Lagom: No Word in English for This…

Lagom.  I am told as I stand in my cousin’s kitchen that this is a Swedish word for which there is no English equivalent.  It means roughly not too much and not too little but just right.  I am told that in Sweden, this is the ideal for which they strive.

Ah.  That’s why there is no equivalent word in English, especially American English.  Too much?  What does that mean, says the American Joe Shmoe.  Too little, say too many in our country.  But strive for that ‘just right’ place…that’s an interesting and novel approach from an American perspective.

Today was lagom … but almost too much.  Almost too much delicious food.  Almost too much interesting information about the family that I can use for the book.  Almost too much loving kindness.  But only ‘almost too much’ because it is so hard for me to imagine people taking in relatives so far removed on the family tree and giving so freely of their time. Our welcome is far beyond anything I had a right to expect. This is true hospitality.

Ah, but I must try to get to sleep as my head is swirling with everythingI learned today:

the imse vimse spindel song (itsy bitsy spider!) sung to my fourth cousin (17 months old) by my other fourth cousin (8 years old)

Jag är en Svenska flicka (I am a Swedish girl — ah the games my sister and I played when we were young)

great-great-great-great grandpa ‘Moose’ (that’s seriously what he was named and for good reason)

I come from a military family (who knew), men who were hand-picked to be soldiers because they were big and strong

a few choice words from the Swedes here about our President Bush and his terrible war…

…so much more…but this all will have to wait.  Much to do and so little time these three days in the land of my great grandfather.  I must try to rest so I will be ready tomorrow to visit the farm where he was born!

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3 Responses

  1. How very exciting! My father is 77 years old and we have been trying to talk him in to letting us give him a trip to Germany where his Grandfather is from. My dad was stationed in Germany during his army service and has fond memories of it. He won’t hear of it though because he says it is “too much”.

    Now I’m going to be singing “imse vimse spindel” in my head all day. 😉

  2. So wonderful and I’m so happy for you. It sounds like you’re off to a great start.

  3. Temmy, ah, I wish SO much that I had pushed a little harder to get my grandma to go. Now she’s gone. It was sad today to think of her not getting to make this trip.

    LadyBeams: YUP, a wonderful start!

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