Here, gathered in our beloved South Dakota, are a few members of our Williamson / Mattson Clan. Charles and Luella are to be blamed (be kind, they didn't know what they were doing). We're generally a happy bunch and somewhat intelligent (notwithstanding our tenuous grasp on reality). I'm also proud to say that most of us still have our teeth.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Our Swedish Letter Translated!

From the Fortress of Solitude
Pleasant Grove

Hello All,
Our 9th cousin Pertti responded to my call for help and translated the letter (written in Swedish) sent to our Great Grandmother Ida from her sister Hilma. That's right, Hilma. Luella always remembered Ida calling her Wilma. There is another mystery waiting to be solved.

We begin with the letter itself.

And now, the Translation:

Dear Sister With Your Family!

I have to put my thoughts into action and let you hear from me. It's been a really long time since I wrote to you and everyone else with you. I feel good and everyone so does everyone else here at my house.

I'm wondering just how you have it [how are things during the war] and how you are so far away from homeland. Homeland that you might have forgotten for a long time ago.
But unfortunately we must admit we have a good homeland. Just think that we still have everything compared with other countries. [Sweden was neutral during World War 2]

Pertti's remark:
(Unfortunately might here have the meaning that from Hilma's view that Ida has lost her good homeland).

Lately we have not suffered any shortages except for coffee, which we do not have at all now. I was going to beg coffee of you. The coffee there [ in the USA] is so cheap. And it is sent so much from there. Coffee is coming continually from America. I envy those who get it. I have the post so I can see all the packages that are coming. So I think you might probably also send some to us. For you know, it feels unpleasant to be entirely without coffee when you have become used to it from childhood.

Now I hope you show your sister's love and send me a couple of kilograms of coffee.
They generally come in two kilos packages and you pay the customs duty yourself. Now don't forget it away! I will send this letter by air mail so it goes faster.

Well, Valter is at home with his wife, and how many children they have. Astrid is now to take real (school subject?) in spring. If she gets it (the grade?), I'll send a card for her.

Lennart is reading for the third year. Hasse started school in the previous fall and Rolf is five years. Charles is 20 years.

You might have heard that Nanna Tornberg is dead. Arthur is also at home in Karungi.
He has become a bit strange during his long stay away from homeland. But he is not so dangerous. He has some kind of repair station. Adriana, she also lives in Karungi. Her husband is in Canada. All her children are adults. She has four children.

We are still having full winter here. You of course have a lot warmer weather there. But soon we have the lovely Nordic spring here with sunshine and summer.

Well how is Valter [Grandpa Walter, Ida's husband] is he at the front or is he at home? Yes, we also have electric lights here with radio and everything, so now there are other [modern] times here in the Torne Valley than in the old days. You should come and see. You would not recognize the home region. Yes, now I have scribbled a lot so I have to stop.

Do not forget the coffee. And do not forget to write some time. It's nice to hear something about you. It's awful, that we are just two siblings and never write to each other. So much should you still have fellowship with one another that you write some time.

Yes, I become 50 years old in August. Sure I am old. In August 30th is my birthday. You must be 56 or so. Think we are old people. And mother has been lying 10 years in the grave. Greetings to Valter and Albert with his wife.

Writes sister Hilma



Do not forget the coffee drop!

Greetings to the aunt


Pertti adds the following:

By the way, I think Hilma speaks of her and Ida's cousins in this letter, like Nanna and Adriana.

Best regards

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