Sunday, October 25, 2020

Anundshög, a Viking Burial Site

 On our country drive, we just happened upon a mini-Stonehenge, but one we could actually walk up to and touch.  We were happy to see that it was free with free parking as well.  The burial mound is the largest in Sweden at a diameter of 200 feet and a height of 30 feet.  It reminded us of a pre-Columbian Native American burial mound in Cahokia, near St. Louis, Missouri.  

Anundshög is dated to between A.D. 210 and 540.  We're lucky if things are more than 100 years old in Alberta!

Welcome to Anundshög.  Open 24/7.
We can touch these ancient stones!  Some people even climbed on them.

A mini-Stonehenge for sure, but a little more modern.

"Did you ever take a walk through the forest . . . Stop and dream a while among the trees . . . You can look up through the trees right straight to heaven . . . You can almost hear the voice of God in each and every breeze"

"You've got to stop . . . and smell the roses . . . you've got to count your many blessings every day . . . You're going to find the road to heaven is a rough and rocky road . . . If you don't stop and smell the roses along the way."  

I love that song that was on the radio when I was a teenager.  Every time we're in a forest, we sing that song.

Now we're at the burial mound.

It's not as high as the burial mound at Cahokia but still impressive.

We're on top of the mound looking down on the "stone ships."  Rocks were placed in the shape of a ship and burials took place within the shape.

It's chilly on top of the mound.  Am glad for my winter coat even though the temperature isn't that cold.  It's humid.

Looking out toward winter wheat from the top of the mound.

A huge runestone complete with runes.

The stone says that "Folkvid raised all of these stones after his son Heden, Anund's brother Vred carved the runes."

We're inside the stone ship now.  There are 8 stone ships surrounding the main burial mound.
Goodbye ancient stones.

We took this picture so that our neighbors, Faye and Danny Beyer, could see how Swedes preserve their hay bales.  We wondered what they did as it's so wet here and we saw hay fields cut but not baled.  Then we saw these bales all covered in white plastic.  Maybe it's like silage?

Out of the City

 Last Saturday it was sunny and the fall leaves were pretty so we took a drive out of the city and into the countryside.  It was so good for us!  We are not city people.  Although where we live doesn't seem very city-ish with all its trees.  But I was glad to get out and see cropland and SKY!  So now we can say . . . yes, Sweden is a beautiful country!

We pass this housing complex a lot.  It's for immigrants and it makes me feel so sorry for them.  Hopefully not all immigrants to Sweden have to live in these kinds of units.

Each door is a separate apartment and it looks like there's only one window and it faces out the back of each apartment.  I would die of claustrophobia but hopefully this is better living than wherever the immigrants came from.  I sure hope so.  

We're still in the city, but heading out.  So many trees!

Now we're on the freeway.  Still trees on both sides.  But soon we're going to get off the freeway and travel the backroads.  We have GPS so we won't get lost.

So much bedrock here.  No wonder Alfred Nobel invented dynamite.  Takes a lot of dynamite to blast through the bedrock to form the roads.

So excited to see a field of winter canola.  Either that or else that's a lot of volunteer canola.

Or maybe it's canola planted with winter wheat?  

We love old churches.  So excited to see this one.  Rick Steves says there's more town halls than cathedrals in Sweden so we were in luck to find this one.

So happy to see cropland and SKY!

Love the barn-style rooflines on the houses.  So picturesque with the trees and the winter wheat field.

Beware of horses crossing the road.  In Israel, it's beware of camels crossing; in Kenya, it was beware of baboons crossing.  In another place in Stockholm, it was beware of moose crossing.  At home in Alberta, it's beware of deer crossing.  So interesting to see how things are different in different countries.

Love the brickwork.

We also love wandering through cemeteries.  We wonder what kinds of lives the people led.  Were they happy?  Did they love where they live?  We saw lots of heather planted by graves.

The rock work on the lower part is so interesting.  And look at those thick walls!

My high school friend in Taber, Diane Clifton, married Donald Hallstrom (who is now an Emeritus Seventy.  Seventy is an office in the priesthood).  I wonder if this Hallstrom is related to them.

This tiny village is basically just the church, the manse, and a couple of houses.  So cool!

Look at that heavy soil!!!  So interesting compared to the sandy soil on our farm.

