My 86 year old grandmother lives alone in the woods of Trysil, on top of a small mountain in Norway.
From childhood memories I can remember there was people living nearby.
In the passing years she has seen all the familiar faces wither away and disappear from the farms around Vinnargard.
As the last one of my grandparents, she is the only one who can tell stories from the old days and help me recreate pieces of my childhood, from when I was too young to remember.
What happens when she is gone?
I always feel like I should photograph my loved ones more often. Especially because of the pictures I never took.
Thus it is important for me to document my grandmothers life and spend time with her before she leaves this world, so that the memories will live on for the next generations.
Stille, mine skoger no.
Stille, alle lier.
Stutt var sommarn, stutte er
Stille ved vår juni - elv.
Ingen ler ved stranda.
Ingen kaute båter drar.
kjølfar mellom landa.
Stille hus og stille tun.
Stille mine enger.
Tirilille, Tirilill er her itte lenger.
Stille, stille. Ingen går
gjønnom kvite grinder.
Lut deg bløme som har fått
kyss tå milde vinder.
By the poet from Trysil: Einar Skjæraasen.
Grandmother has had a long, joyful and at times challenging life. She has always taken care of the people around her.
At the age of 13 her mother died, and she had to look after her 7 brothers.
Grandmother is a strong woman used to fend for herself. Even now when she really can't anymore, she still does it, stubbornly as a bull.
In this house we sleep like babies. When I close mye eyes, there is not a single sound but the birds feeding of a tray on the porch. Grandmother tells me that she never wants to move away from the silence of the forest and into the noisy city.
Her hearing has vanished with the years, and I have to talk really loud in order to communicate. She can barely understand me on the phone. The rest is filled in by imagination.
Somehow there is certain people she can still hear loud and clear, like her old friend Ninni from the village.
" You're not deaf! It's so nice to talk to you. We should speak more often. "
In 1945 grandmother and grandfather got married in Trysil. He inherited the farm Vinnargard and the forest around from his parents. Here they spent their life together, until grandfather got sick and had to move to the nursing home in town his last years, before passing away in 2007.
Every time she went to visit him, he asked when he could come back home.
The last years grandfather lived in the house we had an electric elevator up the staircase, because his legs were almost paralyzed. Grandmother still climbs the steep stairs, as quick as the squirrels up the birch-tree outside the kitchen window.
Sometimes grandmother can hear someone ringing the doorbell. When she runs out to give her greetings, their always gone. She asks me why they didn't just come inside? Or maybe it was just the mailman.
When I was growing up, my grandparents always used to play card games with me.
In the afternoon grandmother and I play a round of "rødskjegg" (red-beard), even though none of us really remembers the rules anymore. I let her win, like she did to me as a kid.
These days grandmother gets food delivered at the door every evening. It makes it a lot more easy for her, even without company for supper. They are talking about removing this service, because its too far to travel between the houses in the area. This evening we leave the readymade food in the fridge, and her grandson cooks supper and we watch old classics on tv.
Without a singel soul nearby, she gets up from bed in the middle of the night to get her purse with the wallet, forgotten downstairs. If I get here too late in the evening, there's no saying if I can get in or not. Because the door is locked at night.
Thank you grandmother, for all the lovely times and pleasant memories. I love you.
In memory of my Grandmother Millfrid who passed away in 2014 at the age of 90.