Saturday, April 26, 2014

W ~ Water, Water, Everywhere, Pick Your Country! #atozchallenge

All Aboard! "It's Very Swedish..." a train on a cultural journey through Sweden, exploring the differences big and small between American and Swedish culture.

If you're not into the whole cultural experience, feel free to skip to the embarrassing childhood pictures.

I've been sharing about Sweden's great lakes and the fun we had there, but they are not the only water attractions in Sweden.  Water plays a huge part of life there.  Why do you think so many Swedes gravitated to Minnesota with it's, what is it, 10,000 lakes? Swedes felt at home there.

The lakes I grew up with were of all sizes and conditions.  There were lakes we could swim in, lakes we only boated on, lakes where we fished, and of course lakes where we did all of the above.  One thing they all had in common: the water was quite cold. You do get used to it though.  Really used to it.  

It's kinda of like when my Amazing Aunt Risky asked me today, at a restaurant, if the dish was spicy.  I said no, it's just pesto, it's not spicy.  Then I got her portion, because to her, it was too spicy.  Moral: don't ask me if the water is cold.  My answer will be NO, it's fine, come on in ;-)

One of my favorite lakes was the one where The Swede's best friend had a house.  There were two docks. One where there was foot-high sea weed and you wouldn't dream of swimming there, but that's where the boat was.  The other dock was on the other side of the house, around the corner if you will, and the water was crystal clear and you could see all the way to the bottom even where it was REALLY deep.  

Here's a picture of the "sea-weed" dock.

I found that I have more childhood photos involving non-lake water.  Enjoy.  

This is our backyard in Sweden.  That's DataBoy on the left in the pool with friend I can't remember, and I'm on the left on the "beach blanket" with friend I also can't remember. This picture was only marked "Spring time back yard water play" by Momarazzi.

This is one of our favorite vacation destinations.  We stayed at the campground, but had full use of the wonderful facilities enjoyed by those who stayed at the actual, pricey resort.  It was called Billingehus, for those Swedes reading :-)  That's Farfar with Swissie in his lap.  Me styling in the bikini...thought I was styling.  Year not marked, but I'm thinking this was right before we moved to America, so about 8.

Water sports continued after the move.  This is in the backyard of our first house in America, 1974.  Me, Swissie, and DataBoy. Yes, we dragged DataBoy in, fully clothed. Good thing, or he would have been nude, and then I couldn't have put up the picture...

That's me in the flowered bikini, still thinking I'm all that, at age 12.  There's Swissie, and Farmor, in the background, headless.

Ever the gymnast, I also enjoyed diving.

What are your water experiences?  Did you grow up with access to lakes?  Are you afraid of what you can't see when you're swimming? Come back to "Y" and you'll hear my learning to swim story.  Not that you'd want to miss "X"...seriously.  X is hard enough in English...

~Tina, who happily swims anywhere she can see the bottom, and will sometimes, with enough peer pressure, swim in uncharted waters (it's hard to resist Aunt Risky...)

©2014 All Rights Reserved
All photos most likely by Momarazzi, or another family member.  For example, Momarazzi would not have cut off Farmor's head...


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

We usually had access to pools, lakes or rivers. And yes, I've gone swimming in really cold waters. Won't swim in the ocean though. Not here, that's for sure. A friend who gives diving lessons says if people knew how many sharks were just off our coast, swimming with people, they would never go in the water again.

Jo said...

I have swum in rivers and oceans most of my life having spent a good part of it living on a boat. The coldest water I ever entered was in Yugoslavia (as it was called then) off the Kotor Fjord. I did not stay in long, nor anyone else.

I have also swum off the coast of NC Alex. I will never do so again. I knew there were sharks, but didn't know there were lots.

That's how I met Matt, SCUBA diving.

CA Heaven said...

Water is great, on the lakes, rivers, or even better, on the coast. The water is one if the reasons why I like Stockholm. It's the nicest capital in the Nordic countries >:)

Cold As Heaven

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Tina .. all our early holidays were by water - in Cornwall or at the Lake District and the lakes were cold .. we had one year where we swam or were pulled along with my father rowing the boat ...

I wasn't the happiest in water - still not but we did learn to swim probably in the swimming pool in the nearby town ..

Wonderful memories you'd have had of those early days .. lovely photos - cheers Hilary

Anonymous said...

I grew up in southern California, where I spent tons of time in the water. I always loved swimming in the ocean (and thank goodness never saw a shark--but jellyfish? Yikes!). Now in Wisconsin, I'm not a fan of lake swimming. I can't stand that squishy feeling between my toes, and I just know there's broken glass down there. :)

Fun post--loved all the pics!

Donna Smith said...

We mostly swim in the ocean here in Maine, though we do have lakes and ponds. Hate the blood suckers in them, though. I'd sooner risk the sharks!
It is fun to watch "people from away" go down to the ocean's edge here thinking they are going to walk in and go for a swim. The look on their faces is priceless. It takes a good 5 minutes to get numb and enjoy the water. The coldest water I've found so far is at Reid State Park, in case anyone is up to it this summer on a visit to Maine!
Donna Smith
The A-to-Z Challenge
Mainely Write

Kathe W. said...

