Sunday, August 15, 2010


A bit about friendship!  A reflection on how lucky I am to have met and befriended so many amazing people.  Leaving Sweden at the age of 16  1/2 with a suitcase my Uncle Gunnar provided, a red carry on bag from my parents, and forty dollars in my pocket, it has been quite a journey.  Part of my trip was paid for with money I had saved, part of it paid for by Carl Quist Jr.  Moster Helmi and Morbror Gunnar also added Crowns to my thin pocket book.

My mom putting me on the boat to America 

For many years I kept in contact with old school friends, eventually lost track of some, but I think of them often..... Marie Louise Orräng, Ulla Britt Nielsen......  Maud Jandenius, or Maud Bradley as is her name these days.  We, Maud and I, are still connected, still tight, still together!  After all these years!!!  I could go back even further, to life in Uppsala with school mates like Åsa Pålsheden and Monica Sjölund who lived across the hallway from us at Svartbäcksgatan 101.  Who knows what they are up to today?  They too pop into my mind every so often.  But this is a note on true and lasting friendships.

Me, my sister Monica, and Maud
Maude and I

Not long ago I  sat here talking to visitors/guests about how lucky I have been never having lost a friend in anger.  I am truly lucky!  Yes, I have lost track of even close friends due to moves and new addresses, but never due to grand "fall outs".

Leaving Sweden at that very tender age,  I still stayed in touch with many special friends.......Mona Botes for one!  What a role model she and her husband Hasse have been!!  When I was an apprentice beautician at Annie's Hairdressing Salon we met.  Are friends still.

Me at the Hairdressing college

My new life in Oklee, Minnesota introduced me to many knew wonderful people who took me in and guided me into an entirely new culture in an entirely new world!  Sharon Johnsson- Remick- Barnes was one of those.  Jani and Charles Seeger, though in the beginning they were not a couple......... they are now and have been for , yep, many, many a year........... along with and especially, Jean and Kenny Rolandson.  They took me in, opened their home, a place filled with big noise and warm hearts and smiles that never stopped!  We baked bread and Danish pastries, I baby sat, we made gingerbread houses for Christmas!  We have stayed in touch!  One more time........ All these years!!!!

Jani and Charles
Jean and Jani

In addition, there are the friends from San Jose, The Foppianos, Mrs. Mullholland, we still communicate.  Not to forget many friends from the Hewlett-Packard days. Nancy, Geri, Rose Mary, Steph, Lucy.....

Mr. Bonetti
Nancy and her Sister

The customers at Oakhurst Feed, many of whom became more like family than customers, the neighbors and coworkers and other members of the staff at the store.  Special people such as Adeline  Smith, Sharon and Gene.  Jana, Albert,  Little Brian and Big Brian, Rand, the Presho's, "Corky", the Jouettes, special "Angels " like Noreen Mc Donald......  so many, it is not possible to mention them all.  This is not a matter of counting names. This is not a "Face Book, I have 2000 friends deal".   Rather, I would like for each and every person that has been so special for me to know, that without them I would not be the person I am today. They have added so much to my life.  Have helped create the person I have become.  All I want to say is: Thank You!

Our experiences, along with those friends, teachers and relatives who have made an impact on us, those who teach us something, those who give of themselves and those who embrace us,  those who contributed something, be it a valuable lesson, or other "information" are part and parcel of who we become in the end.  And as we are sometimes measured by "our friends" or "by the company we keep" I am grateful to have met you!!  You know who you are!!

Remembering talking to Annika about how lucky I was to have been able to meet so many dear and special people in my various walks of life.  This  conversation taking place when she did NOT want to move away from Sweden, did NOT want to leave her parents and her sister, nor her friends.  There was NO going to America for her, that was NOT in the plan.  Wonder if she thinks about any of that today?

Recently I received a letter from Mary, Jean Rolandsons' daughter, telling me her Mother, my dear friend had died.  She will be missed.  Included in her letter was this verse.


I'd like the memory of me
To be a happy one.
I'd like to leave an after glow of smiles when life is done
I'd like to leave an echo whispering softly down the ways,
Of happy times and laughing times
And bright and sunny days.
I'd like the tears of those who grieve, to dry before the sun
Of happy memories that I leave, when life is done.

                                           Author unknown.

No one knows how much time one is given, surely not enough to waste!        CARPE DIEM

Some of Our Family Today all Friends


  1. Yepp Agneta, I DO think about it. And, just like you, I feel fortunate to have taken this journey, the things I have seen, the people I have met and the country I have learned to know. Never the less, I think about my family and friends back "home" every day. And I miss them dearly. But having two "homes" is pretty great...!

  2. Wonderful sentiments. I knew when meeting you two for the first time at your store, Oakhurst Feed, that there was going to be a lasting bond. You have made so many nice contributions to those around you and you should savor those many relationships.

    Thank you for the gift of a tin of Swedish cookies every Christmas. We loved them!