The View from the House of My Father

The House of My Father. It sits uninterrupted in the most gorgeous Himmerland landscape. Christmas 2016.

My father passed away earlier this year, and the past weekend we had to finally tackle the task of clearing out his house. It definitely ranks in the top 3 of the hardest things I have had to do in my entire life. There was a lifetime of memories and emotions in that house. It is not the family farm where I was born, that farm was sold in the early 90s. But it still had a lot of the stuff from our childhood, and even from my father’s childhood. And the house itself sits in the same area, the same landscape so it was a connection not only to my father, but to my country, to my childhood. I am not sure how to ever get that connection back. Loosing my father and this connection was and is devastating.

The house itself is owned by dear friends of my father and he very happily lived here during his last 10 years, most of them in retirement. He loved nature and the view from this house is something rather magical. No other house in the area sits raised above the landscape with a view like this one. I have nothing but wonderful memories of this house, of this place and I want to keep it that way. So I dug into my photo archives (and the wonderful collection of pictures that Charlene has made of my dad) and randomly selected a gallery of pictures ranging from years back to right up to last Saturday. And the very last picture is very fittingly a picture made by my father himself. It makes me smile. It comforts me to know that he was so happy the last years of his life.

Christmas 2016 and a mad sunset.

Some days it felt like the light lingered all night long.

Christmas tree in the garden, all lit up and this tree would usually be there all winter.

Diverse decoration from dad’s living room. My father built that model viking ship himself. Underneath is an x-ray style aboriginal art painting from Darwin, Australia that I gave him. And next to that is a masterpiece that we gave him for his 70th birthday: A canvas print of a landscape picture I made on the field just outside his house one foggy morning with a full moon, maybe 10 years ago.

I made this image back in June at 00.49 at night. This was the weekend we buried my father’s ashes and the light and weather was so gorgeous and peaceful (and hot!). The blue light in the kitchen btw comes from a electrical bug killer. Lots of flies in the country.

My father and I built this bench perhaps 15 years ago at his previous house. He sat here, on the bench at the end of the garden, overlooking the fields and the meadow. I made this picture a few days after he passed away.

Every Summer evening, the sun would beam straight into the living room.

Christmas 2016 and I am having fun capturing my shadow during sunrise.

I think this is also from Christmas 2016. The light was gorgeous every day.

March 2018 and Charlene having a rather fun morning in the snow!

It is not that rare to have snow, but to wake up to a thick layer of fresh snow with no wind at all so everything is beautifully covered, even the branches. That is magical. So is my better half.

This is from December 2016 and one stormy evening where the power went out for a few hours. Dad instantly sprung into action and had a ball finding candles and flashlights. It was almost a shame when the power came back!

Charlene made this picture back in March. My father and I are enjoying a glass of wine in the Winter sunset and talking about something, probably coming to the conclusion that we are both really clever!

I made this picture late at night after we returned from the hospital on the day where my father passed away. 11 May 2018.

The sky is crying. This past weekend as we were clearing out the house, a big storm named Knud raged both Friday and Saturday. I think it was stormy both inside our minds and outside the house.

…and as a finale, a picture made by dad:

Maybe 10 years ago, my father bought a Panasonic compact digital camera. He took it traveling a few times and made pictures at home. I found these pictures in the memory card on the camera. It is one of those insane sunsets with fog shot from his house. I put the two pictures side by side in Photoshop because they fit together so well. I wonder if he intended this when he made the pictures.


12 Comments on “The View from the House of My Father”

  1. Kæreste Flemming – jeg sender dig rigtig mange varme tanker. I sorg over tabet af din, Vibeke og Brian’s skønne far, går mange tanker tilbage til de mange dejlige stunder, vi har haft med Orla. De kærligste hilsner fra din mors kusine Else

  2. A very beautiful memory and I feel your loss. My condolences. Great post, strong emotions xrays from my screen to my heart as I write this. Very very well done

  3. Thanks for sharing these with us Flemming. Very moving – your photo of the bench really connected with me. It must be so hard to sort through and clear out the physical things that are attached to so many memories. My condolences.

    1. Thank you so much for the condolences and words Brett. That house had memories of my dad, of our childhood, and also of my grandparents as a lot of things from their old house got stored at my dads place when they passed away. There are some wonderful photo albums with pictures from the very early 1900s, I might share a few pictures one of these days. So yes, the clearing is tough but we are getting through it fortunately.

  4. Did you guys speak in that fake language? It looks cold Flemming. Sorry you have to go through this, but when you emerge from the other side, at some point, things might look different. Gotta find a way to capture the country somehow.

    1. My dad was a master of the fake language. Constantly made up these great words! It will definitely be good to get through this. And I will find a way somehow down the line to capture the country.

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