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MASTER RELAXER, MISSING MOM, REMINISCES
On my mother's last day here we spent a lot of time in the car, a lot of time in the sun and a lot of time laughing and playing with things. We got up relatively early and we drove away into the sunshine. An hour north found us in the green, green woods of the Wanås castle grounds. We wandered through the old stalls and barns, now scrubbed and whitewashed and turned to gallery installations, and then out into the sunshine and the bright translucent green of the beech leaves high above us.

Since 1987, Wanås has been an outdoor art and sculpture park, with new pieces installed every year, including ones by Maya Lin, Janet Cardiff, Ann Hamilton, Monika Larsen Dennis, and a full roster of international names. One of the first pieces you see after parking the car is guaranteed to make you gape and then chuckle: tree jeans. (go on, click it!) Later, we see one that has a distinctively masculine bulge right at the crotch of the tree/jeans. Is that a knot in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?

Not being very attracted to very modern art, some pieces left me cold. But there were many that elicited warm smiles and thoughtful pauses (go on, click 'em!). One piece, titled Solarium, consisted of 5 body-shaped chaise lounges made of wood with bamboo-stick covers set in a circle in a tall clearing of beech and oak. A woman's voice, low and lulling, spoke in measured cadence from loudspeakers hidden in each seat: a soothing, musical story of her stay in an open-air sunlight therapy center. We sat there for countless minutes and if we'd not felt the pull to continue discovering the art that lay around the next bend of the paths, I think I could be lying there still, gazing up at the sun-speckled canopy of green.



We swung into the café to choose our lunch: picnic fare eaten at wooden tables on benches in the shade of an oak, rhododendrons towering nearby and the scaffolded castle gleaming off to the side. The white gravel of the drive shone in the sun with diamond glitters. Soaring melodies; a Latin choral poured over us from the installation in the Loft (1 speaker per singer, arranged in a circle) as we ate. Who could ask for anything more?

Only a few hours and we were sun-satiated, so we drove on, drove north, heading for the next attraction on our list for the day: the Kreativum in Karlshamn. Not surprisingly, given the perfect weather, there was literally no one else in the entire museum. During the 2 hours we were there, I think a total of 3 other families joined us. 2 intense and fun hours of experimenting and games. It was a blast! One of the highlights, for me anyway, was the Mindball Game. I sank into a zombified trance and beat everyone else, even Lizardmom! :D Who says a multi-tasking, crazy-busy, full-scheduled, can't-sit-still supermom can't relax? muahahaha!



During the night, sound asleep, my mind suddenly registered absence: the whirring fan that had been keeping a cool breeze flowing over me was silent and still. I pried open my eyes and awoke to blackness and stillness: the power was out. Thunder rumbled and struck, the windows lightened and dimmed again. Heat settled in the room and suddenly I felt I was suffocating. I jumped up and opened windows, stumbled to the kitchen for a drink of cold water from the silent fridge. Ran my wrists under ice water for a few moments in the sink and returned to the stifling bedroom, hoping the power would come back on soon. 45 minutes later, dozing in discomfort, the relief was palpable when the fan suddenly whirred to life again.

This morning we put Mom on the plane home. Karin cried as we pulled away from the airport and I confess to wiping away a tear or two, but as someone told Martin today, if she didn't leave us, we wouldn't be able to look forward to her return. Come back soon, Mom!
 recumbent
mood: recumbent
music: Roxy Music—Avalon


Comments

Oooooooh! That so very much looks like my kind of place! I love that photo of Martin. And the swings - love it! Another reason to come visit. :)

It was wonderful, the only thing was that we should have had a whole DAY EACH for those 2 places!

Looks like a great day. I'm so glad I got to meet LizardMom in person. I wish my own mom could come over for a visit - there's so much I'd like for her to see...among them your adorable kids.

I'd love to meet your mom!! I wish she'd come over for a visit, too :)

I love the tree jeans! And the swings. And the room in the woods.

The whole park was amazing! There were hundreds of art pieces scattered among the trees and undergrowth. One piece was a really long stone wall (at a guess a mile or two) that had stones with pithy statements carved into them every few feet along the entire length.


Are child jars legal in Sweden? Can you buy them from Ikea? Are they exportable?

Children under glass.

my thought exactly. what a neat concept! :-)

What a lot of cool stuff!

(Anonymous)

Solarium sure does look comfortable.

~Sprigs.

you would have absolutely loved it. It was amazing!

hee hee, you named my artist friend! (the one that lives in the torso.) :-)

wanås is a great place, isn't it?

on purpose! :) I knew you'd be happy!

(Anonymous)

I love that picture of Martin - look at those LONG legs! It sounds like a perfect day - that park! What an amazing idea. I'm afraid I would become bewitched and never leave. I'm so glad your mom had a good visit and you made so many happy memories together. That's what life is all about, right?

~samiam

Those pictures are awesome!

=)

I remember a lot of fun trips like that with my mom/aunts/grandma when I was around Martin & Karin's ages. I so treasure those memories as I am getting older & busier and don't see family as often as I would like.

LOVE the woodpile chair! What a great time you've had with your mom. Mothers. They teach us so much about who we are, even when they say nothing.

(Anonymous)

I had a quick glimpse of that face in the back starting to cry....and I had to turn away quickly. It is much too easy to tear at the goodbys. I agree about the comment to Martin - such a good perspective I need to remember. I want to come back soon, but hope that 8 months or so will still be considered soon. We'll see what happens.
Delighted that the soap bubble picture came out so neat. I was afraid it woudn't show up well enough. Fun! Love, Lizardmom

missing Mom's, etc

I ALWAYS felt so sad when my Mom and Dad would leave after a visit. They would sometimes come for a weekend, sometimes a week, and occasionally two weeks. I always tried to get them to stay longer, sometimes succeeded, and always missed them terribly when they were gone. And they only lived two hours away (well, 6 when I was down south).
You just pamper yourself for a while! Be indulgent. Sushi, a massage... whatever it takes. Let the kids give mommy a foot rub. Tell them you are sad and miss your Mom and want cuddles, or space, or whatever your particular indulgent needs are.
Well, there I go again giving unsolicited advice. This crone thing just gets the mouth open wide sometimes.

ps, how many "always"es did it take for me to give advice? heh-heh..

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