It’s summer and that means I went to Sweden with the boys to visit family.
I knew I was in northern Sweden when:
- I had to wear a knit hat on one particularly cold summer day.
- My kids jumped into the lake fully clothed.
- A mosquito took a nose dive towards my nether regions while I was on the toilet.
- My son fed a worm to a baby bird. That baby bird is now dead because the mother was attacked by a cat.
- I lost all desire to put on makeup, shave or wear any clothes other than sweat pants and Levi’s.
- It took me a freaking hour to make hard-boiled eggs. Seriously what the heck is that? My sister-in-law said it’s because the eggs are so fresh. No way. This is a country that imports lots of food and I’m not buying that.
- I’ve made fire after fire to keep warm outside.
- I’ve served my kids half and half instead of milk due to not reading Swedish labels and being half asleep.
- Ice cream is now a food staple.
- My kids added Tack, OY, and hej to their vocabulary.
- I’ve been using the lawn tractor and push mower weekly.
- I’ve become a one-handed warrior mosquito killer.
- I’ve tried some jungle salt licorice candy that caused shooting pains up the sides of my jaw. Really guys?
- Pork is not steak. Enough with the pork Sweden.
- Have engaged in fun political discussions with my Swedish friends.
- I have fished and fished and fished.
- I went nuts when I discovered it was going to be hot one day at a high of 68 degrees!
- I’ve enjoyed the most beautiful sunsets.
- My kids have been outside running around every single day.
- I went to Svansele and ate moose and artic char.
- I saw a moose! A living one!
- A Cinderella toilet has changed my life!
Not all of this is glamorous but it refreshes the soul. There is plenty of time to get back into the hustle and bustle of life back in the U.S. This is a gift to my sons, and is the number one reason why I don’t return to work; my annual summer month in Sweden.
Sweden has changed me. I am two different people now. Many of you see the sometimes sarcastic, introspective, often humorous American friend and colleague. In Sweden I can build a mean fire, bait maggots and worms on a hook, and can drive a lawn tractor so fast it puts landscapers to shame. Being true to both of those personas is important to me.
I love you Sweden. Until we meet again. Back to my reality!