- Tater tots
- In and Out Burger
- Taco Bell
- Dairy Queen
- St. Hubert Chicken
- Real Mexican Food
- Real Maple Syrup
- Pizza, with lots of meat.
Thursday, January 23, 2014
Thursday, January 2, 2014
The year that was 2013 has had some major ups and downs; good for me and my husband for the most part, but a tough one for my family in general. The health of my father, who is 91 and suffers from dementia has been a major stressor to our family as a whole, and my eldest sister ended the year having to have major surgery (she is well and recovering nicely, thank you.)
The main news is that Carl and I will not be returning to Canada this summer, we are however being cross-posted to Tel Aviv, Israel. We are excited about the opportunity and look forward to our time there, but it then makes the fact that our time in Sweden is limited very real.
This morning I disassembled our Christmas Tree as it was drying out quickly and was shedding needles by the hundreds. Now for most this is a simple task that happens yearly, but for many, myself included, this can be a sad experience. The color and joy of the lights and the ornaments collected over the years must be stored away for another year, though for us this is not just another year. Those of you who read my blog (when I post) and are part of the expat community that relocates regularly will nod your heads and see where I am about to go. Go on, I know you are.
For us, this is the last year we will take down our Christmas things in this house, in this country. It's the first step in realizing that your time is ending here, or at least it is for me. As you take down the ornaments you take extra care in wrapping the very fragile ones. I had stored up bubble wrap just for this occasion, as I know I have to pack these items myself. The movers won't be touching them so they must be as well protected as they can be. They will in 6 months or so be loaded into a truck then placed into a shipping container to meet us at the place we will call home for the next few years. With each ornament, especially the ones recently purchased while we have been in Sweden a memory comes to mind. The hand-blown glass balls in gold and blue bought at Skansen, the Thor we bought in Florida on vacation, the wooden moose and Lucia ornaments too. Each of these reminds me of friends we have made here, and friends we will leave behind. Now, of course we will remain friends across the miles, but the living in close proximity to these people will be drawing to a close.
This happens to us often, and we are used to it at some level, though it doesn't make it any easier. I have often told myself that if it doesn't hurt to leave a place I have lived, then I did it wrong. I look forward to the next six months or so of being with those who are now my friends, and those who will visit us for the first time in Sweden, and those who want to make one more trip before we go. Thank you all for helping to make this our home.
Thursday, October 24, 2013
As much as I am looking forward to the second part, I am unsure about the first part. my siblings have been arguing about Dad's care and some of them are not even speaking to each other. It's been almost 20 months since I saw my father last, and and I know that occasionally he does not recognize my sisters who are around him frequently. I fully expect him to not recognize me but it still makes me feel weird. Almost like I am walking into something foggy, grey and not at all familiar.
This has resulted in short nights of sleep, waking up and not being able to go back to sleep and weird dreams about loss, death and sadness. I get it is all related, logically I see the dotted lines and connections but it's still unfamiliar to me.
All of that is running tandem with some other stuff that is equally as stressful, and yes I am intentionally being vague right now but I just can't really talk about it yet. Nothing horrible, just stressful. I'm just looking forward to getting to the end of next week and maybe, finally relaxing a bit.
Sunday, October 13, 2013
Citybanan Open House, a set on Flickr.
Here in Sweden, major transit and infrastructure projects are managed by the Swedish Transport Administration, Trafikverket. In their own words;"The Swedish Transport Administration is responsible for the construction, operation and maintenance of all state owned roads and railways. We also develop long-term plans for the transport system on road, railway, sea and flight."
What this means is that regardless of what city or municipality, they run the show. Because of this it seems that infrastructure ACTUALLY IS BUILT AND MAINTAINED. Wow, what a concept! One of the projects currently under way is to relive some of the traffic on the two railway tracks that run out of Central Stockholm, moving South. Currently all traffic running South must use these 2 tracks, including commuter rail. The Citybanan will shift the commuter rail traffic off of these two older tracks allowing for increased inter-city rail traffic.
Though the track will be only 6km long, it is all underground. Today Trafikverket held an Open House and invited the public to come tour parts of the tunnel as well as see the sections of the "underwater bridge" that were sunk over the summer and connected in order to cross the body of water Riddarfjärden. We could see them but not get to them, though it was pretty cool as I had watched two of the sections be submerged over the summer.
I'm stoked that I got to see this. I wish North American would do things like the open house events we have been to here in Sweden. It gives taxpayers a better idea of what is being done, how it is done and what their tax dollars are being used for.
Anyway here is a link to the pics I took today. Enjoy!
Tuesday, October 8, 2013
Sunday, October 6, 2013
Tuesday, October 1, 2013
Okay it sounds worse than it really is, but I'm just kind of numb. I have been pretty quiet for the past several months on this here bloggy thing, and the main reason is that there is a lot going on with my family back in the states. My father has been through a series of health related issues, all exacerbated but the fact that he has dementia, and the dementia is of course getting worse, not better.
This comes as no surprise to me that dementia worsens as people who already suffer from it age. My Dad just turned 91 two weeks ago, and the thing that gets to me is that he is literally trapped in his own mind most of the time. I will be going home to see him in the next few weeks. I am somewhat worried about seeing Dad and wondering if he will remember me, though I am more worried about dealing with sibling drama. I won't get into details but there is a lot of crap going on between my sisters (note: I am the youngest of 7 kids, 5 sisters and 1 brother) and I really want to avoid it if I can.
Another thing that has been on my mind a lot through all of this is what will happen to us? Carl and I are both the youngest kids in our families, and we have no children. What will happen to us when we get older? There is no one to take care of us if we need it. What happens if dementia effects one or both of us? This is an unknown that concerns me and will require a lot of thought and research as to what is possible and what isn't. One thing is for sure; we can't be the only people in this situation.