Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Year in Review 2011

First snow of the season came today.
It also happens to be the winter solstice.
The shortest day and the longest night.

What an adventure it has been.  The emotions run from near depression to pure joy and happiness.  I have heard the sayings:   Life is messy.  It is the journey that is important.  Be thankful for what you have.  Family, friends, and health is what is important.  You make your own happiness.  If you build it they will come.  Get busy living or get busy dying.  The list goes on and on.......

What we are left with is the reality of accepting all the good things around us and participating in the joy that comes our way and handling as best we can the problems that we encounter in this life while still moving forward in spite of our fears, doubts, and uncertainty.  Well this must be my addition to the list.

Should have packed breakfast.

The winter of 2010/11 came with much snow starting in November through to about April.  I loved the snow.  For me it was a beautiful winter land to be enjoyed and photographed.  During this time my California license was no longer valid in Sweden and at a routine stop by the police my license was taken away and fined about $200.  Agneta's license was not valid either.  This meant that we had to rely on our neighbors to take us along to the grocery store for about three months.  This was not a great feeling.  Our neighbors were fantastic.  During one of these trips to the grocery store our neighbor with Neta in the car hit an icy patch ran off the road and overturned.  No one one was hurt.

We had some family and friends visit us from America which is always a treat.  We lost our beloved cat "Bosse" during the summer.  And just a few months ago we adopted a new kitten "Miss Kitty".  She has been such a joy.

The first snow.  Ralle is in heaven.

During July and August I took a three week trip to America to visit family and friends.  I visited John and his family in Seattle, Maria and her family in Hollister, and Fredrik in Torrence in southern California.  It was great to see them and spend time with them.

While I was in southern California I also got together with some of my high school buddies:  John and his wife Teresa, Oscar Perez, Joe Yasuhara (who just retired from the Space Shuttle program), and Marcelino and his wife Martha.  Marcy was in the hospital at the time recovering from heart surgery.  He has had some complications but is slowly recovering now.

Neta and Ralle having a conversation about life.

We continue to struggle with cultural differences here.  It is especially difficult when swedish cultural differences are mixed with peoples differences in personality.  There is the cultural influence of the total personality.  How to distinguish between the two during different social situations is difficult at best.  The cultural influence on personality here is the inability to handle problems that come up between people.  The tendency is to "not talk about it", "sweep it under the rug", "not to accept responsibility", and the difficulty of not being able to apologize.  "If I ignore it.  It will go away."  I am making a broad generalization here about people here that I admit may be flawed by not being able to distinguish between individual personality traits and general cultural traits.  We also have our cultural personality differences.  But, it seems to me that being able to talk things out, agreeing on some things, agreeing to disagree on others is the way to resolve issues.  Relationships are a two way street.  We regret losing friends, but sometimes we have to move on and not pretend that nothing has happened and everything has been resolved.

Waiting for David.

This year also marked quitting my job and attending school full time to learn swedish.  My experience in school has been great and exciting.  I am the oldest student in school and the only one from America.  I don't feel like I am treated any different though.  I am just another foreigner trying to learn the language.  Being among young people trying to make a better life for themselves is invigorating and the energy in the air is welcomed.

Linnea, our grand daughter, started school at "Johnson and Wales University" in Providence, Rhode Island.  She is learning to become a chef.  She is loving it there.  We are so proud of her.  She makes us smile every time we see her.  Kellie, our other grand daughter just landed a job with an advertising agency in Seattle, Washington.  Our other grandkids are doing well at their schools.  All our family are doing well with minor ups and downs.  Saga lost her first tooth this year.  Elliot performed with his class at a local bookstore singing "Rudolph the red nose reindeer".

The road taken.

We are meeting new friends and socializing with our neighbors.  Life is good and we look forward to what the New Year will bring.  2012 we welcome you.

Merry Christmas to All.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, We Swedes have seen the same from people from other countries - not to accept responsibility and the difficulty to be able to apologize...
    Driver licence lost - you were informed about the rules