April 18th, 2011



We have been asked to cat-sit for our across-the-street neighbors this weekend, but due to allergies and preference we will be taking care of the cats in their house instead of bringing them over to ours. Cats seem to be much more place-sensitive when it comes to this kind of thing; dogs, it seems, are more particular to people.

It's embarrassing to admit I can't remember the wife's name. She's really nice, and I know her husband is named Håkan and her little boy is named Jonathan. The cats are named Nadja and Alice and they are simply lovely, and obviously loving. The family is going to Gotland for Easter so we'll go over each day and spend some time playing with the cats (as well as filling up food bowls and cleaning litterboxes; no great hardship).

She came over today to fetch us so we could meet the cats, get the instructions, etc., and we spent about 15 minutes at the house, while the kids played with the cats on the staircase, and the wife (Lisa?) showed me where everything was. The whole conversation was in Swedish, and she was really talkative and friendly :) As we were leaving, I said to her, "Ha det så bra i Gotland!", meaning "Have a great time in Gotland!"

As we crossed the street, Karin said, "Mom, don't get mad, but just so you know, when you talk about Gotland it's an island, so you don't say i, you say . In other words, it's not in Gotland, it's ON Gotland.

"Well kids," I said, "You know, my Swedish is NEVER going to be as good as yours is...it's about as good as it gets and will probably be at this level for the rest of my life."

My son looked at me. "Aren't you doing what you are always telling US never to do?" he said.

"What do you mean?" I asked.

"You always tell us not to stop ourselves by saying 'I can't' and you're doing it yourself."

Drrr. How embarrassing.

And how thrilled I am to hear the message went home!