Mar 18, 2010

1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 4 + 4 =

One Successful Trip
You win a few, you lose WIN them all!
(Part II)

The next morning we were up at the crack and on our way northward to load up the tractor and continue home. On the way, we passed a MAXI ICA (be still my beating heart) and stopped to go in so I could see it. ICA stores come in varying sizes depending on the population in their location. To this point I had seen a NÄRA (neighborhood) ICA and even a KVANTUM (larger) ICA ...both of which were mere Smurf versions compared to the MAXI ICA.
I loved every minute of it with its enormous bakery and aisle after aisle of housewares. I just needed more time...
To Manny's delight it had an attached McDonald's (for a minimalist/devoted natural food consumer like Hans it was his worst nightmare...a Maxi ICA AND a McDonald's in the same location...) but Manny was enthralled.
It turned out that McDonald's was closed, we were too early, but as we drove on we found another McDonald's that was in fact open and we stopped there to eat.
Here is the proof positive of Hans' undying love for his son
(if there was ever any question...)
That would be him walking into the McDonald's.
And as if that wasn't enough, we stopped a little farther down the road where Hans had made arrangements to meet a man that had sold him a beautiful Klippan pure wool throw for our kitchen sofa. It was a gorgeous gift for me, and incredible as it might seem, was actually long enough to cover someone who might be taking a nap on the sofa on a winter's day. I loved it
Such a kind husband and father.
But shopping and warm woollen throws were not the only focus that morning.
I wonder how many who read this blog have had the experience of finding a home or a place that they just love, that seems perfect in every way for that time in their life so that they want to settle down and stay there forever? Perhaps one even begins the dream, buys the house or just lives in that place for a time, only to have it slip away, or be taken away for whatever reason.
For the three years that we have been married, I have heard about a place that was like that for Hans. It was originally a schoolhouse, but not overly large. It was situated on a knoll in a beautiful forested area, not far from Stockholm, with a crystalline lake nearby, and small, beautifully maintained farmhouses dotting the landscape. There was enough land around the home for some animals such as sheep to be raised, and the promise of a farm just down the road that could be taken over for a small dairy herd. A sunny slope on one side provided a perfect place for a large vegetable garden to be cultivated.

We went there on this trip.
Although it had been sold years ago, it seemed that it was now being used only as a summer home. Surrounding it were birdhouses of every kind, and as cold
as it was that day, we heard the birds singing from every direction.
It was even more beautiful than I had imagined it... and it was important to spend some time there.
When we finally drove away, we took the opportunity to explore some of the feelings and circumstances surrounding that part of Hans' life. We talked about the intervening years and the decisions that have led both of us to our present situation. We considered the advantages of our farm in Norrland, and the positive aspects of the life that we live here. It was a thoughtful and a loving conversation, and it felt right to identify the blessings of where we are and who we are today while still acknowledging the hopes and dreams and sorrows both of us have experienced in the past.
It was a good step towards understanding and healing.

The Tractor:

Near the village of Sunnansjö (Soon-un-fwuh) was the farm where we were to load the tractor. It was a sunny day but quite cold and we were somewhat worried about fitting it on the trailer. The back axle was wider than any of us, including the seller, had anticipated.

Hans, the farmer, and Manny got pallets and boards and made a bridge up to try, but it was hard to get the rear wheels on safely with so little clearance. They even attempted to gently nudge it over with the front scoop of a larger luck.  If you know Hans, you know that true to form, they just kept on trying, little by little, and they got it done!
When we had it all accomplished, the two kids Oskar (13) and his sister Frieda (11) called us over to have an outdoor wienie roast that they had arranged with their mother's help. They had been playing all day on their snow mound and occasionnally pelting Manny when they could during the tractor extravaganza (he fired back with gusto, and they were all loving it).

These sausage babies were pretty dark, but no one seemed to mind.
We started off again, this time with both vehicles with a trailer loaded behind each...the moped hooked to Gustav's car and the tractor behind our Volvo station wagon.   It was good to be...

Heading Home.

1 comment:

Lauralee said...

So did you buy anything great at the MAXI?