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Home Newsletter Scrapbook (pre-2002) 2001: A Lucia's Journey to Sweden
2001: A Lucia's Journey to Sweden Print

Barkeryd, Sweden -- August 2001. Sunday August 5, 2001 will be one of the most memorable days of my life. It was a once in a lifetime experience to represent the Swedish Club of Houston as the 2000 Lucia at the Barkeryd festival. What a wonderful idea Inga Lisa Calissendorff had in making the Texas Lucia a part of this wonderful summertime festival. My trip to Sweden, courtesy of SAS, began in Stockholm where we rented a car after a two-day stay, and made our way to Barkeryd. It was the perfect chance to experience the many parts of Sweden, as this was my first trip to Scandinavia. After stopping in many wonderful towns and cities, we arrived at the church in Barkeryd early Saturday afternoon to meet the Calissendorffs, along with our host Evert Jonsson. The Jonssons, Evert and his lovely wife Gunvor, graciously welcomed my family and myself into their home for a two-day stay and many wonderful meals. On the first afternoon of our stay, we headed to the homestead museum where we were received by Alf Carlsson who led us on a grand tour of the impressive museum as well as a huge meal back at the Jonsson's home. Being a city girl, it was such a treat to pick fresh raspberries and explore such a beautiful farm.

The day of the festival, Sunday, could not have been any nicer; it was a sunny, cool all afternoon. The day began with my family and me getting into an antique wagon that would take us the festival grounds. I felt so privileged to represent the Swedish club as I rode in the parade waving my Texas flag. After watching folk dancing and hearing several other speeches, it was my turn to “take the stage”. Inga Lisa gave a wonderful introduction and then turned the microphone over to me. Everything went smoothly and the audience seemed to follow right along. Alf Carlsson then presented me with a candlestick that is a symbol of Barkeryd and it’s church.

One of the biggest highlights of the festival was meeting nineteen of my Swede relatives for the very first time. They had all traveled from the Tranas and Barkeryd area just to see me and meet my family as well. It was an incredible feeling to spend an afternoon talking and drinking coffee with my family.
I am so thankful for this amazing opportunity that I was so graciously given. I especially owe many thanks to my parents, Harold and Kathy, as well as my Aunt Carolyn, Uncle Ray, and my Cousin Paul Belk for all of their help and patience, and especially for wearing those yellow shirts and waving your flags just for me!

Lucia (Katie Armstrong)