Calm. Quiet. Beautiful. Serene, even. Hospitality. Those are the words that come to mind when I'm trying to describe my emotions about this place. I hadn't been in this kind of environment for so long, I had forgotten how it was.

In a way, I'm privileged. I've family here. Lot's of it! It's like the whole village is almost entirely owned by family! I've a whole bunch of 2nd cousins (called "tremänning" or "syssling" in Swedish). We (dad, Eva and I) are living in one of my 2nd cousin's (her name is Sonja, pronounced So'nee-a) house, a beautiful (and big!) wooden house painted in typical red with white corners.

I've spent the last few days visiting all kinds of relatives, dad's cousins and my own 2nd cousins alike. Local shop owners, owners of a lot of land (most of it being forest), hunters, fishers, farmers. A few years ago, I had no idea my dad's family was so damn large. I've learned that he had 34 cousins in total, of which 17 are alive today, so you can imagine the amount of uncles, aunts and cousin's children he has or had! I have 56 2nd cousins (oh, and a couple of 3rd cousins)! Wow!

The hospitality of the people here is just great. Yeah, it's family, but still, coming from a large city where everyone is so damn busy, and getting together requires planning and making appointments at least a few days in advance, it's liberating to just knock on a door and be greeted with open arms, apparently always ready for a "fika" (that's basically sitting down around a table, sipping coffee, eating cookies and talk about whatever you have on your mind, which is a way of living up here in the north). And they are so obviously happy to get visitors. If you think about it, it makes sense. The northern countryside is quite isolated, with some distance between villages, or sometimes individual houses, so a visit is the little contact you have with the outer world, and has to be a blessing. Us humans really need to have this contact network, and I could feel it whenever someone came for a chat in "our" house! And then, Sonja basically just handed us her house, not really any strings attached!

It's funny, really, how one can feel more isolated in town...

Among the greates things has been watching my dad blossom. This is his childhood place, he's been telling me how Torsten (one of his cousins' son) and him have played in this farm, that sandy area, this river and so on. He connects, and it's obvious he loves and misses the countryside, that it's his real home turf. And he loves doing stuff, taking care of what needs cared for. One of the mornings, he was cutting down grass around the edges of "our" house, just because he saw it was needed and likes doing it! It reminds me of the summer house we had just a few miles north of Stockholm, that he had to sell about 20 years ago, and how he like doing similar kinds of things there. He must have been missing it! Dad's definitely not a town boy at heart, even though he partly grew up in the middle of Malmö and Stockholm.

As for me, I'm very attracted to this place. It didn't take long to realise I could live like this, and when I heard at what prices you could get a place like this (we're talking a price range that's at least 100 times lower than the corresponding thing in Stockholm, if it was at all possible to find!), my mouth started salivating!
There are just three things that need solving: 1) getting my credit record back on track (I will still need a bank loan), 2) getting a decent Internet link to the place (not at all a guarantee), and 3) being able to work from there. I realise it would not be a quick project to get this kind of place. But it definitely feels possible!

I know one thing, though: I want to come back here, at the latest next year, and I want to bring my son (he would have a blast here!).

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