It's another cloudy, rainy day. We went yesterday, despite the weather, to meet Debbie and family on a boat tour of Malmö along the canal, featuring a surprisingly hard quiz about Malmö. I've done the tour boat trips for tourists a couple of times, but this was a book your own, steer your own boat trip and Debbie's son acted as captain, navigating us slowly but steadily along the center line of the canal.
It's always fun to see a place you know well from a different perspective, and because of the weather there was almost no one out on the water, and the people who looked at us from overpasses and the sides seemed to be very amused at our outing, clad in rain ponchos as we were. Debbie had brought delicious chocolate croissants for everyone and we didn't even break into our own fika that we'd brought along. Her daughter Maria had her beautiful black lab puppy with her (Freja), who was content to hang out in laps and be petted the entire way. The questions in the quiz book were really hard, and prompted a lot of laughter and discussion. Anders and I were a team and we ended up winning by half a point!
Yesterday, we had sad news as we found out via Facebook that my mom's massage therapist and friend of many years passed away abruptly a few weeks ago. We don't know any details (and don't need to), but she wasn't much older than me and was a lovely, generous woman. I'm shocked and saddened for her kids. Even if my mom has moved away from there, and we wouldn't have probably ever seen her again, since we most likely won't be going to Michigan when we go to the States now, it was still sad news to hear.
I have a couple of other people in my friends list on Facebook who have passed away and their accounts remain behind like weird virtual memorials. There doesn't seem to be any real consensus on how to handle the situation on social media. Do you comment occasionally that you miss them, to let their families know the person in question isn't forgotten? Do you wish them a happy birthday every year even though they won't get your greetings? Do you just quietly unfriend them one day? If you are on FB, what would you want? I waver a little between wanting to keep my online presence around for posterity and feeling like that's morbid. Unlike this blog, which I would prefer to live on forever, haha! My words immortalized on the internet for anyone to read, comment on, and enjoy.
We're definitely in autumn now. Leaves are changing fast and the temperatures that have dropped show no signs of moving upwards again. I'm considering putting away the deck furniture, although sometimes October turns out to be nice...you just never know. Mostly it feels like a definite season change, time stop wearing sleeveless shirts and capri pants and break out the heavier jackets. Sigh.
We had our first in-person AIC meeting last week and even though there were only 10 of us onsite (with 6 more attending via Zoom), it was very clear that people were super happy to be gathered together again. And then I hosted book group on Thursday evening at my home and had a moment of dithering beforehand because I hadn't gotten info on how many would be coming in person and had prepared snacks and fika as if everyone would be coming to my home, only realizing that day that I might have gotten all the food for no purpose. It turned out to be 4 of us in my living room and 3 online, so it was good that I did have snacks prepared, and again, it was super obvious how happy those who had come were to be there, in person and among friends. We talked and talked and talked, and it felt like two years of bottled up conversations coming out all at once. They didn't leave until 10 pm, which has to be a record for the longest AIC bookgroup evening!
Karin is in Mallorca until Tuesday, enjoying warmer weather, even though they've had rain there, too. Martin has been catching up with friends and job-hunting, and Anders and I are just living our lives. I've been working 50% in the office since the beginning of September, and now with almost all pandemic restrictions lifted in Sweden, we are starting this week with 70%, which means 3 days in the office one week, and 4 days the next, with the expectation that we will be back to 100% by the end of the year. Sigh. Upper management doesn't seem to be in favor of continued working from home, even whilst touting their embrace of flexibility and "leaving it up to your manager".
Right now, here at least, the pandemic feels over, and I find that both a little naive and a little unsettling. I guess we shall see.