Monday 26 April 2010

Childhood revisited

Yesterday I was visiting my mother at her house all day. This is the place where I spent all my summers as a child, and it was my home from age 15 to 22, when I moved to a flat on my own. It has "always" been there, full of memories of happy summer days, winter holidays and finally the permanent home all year round.

I spent some time outdoors pruning her roses and clearing the dead leaves from her flowerbed. I felt like I earned a stroll around before making our afternoon tea. Come along and see what's around the house!
Here we are looking from the back of the house to the lake, still covered with ice and only the shoreline free for a goldeneye couple. My father had a birdhouse for them in a tree near the water. The log cabin on the right is the sauna.

The water is very low at this time of the year. The waves have brought dead leaves to our little sand beach, where my father taught me to swim.

This is a summer picture of my rock "ship" from the other side of the sauna. The little step with the green moss front made it easy to climb on the deck. At that time the spruce branch didn't reach down to my deck. I could sail far away and be back the moment I was called.

Behind the sauna is a wood shed, and in front of it one of the many birdhouses my father has built. He has carved the building year 1996 in this one. He was 81 years old at that time.

The forest around the house is full of big rocks like these:

This one looks like spooky character with green hair of polypody. The rhizome tastes like licorice, but I was always suspecting it could be not safe to chew too much of it.

Behind the carage and father's workshop is a mysterious jungle with a secret river. You can see a narrow bridge across this dark water.

The meadow between the lawn and the forest is about to get blue with liverwort. Where I live now, liverwort is rather rare. Here the wood anemone will soon cover roadsides and forest grounds, while in my childhood I thought of it as an exotic beauty.

Here a closer look, you may recognize this wild flower:

We had a playhouse, also used as a winter storage place for the garden chairs and tables. Here is a sunny summer picture of the building. It was painted white when we were little.


Now it is full of things in storage, so I can only let you see some of the loveliness. This old child-size cupboard comes from my mother's playhouse from the 1920's.


There were three little doll's buggies ready to take the dolls for a ride. I believe the red ones are from my big sisters and the light blue one belonged to my younger sister. I had a lovely wicker bed for my doll. The iron bed on the right was my mother's.


Can you imagine a lovelier window for the back wall of the playhouse?


I'm happy I can still visit the old playgrounds. Everything has grown smaller, only the trees are bigger every year. My feet still remember every step of the path from the front lawn to the sauna, but the path will soon be taken over by grass and flowers.


  1. Hi Ulla!
    Thanks so much for taking me along on your path...I enjoyed every step! Isn't it wonderful that you get to 'go back' and I loved the stories that went with the pictures! I could see you sitting up on your rock as a young child..and playing in the little sweet! Take care and thanks for sharing!

  2. How wonderful you can still go back and visit your childhood memories in person. Such a cute play house. Wonder if there were lots of tea parties there?

  3. What a perfect place to spend a childhood! Thank you for sharing it with us.

  4. Welch berührender und schöner Post. Man spürt die liebevollen Erinnerungen an welchen du uns teilnehmen lässt. Geniesse dieses "Nachhause in die Kindheit" gehen, irgendwann ist es unwiderruflich zu Ende. Ich erlebe dies gerade im Moment. Jede Woche nehme ich ein bisschen mehr Abschied, wenn ich in meinem Elternhaus bin wo meine betagte und kranke Mutter lebt. Deine gezeigte Umgebung erinnert mich an meinen Aufenthalt in Gebiet Kangasala, als ich noch jung war. Nur an Felsen kann ich mich nicht mehr erinnern. Dafür an die unendlich schönen Birkenwälder, das weiche Moos am Boden und das Saunahäuschen am See, wo wir bis Mitternacht im Boot sassen (ich sogar mit einem Buch!).
    Liebe Grüsse,

  5. What a wonderful place to grow up in.

  6. I remember this lake from a previous post - - - loved it then, still love it now.

  7. Ulla - this is just the sweetest post! I can see you and your sister's frolicking in the playhouse with your wonderful toys! It makes me think of Hansel and Gretel, only without the big bad wolf! Thank you so much for the wonderful tour!

  8. Ulla what a lovely ride, Thank you..
    I must say that I love your dollhouse, it is every girls dream . I had a dream about a dollhouse like this, but I never came true...
    Take care!

  9. Thanks for the tour! Your childhood playhouse is wonderful...I love all the furniture!

  10. What a wonderful place where you can look with 2 pairs of eyes- those of child Ulla and those of adult Ulla. I love your playhouse with the porthole window of stained glass. Maybe I would've been more domesticated if I had had such a place sadly though I was up a tree a lot of in the water. Does this sound like a really good excuse for why I am a bad cook? :-)

    It's so lovely to see the wild beautiful place. I wondered if the flower was "Glory of the Snow"- Chionodoxa?

  11. Love the little playhouse and the cupboard!!!!! What a lovely place to grow up- imagination bounds!!!
    The pheasant in your other post is cute!! We have blue jays that have been know to drive off the "intruders" in house windows and car rear view mirrors!!! We'd always have to cover them in paper, til breeding season was over!!!

  12. Your parent's place is so enchanting... so lovely to read about your precious memories!
    The playhouse and the treasures in it are so charming!


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