'The road to Sweden' - American Bedroom Journal #1 - / by Barbara Peacock

Driving by the light of the moon in the early hours of the morning on the backroads of Maine to Sweden. No street lights or any sign of life. I am hoping to see a deer. I always think it is so magical.  

sweden travels-1208.jpg

Instead, at the top of a hill in a vast clearing I see a long row of birch trees welcoming me to the first glimpe of the sunrise. 

The crisp cold greats me as I walk in the middle of the road relishing in the hush of the waking day.

I arrive at my location recogizing the description of the red gun shell mail box. Hopefully my subject Casie told her Dad no friendly fire to greet this early visitor!

The cabin is warm and I am greeted by three deer and Gene Hackman. 

Casie makes us French Press coffee and we are ready to shoot.

Cassie's room is on the second floor and has one very small window, which I am pretty excited about. I love playing with a small source of light. Her mornings start by waking up and playing with her dog Ruby, a pit/boxer mix. Her sleep wear of choice is tank tops, so we start with a black one.

We start with a test - The light is quite nice. It emits just enough to fall on Cassie and Ruby as well as hitting the ceiling and bureau. Ruby wants all the attention and is playful at first. I decide to change Cassie into a dark pink tank top. 

Ruby settles down and Cassie checks her mail. This is the natural moment of a typical routine I am looking for. I am cramped up against the wall. I can hardly move in this tight space. A 24mm is the widest lens I have so it just has to do. My big bulky tripod is really cramping my style but it allows me to make some nice long exposures and play with the light.

Ruby settles down and Cassie checks her mail. This is the natural moment of a typical routine I am looking for. I am cramped up against the wall. I can hardly move in this tight space. A 24mm is the widest lens I have so it just has to do. My big bulky tripod is really cramping my style but it allows me to make some nice long exposures and play with the light.

Casie  - ' I have recently moved back to Maine from the Southwest. I feel like my room is of the minimalistic kind. There are treasures scattered around. Totems, photographs and memories. I sleep in the middle of my bounty; much like a guarding dragon. I live with my father who supports me in all my endevors. My room is architecturally under the same "A" frame roof as my dad with plywood floors and a single lightbulb. I wake up everyday in my inner child's familar realm. It is a great way for me to honor who I was and excel at who I am becoming.' 

Casie asks if I would like to meet her 88 year old neighbor who was an artist. Duh...

Casie asks if I would like to meet her 88 year old neighbor who was an artist. Duh...

The photo Godess seems to be on my side today. Betsy's bedroom is right in the front room, next to a window and complete with a pink unicorn.

The photo Godess seems to be on my side today. Betsy's bedroom is right in the front room, next to a window and complete with a pink unicorn.

Betsy was eager to show me her drawings and her dolls. She used to draw pin-up girls for boys when she was younger. She said the boys would erase the clothing off!

Bestsy asks if it would be alright for her to smoke. It seems that some people still smoke in their homes. 

Bestsy asks if it would be alright for her to smoke. It seems that some people still smoke in their homes. 

We invite Betsy to join us for breakfast but she declines. She askes me to vist again which I assure her I will. 

There is one spot in town to eat - 'Rosie's. It's is a classic diner, small market and the local hang. The town of Sweden is very small - approx 350 people. I mention to Casie that I didn't see a town sign on my drive up. She thinks she knows where there is one so after breakfast we take a little drive around the town, only to find out the town of Sweden is so small they don't even have a sign...or at least one we couldn't find.