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.