I learned how to swim in a New Hampshire lake- at the camp "Little Sir Echo Lake" go figure on that name! My father took a movie of me pretending to swim as it was very shallow.
Those were the days!

cleemckenzie said...

Anyone with an aunt named Risky has to be interesting and a dare taker in their own right. But you're correct, all is relative. What is spicy to one is bland to another.

As for me, I grew up near the Pacific Ocean. Down south it's warm and lovely, so I spent most of free time body surfing. When I moved north, the Pacific was a whole different animal. Brrr. Now I'm lucky to stick my toe in it.

P V Ariel said...

Hi Tina,
Glad to be here again,
The title water water....drew me here again!!! :-)
nice childhood reminiscences :-)
Lovely pics too.
Thanks for sharing this.
Have a Happy Weekend
~ Philip

Darla Sue Dollman said...

Another great post! I used to race Hobie Cats and sailboats and I love the water, even though I've spent my entire life landlocked! Water is a great topic. It's becoming a hot issue. In fact, I currently have nine documentaries on water saved on my television!

Kathe W. said...

thanks for the advice Tina! Cheers!

Andrew Leon said...

I grew up in a place of lakes, but I lost my desire for swimming, what little desire I had, during high school after a lake incident.

D Biswas said...

I had no access to water bodies growing up-- and learned swimming thee years ago :)

Damyanti, Co-host A to Z Challenge April 2014, My Latest post

Twitter: @AprilA2Z

klahanie said...

Hi Tina,

There's something alluring about water. The lakes of your memories and the ripples that embrace your life.

You drift away in your thoughts and you are back there enjoying those lakes in Sweden, once again.

I have had many a pleasant experience swimming and canoeing in the pristine lakes of British Columbia.

Even in the murkiest of waters, I see that positive hope.

Happy Sunday, dear Tina.

Gary :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Tina, what a pleasure to read this! I grew up in Sweden too, by the lake Mälaren. We had a boat and spent a few weeks boat camping every summer, exploring the lake and the archipelago around Stockholm. Every island we boarded was a new discovery. Those are the most magic memories from my childhood.
Popping by in the A to Z from

Lila Asnani said...

Looks like you had a beautiful childhood by the lakes in Sweden. I love the pic of you diving- you looked so elegant and powerful. I grew up in a city with limited pool access so learned to swim as an adult and still get really scared when I am in deep water even in the pool! :/ I swim regularly and am getting less fearful so maybe just need lots of practice. :) Dropped by for A-Z.

LD Masterson said...

Love the pictures.

I'm crazy about being in the water. Oceans, lakes, rivers, ponds, swimming pools. I even love running through the sprinkler.

Stephanie Faris said...

We had a houseboat when I was a kid and our parents would encourage (force?) us to swim in the lake when they dropped anchor. I found it nastier than nasty. Later in life, I heard that lake had issues because sewage was draining into it from the houses that lined maybe I wasn't so wrong, after all!

Marcy said...

What a fun post! There was no pool in the town where I grew up and we had to travel for 20 to 30 minutes to go swimming, or just go wading in the canal or the creek. I did take swimming lessons as an adult, but still don't swim well.

Ayat Ali said...

افضل شركات نقل وتخزين الاثاث
اشهر شركات نقل وتخزين الاثاث بالرياض
أفضل شركات مكافحة الحشرات بالرياض
شركة دهانات بالرياض
شركة تنظيف خزانات بجدة
شركات رش المبيدات بجدة
شركة تنظيف خزانات بالرياض
مصر عملية المرارة بالمنظار
مكافحة حشرات الفراش
شركات ابادة الحشرات الرياض
شركة تنظيف شقق بالمدينة المنورة
شركة تنظيف فلل بجدة
شركة خدمات منزلية
شركة خدمات منزلية
عفش مستعمل للبيع بالرياض
شركة تنظيف موكيت بالخبر
موقع اثاث مستعمل

Judy Shea said...

Hi, I don't know what this is, but I was looking for "Little Sir Echo Camp" where I went to camp in around maybe the early 1950's and it brought me here to where Kathe W. said she learned to swim on a lake, something about Camp Little Sir Echo lake. From about 1946 to 1958, on Lake Armington in Pike, NH, there was Little Sir Echo Camp! and now there's a beach called Sirecho beach or something. So it's definitely the same place, but I don't know if Kathe went to camp at Little Sir Echo, or whether it was just at the site. There were some other camps there, too. Don't ask me to remember. I was looking at their names all of 15 minutes ago! Tahoma! That's one. There's a site that has memories of some of the other camps there, but not Little Sir Echo, boo hoo. lol. If we are talking about water! I love to drink it. Also take bathe in it (not shower) and I learned to swim maybe in Wellfleet, Cape Cod, MA, or else at Conomo Point, Essex, MA, and probably I got better at it at Little Sir Echo Camp. in Pike, NH. It was a cool camp‚ co-ed, and they had horses! And you could ride them! But not in the water. Judy Shea