Friday, June 20, 2008

Starting to Wind Down

School is done for Pam and the kids! They finished up yesterday, and we all stayed up late. Pam and I went to a get-together with our friends from ThIS which was very nice. We've made good friends here in Norway, and now we are saying goodbye to a lot of good people we're not sure if we'll see again. Earlier this week we said goodbye to our good friends Scott and Teresa and daughter Anna Lola; they left for Minnesota for a month.

So, we slept in late this morning and I went to work in time for lunch -- Friday is waffle and cake day, and no one ever misses that! Today, however, people did miss it. I was surprised that there was only a handful of people at lunch. Many people start their vacations today, and consequently, I found myself saying goodbye to several of my friends at the office. I thought I'd have next week with them, but alas, time is up. The sadness is mitigated however by the fact that I've been invited to be a presenter at the November conference at NTNU, so even though I'm saying goodbye, I will get to see everyone again later this year.

Maggie left with Frøy's family for a weekend on their family farm 2 hours away. She'll have a nice weekend with her best friend here in Norway.

This evening we went to the beach to grill and enjoy the pleasant weather. Lade, our favorite and closest beach, was packed with cars and crowds and a fence and ticket booth. It looked like there would be some sort of concert tonight. Fun! But we wanted quiet, so we drove to Ranheim to the beach we went to last week with the school for Beach Day.

The beaches were empty and the sky was illuminated in brilliant shades of blue and white that made it seem like the heavens were wide open and anything could happen. There's something exceptional about these beaches on these fjords, a certain energy... it's like you can feel the power of the Norse gods calling you to the sea, the same way they must have called to the Vikings who stood on these very beaches. You can sense their spirits around you and know that you are feeling exactly the same as they did 1000 years ago. It's powerful.

After pølse, we stopped by Daniel and Evelina's. Daniels parents are visiting from Switzerland and some of their other friends were over as well. When Evelina got a video call with her parents in Italy, the room was a cacophony of Swiss Deutsch, Italian, English, and Norwegian. What a mix!

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