I like family history. A lot. Maybe because I didn’t have much family growing up. Sure, I had (well, of course I still have but they’re spread around the earth now) 5 siblings. But cousins? Not many and the ones I have lived far away and we didn’t share a language. Aunts, uncles? The same.
My parents are older, the same age as most people’s grandparents. (Seriously, dad was born ’48.) because of that I didn’t know most of my grandparents, except one. My Turkish grandpa.
But this isn’t about him. This is about my Swedish grandpa. I come from quite an old family line. (and named exactly like my dad’s grandma. Ever seen your name on a grave stone? Because I have) Old enough to have a story, a saying and all those good things that I’m supposed to teach my future children but probably won’t.
My line started with a rich sailor and his wife. She fell in love with the stable boy and when her husband came back they killed him and fled to Denmark. Not sure when exactly – I’m guessing early 1800s? Either way. That’s it. And that story I’ll definitely tell my kids. When they’re old enough.
But I’m getting away from the point. My Swedish grandpa, who died almost 15 years before I was born, wrote books about Vikings. But that’s not it either. He also helped engineer the rail roads of Northern Sweden, and he would walk the rails with his only son, my dad. They would take long walks along the rails, telling him that as long as the rails weren’t singing there was no train coming.
We live in a modern world now. My dad never took me walking on the rails. But the expression stuck.
“Hör du hur rälsen sjunger?”
“Do you hear how the rails sing?”
Yes. I do.