Momma and her Baby
Yep, we have had lot's to do lately. Little things that have kept us busy, yet nothing BIG. We did our tax declaration. It needed to be sent in by the third day of May. It was done via the phone......... the form was sent to us earlier, one checks the figures already entered, if all is correct you can send in your declaration via e-mail, cell phone or as in our case via the land line. Enter your person number, are the numbers on the tax form correct, push 1, enter the ID number on the form and you are done. Pretty cool I think. We did that, even while we were still in Mariposa, regarding the taxes on our house in Sweden, so you can actually file your tax return via phone from the US!
We had a very nice visit with Anna and Rob and Ella, visiting their house below Italienska Vagen ( the Italian Road) in Bastad. What a nice place! What a beautiful view! Ella so adorable with Ralle. She made sure he had water. She wanted to share her toys. Rob told us the neighbors on one side came over to introduce themselves, brought a form for Rob to sign agreeing to chop down the trees at the top of the property, because the former owner had promised to do just that! Rob,of course,will not cut down the trees. And they also wanted to be sure that they "knew the RULES" like not working on the house repair before such and such a time, NEVER before ten o'clock on Saturdays etc. etc. Yes, they are very much for rules here. Hard for us immigrants to get used to.
My little sister came to see us. She and her husband had contemplated a move to Southern Sweden and have had some fun checking out houses. But, when push comes to shove, I think they will stay put. It is always fun when they come though.
Then we had Eyjafjallajokull on Iceland flex her muscle! Great ash clouds stopping air flights dead in their tracks all over Europe! The effects were felt by us personally as Ingela of Viskalys Kennel planned trip to the Great Pyrenees Specialty being held in, I think Pennsylvania was cancelled. It kept Brigitte and Denver Doxtators three month old puppy Hunter from going from Viskalys to Oneida Acres as scheduled. And we postponed a trip to Uppsala since we did not want to leave Ralle at the kennel when Ingela, Pernilla and Daniel had so much to think about. At this stage the little Hunter is on the other side of The Big Water, we have made the trip to Uppsala, although not at all as it was planned!
David has not worked at all for several weeks. Now it seems things are picking up for the Sonessons, so he will be busier.
Santiago, Davids horse, just turned 28 years old! He is being pampered at Marias. He is a lucky guy! Gets warm bran mash, Equine Senior, green grass at present and has two buddies, Justin (the Pippi Longstocking pony) who is 26 and Merlin a much younger "kid". We should all have it so good!
Ralle has had a visit or two from Imma. They play and play. She is unstoppable, never wears out! And cute! Ralle loves it when they can be together!
David, I think, is now suffering from Culture Shock!! Our life has just been chugging along quite nicely with only one extremely weird exception, until now! At this point, David is having a difficult time, the Latin man that he is, coping with the non emotional, always quiet and controlled Swedes. And they are just that, unless they are in their cars!! As David does most things "full out" never 1/2 way, he is trying to figure out why the people here are the way they are. Wanted to purchase a book he had heard about, but could not get it here, had hoped Akademi Bokhandeln could order it for him, but NO, so, he ordered it from, who else, "Amazon.com." It is a book entitled "Swedish Mentality" written by Professor Ake Daun who is the Head of the Institute of Ethnology at Stockholm University. David will sometimes read passages to me and I find myself described in many chapters. Yet, I guess I have somehow been homogenized over time and since I have had the opportunity and the privilege to live among and with, so many people, from so many different cultures, I am no longer totally Swedish. Wish there was more passion here! Is it right to ALWAYS be quiet and calm? Why not a little joy. Jump up and down when exited. Or is it only I that get excited? LIVE, LOVE and LAUGH say I! OUT LOUD!!!! This is the signature of one of my "Angels" Noreen McDonald in New Hampshire. Not so different from Wolfgang Puck's Live, Laugh, Eat. I like that motto too. I am hoping that David will come to terms with this situation. He does LOVE it here, just wished it was less dull. That what we express would not be so hard to translate. Wished we would not have to figure out what people are "thinking" 'cause they won't say!!! Why can they not, just SAY??!! Will the two of us learn, I wonder? Communication and listening is difficult in any culture. It is a skill that needs to be learned and constantly worked on. There is no such thing as simple communication because one does not know from which angle the recipient is listening, or if they are listening at all. That is why it is important to read, watch movies, learn from different sources about life and people. If we are to be able to walk in other peoples shoes to the extent that we can, only then may we be more able to understand each other.
We, David and I do both realize that it takes two, to tango. We most definitively need to work on "reading" the much more subtle nuances regarding affection when it is bestowed upon us here. It is something we are fortunate enough to receive, albeit in a different form. A beautiful and much treasured heart shaped candle holder is one example. We feel privileged to have it. Thank you. You know who you are!
Sven at Work
By the way, it was time to put Sven to work again. Sven is our mowing robot. I was a bit skeptical at first if he would do a good job. I have been pleasantly surprised at how good a job he does. He deserves a raise. He works day and night without a complaint.
As mentioned last week end was spent in Uppsala. Not at all as intended, (that is a long story all in itself) but wonderful non the less. An emotional meeting, for me, with my Auntie Helmi, my Mothers sister. She has been "my rock" my entire life! We had lunch at Aina and Jan-Ottos, met Ainas sister Zeiga and her husband, ate a wonderful fish dish as Aina is an excellent cook! Yum! Most of our time was spent with my" big sister" Monica and Richard. It is always like "going home" there. They were in the middle of "lambing", many new babies being born. Sadly this year has been a difficult one, with many losses. Reasons not known. They have had sheep for twenty five years or so. Still don't have a clue as to why things have been so wrong this time? Aside from that, we always eat good, sip on wine, get to see the kids and grand kids and we can laugh until our stomachs hurt. That is a place that is stedfast and solid, where we love to be. Always worth the drive.
Our long drive home was made more pleasant by listening to a CD from "Playing for Change" Check out their web site here.
Kellie will graduate from Santa Clara University in the early part of June.
Gary will be going home to San Jose after his first year at NM Technical University, pondering what to do, after a year that has been daunting in several regards.
Ryan is doing good both academically and in his track career, breaking his personal best scores regularly.
Linnea has had wonderful grades, lot's of A's. She will attend a culinary school in Florida for a short while early this summer. After that she will come and spend the summer with us. We can hardly wait!
Kevin has decided to attend a University in Arizona this fall. He graduates from High School in early June.
C. J. was not accepted in a program to start the University a year early. But it was not too shabby to have been invited to try. She too is a fabulous student.
Saga is challenging her teachers as she is extremely determined! Does she take after my Grandfather Teofil Larsson or might it be Ulf???? We wonder.
Elliott is doing great in preschool, with his language skills growing every day. Speaking both Swedish and English as does his sister. He is a runner too, just like his cousin Ryan. Does not sit still much.
Super kids, each and every one! Proud of them? Heck Yes!!