My Life Story Part 3 – The United States

Last week I told you about how my life started in Sweden and the first two years.
Today I want to share with you my first trips to the United States and how I started playing baseball, which as you will see in later parts really, has formed my life.

My Dad
If you read the first part of my life story I tell the story about my dad, he is from San Francisco and his parents lived there when I was growing up.

I first flew from Scandinavia to the United States when I was about 6 months old, it is a 11 hour flight so my parents were very nervous, they had seen many times babies screaming the whole flight over.
Luckily I fell asleep as we were taking off and woke up as we were landing.

I was probably the quietest baby ever to take that flight.

My grandparents lived in a place called potter valley about 4-5 hours north of San Francisco.
My granddad had a little farm and was a great gardener; he would grow the most amazing flowers and great corn which we ate completely fresh.

The first time I was in the U.S. we were there for maybe 3 months before we went back home to Sweden.

Since then we have been to America about once every 1,5 years, every other Christmas every other summer.

I love spending time there, meeting my family, my friends and just feeling the atmosphere. People are a lot more open in California than they are here is Scandinavia, it is a nice change.

Baseball
From 3 years old my dad would play baseball with me.
We would go out back and he would throw the ball to me underhand and I would either catch it and throw it back or try to hit it with my little bat.

As I got older I wanted to pitch to him so he let me throw and would hit the ball every time, which was very frustrating!

Since I couldn’t throw the ball by him I started learning different techniques to get it by, I learned side arm pitching and a curve ball.
Finally one day I threw the pitch by him, that was a big moment!

My friends
As I got older I spent more time at my friend’s houses. Mostly with Morgan (my pre-school class mate), Oscar and Samuel (the children of my parents friends).

We had a lot of fun and would play computer games, sports or games.

I was very social growing up, connecting with people easily and spent most of my time playing around either with a friend at my house or me at one of theirs.

Swedish School
Since I had spoken English through day care I was very nervous about starting school since it was in Swedish.

I will share my experiences from school next week, hope you stop by.

                                                                                                                          

Related posts:

  1. My Life Story (Part 6) – Baseball
  2. My Life Story (Part 2) – My First 2 Years
  3. My Life Story (Part 5) – School
  4. My Life Story (Part 7) – My Grandfathers Death
  5. My Life Story (Part 1) – My Parents
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7 Responses to My Life Story Part 3 – The United States

  1. Hi Daniel,
    Because you have lived in both countries (Sweden and the USA), I would to hear your take on the differences in the culture. I live in Minnesota and we have many who have a Swedish heritage. Someday I hope to visit Sweden and find out for myself. It’s great to learn a little more about who you are and your background.
    Riley

    • Daniel M. Wood says:

      Hey Riley,

      I will be covering that more in later parts but I can say a few things.
      Most people in the U.S. would see the Scandinavian countries as communist if they lived here, it is a very fair society with free healthcare, school, a good infrastructure, very high taxes, salaries for the unemployed and so on.
      It is a great place to live.

      Scandinavian countries are great at helping the bottom of the group reach a high minimum level, our problem though is that we aren’t as good at challenging the top of the class.

      Which brings me to what I love about the U.S.
      In USA you are challenged, you have to perform, it is the land of dreams and we all have a shot at stardom.

      Had I grown up in USA I am pretty sure I would have come a lot farther than I have today, as it is now I have had to push myself.
      The problem though is that if you fail, you are screwed, you get bad healthcare, no home and no real help.

      That is my take at least, if people see this comment this will probably start a political debate which is not my point, but this is my opinion.

  2. Frank says:

    Daniel,

    Thanks for sharing so much about your self in this series. It has been very interesting learning about your past. It’s funny how our experiences shape us into who we are today.

    • Daniel M. Wood says:

      Hey Frank,

      Thanks.
      I am glad you have enjoyed the series.
      You have no idea how hard it is to right a true story about yourself.
      Just trying to remember everything is very difficult.

  3. Hi Daniel,
    I enjoyed the story. Do you feel more swedish or american at heart? Or a combo?
    “People are a lot more open in California than they are here is Scandinavia, it is a nice change”.This statement tickles my curiosity.
    I wonder:
    1. Is this a true statement?
    2. If yes, why, do you think, is that?
    Thank you Daniel for allowing us to get to know you better.
    Derek

    • Daniel M. Wood says:

      Hey Derek,

      It is very true.
      People are more laid back, more open to strangers, kinder.

      In Scandinavia people don’t talk to strangers, if they don’t have to.
      In California walking down the street at least 3 people say hi, that would never happen in the Sweden.

      That is one example.

  4. Interesting,
    I’m glad you enjoy good, ol’ USA, I’ve been living here for the most part for abou 16 years. But I know Sweden is a fine country as well;)

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