessed to have a huge section of woods right at the end of our little three-house street. There was the big street, which had the name, Stråkvägen, then there were about 16 of these off-shoot streets which had the numbers. We were 8A. The C houses bordered the woods. The kids in the neighborhood played in the woods all the time.
One of our favorite activities was building forts. We did it right, and the contestants on Survivor could have taken shelter building lessons from us, let me tell you.
We built this really awesome hide-out one time, with the help of some older kids, who actually let us help build AND hang out. We ran into a big problem though. The older kids told us rumors about a rival group of older kids who wanted to find our special place and destroy it. We younger kids were all very scared of this happening. Playing with the older kids (almost high school, as I remember) was a big boon. Well, we did have to bring snacks...
Let me tell you, this place was the real deal. As I recall (and we've discussed my recall enough) about 8 or 9 of us fit in there all at one time, and it was nicely camouflaged from the outside. Long afternoons were spent debating whether to just tear it down ourselves before “the others” did it, or to take it apart carefully and move it to a more secure location.
I sure wish I remembered what we decided, but regardless of what it was, we never had that special place again. In retrospect, I think the older kids just tore it down, built another one (easy for them) somewhere else so that they didn't have to put up with us pesky younger ones anymore.
It did spark some creativity in the younger set. Here are some of our attempts...
(This is me, Swissie, and my best friend Ann-Charlotte, who was a magical two years older and taught me so much, including how to read (not exaggerating). She lived in 6A, as in behind our backyard)
(This is her younger brother, Joakim, who was in my class throughout school, well the three years I spent there, and we were very good friends, too.)
If you haven't noticed by now, the woods, the multitude of kids, and the special friends were what I missed the most about moving. I got used to the culture, but I only saw Ann-Charlotte one more time, when I was much, much older.