Sat Jun 25 01:26:27 CEST 2005



Finally, finally, its midsummer! Sill, sunshine, big smiles
and late nights!

In Sweden we celebrate midsummer's eve. Its an old heathen
tradition which has somehow managed to survive Christianity in
its own form (compare with the heathen origins of Christmas
and Easter
for example). For those of you not in the know, we normally
dance around a heavily symbolically laden pillar
with wreaths of flowers, eat sill (pickled herring), drink
lots of nubbe (strong alcoholic beverage) and sing drinking
songs (well, Swedes always do that). Many Swedes
(including myself) cannot imagine not celebrating
midsummer- I'd say its almost as important as Christmas,
culturally speaking.

Anyway, Today we went to Annas mothers house to celebrate
midsummer lunch. Tomas, Emma, Tuva and Pella tagged along, and
Anna's brothers, Magnus and Niklas were there too. It was
nice. We sat in the shade of a tree on the lawn and enjoyed
the summer at its best, whilst eating sill and potatoes,
strawberries and ice cream. The kids ran about naked in the
grass and jumped into and out of the two little pools we
contrived (one is a small plastic boat we filled with water
and the other a little baby pool) (Ayumi really loves to play
in the water! She just shines up and kicks and pushes and
leans towards the water as soon as she notices a body of water
larger than a toilet bowl...) Annas mom wasnt home (shes off
in northern Sweden on vacation), so we had the place to
ourselves. (Sorry about all the parentheses, I just get so
sidetracked sometimes) 

Its not quite like it used to be before we had kids - we
didnt drink much beer, and no nubbe at all, but instead we
had...  our kids! There's nothing quite like playing with your
kids :) 

After lunch, Tomas and I challenged each other at a game of
boule. First to thirteen- Yes! I won. But Tomas won the second
game, so I guess we're sort of even... (but wait- Tomas won
the game the other day, so... hmm. I have to play him again!)

At around sixish we cleaned up and drove over to Pelle and
Ullis, where we grilled some meat, (some people) drank wine (,
others drank beer, like me), talked and had a very nice
time.... Nice is really a deceiving word isn't it? I mean it
sounds so... flat. Cows are nice. The weather can be
nice. Processes can be niced. So let me rewrite that- It was
really cozy, relaxed, comfortable, a perfect atmosphere to
just talk and have a nice time (dammit I said it again). 

But I digress. We sat and ate and watched Gentan and Tuva
play with/against each other while Ayumi ate mozarella,
Ullis and Pelle's parents joked and laughed together, and
little Pella snuggled in Emma's arms. All in all a wonderful
evening. After a while we all went indoors to eat strawberry
cake and strawberries (dont get me started, Swedes have this
thing for strawberries, its like genetic or something) and
talked some more.

And of course, in the end, people started to go home. We
(as usual) were last. Anna and I lifted up our exhausted kids
and we drove home.

And finally the wonderful part- do you remember how when
you were small, you would fall asleep in the car and mommy or
daddy would pick you up and carry you to bed? Now it is my
turn, and it was probably the best part of the entire day-
carrying our little kiddies, placing them carefully into bed
and kissing them goodnight.

And now its time for me to go to bed as well. Goodnight!