Smorgasbord of Pictures

Finally got pictures transferred from my phone so here's more pictures. Some of Sweden. Some of missionaries.  For Elder Seely's parents, there's some of our visit with him.  Pictures of lingonberries, mushrooms, heather.  A smorgasbord of pictures.
We took the places of Elder Ward and Elder Jackson in the mission office.  They had taken over from Elder Deshler and Elder Seely who had become the office workers when we left Sweden in March.  Elder Deshler and Elder Seely had moved our two offices into one room and we really like it.  Nice to work in the same office as LeRon, instead of us each being in separate rooms.  I wondered if I would like it because LeRon likes music playing and I like quiet.  But it's working out great.
Syster Wilson (on left) and new Syster Evensen (on right) from Norway are serving right here.
Farewell to Elder Merrell (on left) who's going home.  We worked with Elder Merrell for almost two months in the mission office earlier this year.  Had great times singing together and eating treats.  Remember the fun birthday party, Elder Merrell?  L-R: Elder Merrell, Elder McGill, Elder Stinson, Elder Ward.  We're all at the mission home, singing together while Elder Torrie plays.
Singing and laughing together.  Elder Walker, Elder Merrell, Elder McGill, Elder Stinson, and Elder Ward.
Elder Hoyt, Elder Olson, Elder Walker.  We share the office with these young missionaries.  They're a big help, especially when it comes to the Swedish language.
This sweet sister translated for us in sacrament meeting in February.  She did a great job, although she could have said anything in English and we wouldn't have known whether it was right or wrong!  Her 18 months are up and she is going home.
Syster Albrecht and Elder Merrell are going home.  Most missionaries are sad/happy to be going.  Sad to leave the great people they've met but happy to go home to family and friends.  They all leave with a love for things Swedish and are fluent in the language.  Syster Albrecht and Elder Merrell are visiting with Elder McGill.
Elder Stinson is from New Zealand.  Love to hear his accent.  Since he's from part of the British Commonwealth, as are we, we feel a kinship to him.  Elder Ward did a great job of helping me get back in the harness in the office.
We're at the airport to help welcome the new missionaries.  Thought we'd get our picture taken too.
Since we didn't get our picture taken at the airport with President and Syster Davis when we first came, we did it today.
Our fearless leaders, President & Syster Davis, are great mission leaders.
Do you think Elder Torrie is smiling?  I don't know.  Can't see if his eyes are shining.
The Davis's were so excited to welcome their daughter.  How would it be to have your mission president be your dad?  Very different but fun too.

Mission presidents do not hug sister missionaries; they just shake their hands.  But this is different with President Davis and his daughter!
Beautiful model of the Vasa ship.  It was originally painted in brilliant colors.  See an earlier post about the Vasa Museum.
The Swedish king insisted on elaborate carvings.  The bigger, the better.  No wonder it sank just a few minutes into its maiden voyage.  So top heavy.  Just as the breeze caught the sails, she listed slightly and then on to her side, and then sank to the bottom of the sea, along with 30 crewmen who couldn't get out.  That's especially sad since the engineers and builders knew the ship would likely not float as the king hoped.

Amazing that this ornate ship was at the bottom of the sea for 330 years!

In the fall, all the stores sell beautiful heather in all different colors.  We first saw heather in Scotland.  It's an evergreen and very hardy.

We named our oldest daughter Heather.  One time she was talking with her friends about the meaning of their names.  She said, "I'm just a shrub."  It was so funny.  But our Heather is like the heather -- resilient, hardy, and beautiful.

We welcomed another senior couple, Elder & Syster Cowgur.  They will be traveling all over Scandinavia, helping people learn to be self-reliant using the church's self-reliance program.  It's a great program teaching people how to save, how to budget, how to start new businesses, how to get out of debt and more.

Elder Seely (on left) and his companion, Elder Childs (on right) came to visit us last week.  We worked with Elder Seely in the mission office in January and February and became very close to him, especially when we learned that his family came originally from Alberta.  In fact, the Torries have owned some Seely land for years.  We remember LeRon's dad, Marvin Torrie, talking about the "Seely quarter."  We checked the old maps, and sure enough, two quarters were owned by Seely brothers, who were brothers to Elder Seely's great-grandfather.  It's a small world.

Elder Seely, Elder Nordgren, Elder Stinson, Elder Childs.  Elders Nordgren and Stinson currently share the mission office with us.

Elder Seely, Elder Stinson, Elder Nordgren, Elder Childs, Syster & Elder Torrie

So wonderful to see Elder Seely again!  He's a great missionary with an excellent command of the Swedish language.  He's nearly finished his 2-year mission.

Trattkantarell are "funnel chanterelle" which are mushrooms that grow here.  People love them.  I haven't tasted them yet.  They are apparently the most common of wild edible mushrooms.  Syster Davis is going to show me where they grow sometime.  There's a forest right by the mission home and she's seen them growing there.

The red berries are lingonberries.  Swedes love them but Elder Torrie and I think they are very bitter.  They are often served with Swedish meatballs.