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IT'S ALL ABOUT THE TIME THAT PASSES
Blah. I think I have the "only one week left of vacation" blues.

Everyone seems to be rubbing me the wrong way, and I seem to be returning the favor, although certainly without intention.

Some things that have happened to others recently have been on my mind and I can't seem to shake them.

Every year on the last day of April, we celebrate Walpurgis Eve with our friends Mats & Annelott, who throw an annual bonfire barbeque to which they invite all of their friends. Most of the other friends are people we only see that one evening each year, but they are all nice people, and since we've been celebrating with them for 8.5 years now, there is at least some connection. One of the couples has a 17-year-old daughter who just finished her first year of vocational school this spring. She is car-crazy and this school is for car-crazy people, teaching them everything there is to know about cars: mechanics, racing, history, etc. I was fascinated by the idea that there was a school that only has to do with motor-related education, and asked her what she was going to do with it? Be a mechanic? Her parents, also car-crazies (we regularly buy Nascar paraphernalia for them when we're in the States), set me straight and gave me a long list of career options available for those who love the smell of motor oil. She was looking forward to a summer of working, and the family was going to be hosting another car-crazy girl from Australia who was coming to check out the school this summer. We just heard that while out riding a couple of weeks ago, there was an accident and her horse fell on TOP of her. She's in a vegetative state in the hospital now and all plans are on hold. Things happen so fast. I can't stop thinking about how fast things can change.

Good friends of ours, another American-Swedish couple that we have known since our first year here, have also been faced with yet another trial to add to a year of them: a diagnosis of skin cancer for him. He's going through a battery of tests this week to find out if they caught it all after a melanoma on his arm was removed recently, but they are freaking out, and I don't blame them. It's freaking me out, too, both on their behalf, and again with the thinking about how fast things can change.

Realizing you are mortal, that your loved ones are mortal, that your friends and acquaintances are mortal, is a scary revelation in so many ways.

Be well. Please, be well.

***

Yesterday, we went to an outdoor concert an hour away from home, leading up to a very late night. We went with our friends Angie & Kristian and had dinner at their home first. They have a little boy Karin's age and a year-old daughter. The concert was Robert Wells' Rhapsody in Rock, featuring several major Swedish pop artists, including Nanne Grönvall, whom my kids worship only 1 degree less than Lena Philipsson and Martin Stenmarck (yes, we live for Melodifestivalen around here, how the mighty have fallen). It was cold, and windy, and threatening rain, but the music was really jumping: classical, swing, boogie-woogie, pop, rock, a real mix and a real treat. The only downside were the "comedic" interludes that I found to be rude, unfunny and in very poor taste (...and it wasn't just my opinion). The clouds cleared about halfway through the evening, and even though it was continued to be chilly, it was enchanting to be sitting on the grass, under the stars, with great voices singing great songs and the music surrounding us.

I took the kids to the mall today and we bought all the fixings for the fish tank, which has been sitting, sad and neglected and CLUTTERED, in our living room since we moved into this house. Before that it spent 6.5 years in storage. Now, it's shining, full of light and water, miniscule bubbles skating across the surface of the glass, ready to welcome some fish. We are going fish-shopping tomorrow. :)

I've also finally done some more crafting, and finished another page in my collage book. It's been literally AGES since I worked on it, and it felt really good to play with paper and paint again. I'm actually not 100% happy with the page I worked on, so I may have to sit down again and re-work it, but that's okay, it's all creative.

One week...how fast it goes.
 sympathetic
mood: sympathetic
music: Martin Stenmarck—You Won't See Me Dancing For Awhile


Comments

What horrible things to happen to people that you know. It's always a sobering reminder that our own minor problems are insignificant with things that happen in other's lives.

The outdoor concert sounds as if it were fabulous, bad jokes aside.

Happy fish-hunting :D

It is a real slap with a clue-stick.

"Things happen so fast. I can't stop thinking about how fast things can change".

eek. less life altering than the examples that you gave, but fast and life altering none the less are those moments before wristy injuries and valentines footsy blues. eek. my heart goes out to your friends.

Re: "Things happen so fast. I can't stop thinking about how fast things can change".

so true, you are right.

I am a past master at rubbing people the wrong way without intention...

"Please take my seat, I can stand."

"I am fine, thank you."

"Think of the baby"


~pause~

"I am not pregnant."

"Oh............"


So just roll with it, plead ignorance, and and try and get some distance between you and the other creatures of the household...

indeed we are all only mortal, and it is really surprising how much impact that realization has everytime something happens to make me realise this...all the best, and I need to buy some more fish for OUR fishtank (another ohmigod similar idea moment!) as our solitary remaining fish, whilst plump and happy, could do with some new companions....(the previous ones having tragically offered up their lives so the children can feel some inklings of goldfish mortality...and loss....)

did you have burials at sea (read: in the toilet) or for real?


First couple of losses in the white stone edged plot, as defined by children, in front garden....now burials at sea.

Oh, honey. I am the queen of sticking my foot in my mouth and sometimes I seem to offend all the people I know at the same time. It will pass, don't worry. Just say you're sorry alot, and accept all the apologies that will come your way.

And sheesh, what a lot of bad things to happen to your friends. My thoughts are really with the 17 year old girl. God bless her, and her parents.

But smooches and hugs and just concentrate on all the chocolate I have up my sleeve for you!

Thanks you :) I'm so glad you're happy with it!

i am so sorry to hear of these horrible things happening to your friends, they certainly put life in perspective. i do hope things turn around for the better for them.

but yeah for crafts! that are such a happy thing, i neglect mine way too much.

a "fishy" ending to your vacation sounds like a great idea. projects like that are good for taking your mind off things. what kind of fish are you planning on getting?

Pretty basic, probably. Anders doesn't like goldfish (filthy beasts) and I refuse to have gouramis (destructive, plus they breed like, er, rabbits)...so probably a school of tetras, an angel fish or two, a beta. Not sure, we'll have to see what they have when we get there. An algae-eater, for sure.

(Anonymous)

Reading that news had me shaken up so I can't imagine how shocked and worried you are. My thoughts are with you and your friends.

kramar,
Amylou

(Anonymous)

So sorry to hear the very sad news. Hope they're both able to recover. I, too, am feeling icky...and like I don't want my (okay, months long) 'vacation' to end...but life intercedes... Hope today's a better day. ~Marilyn

My prayers are with both of your friends' families. Life is so fragile, and so precious -- we can't remind ourselves often enough.

Crafting is Good for the Soul. ;-)

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