Monthly Archives: August 2017

The Prince and The Princess

So, we have been back from our Norway/Denmark vacation for four days.  The cat missed us as evidenced by her constant need to be attached to one of us at all times and if we leave the loft, just to put the trash down the incinerator, when we return she cries the most pathetic cry.  The laundry had to be done, suitcases put away, one personal carry-on item for each of us had to be gone through and items thrown away.  Work looms over us like the anticipation of that pesky eclipse.   Today “don’t look at the sun” was followed by “good luck going back to work tomorrow”.  I resisted the first part and spent much of the day looking at my feet while walking because my oppositional defiant behavior whispers in my ear “look up, look up at the sun” but I resisted.  Tomorrow the first day back to school will be filled with “did you look at the eclipse” and I will say “no, I was ill prepared and feared for my eyesight” and my colleagues will know that I rarely stay up for the last game of the World Series, I haven’t ever watched Downton Abbey and I don’t actually know what “Game of Thrones” is about.  I’m that person that doesn’t follow the crowd.

My FHB and I talk about our trip in glowing terms.  We bask in our memories and process the days and revisit the highlights.  And then there are the comments….real story:

Me: “Good night my Prince of Denmark”

FHB:  Goodnight my Norwegian Princess”

Me: “I think you called me a giant cruise ship”….I’m not feeling the love…

FHB: You are ridiculous

Vacation is over.   Familiarity bred contempt.  A momentary acknowledgement that life goes on, as it should.  We return to our respective corners of our world and responsibilities of our daily lives.  We work so the cat can have her food.  We take in the newspaper, we watch the news we missed while we were away,  instead having focused on glaciers, herring and people watching.  We met people from all over the world.  We dined with a family from Singapore, another family from California, a couple from Australia and a woman with the best fiery attitude from Delhi, India.  We met folks who were there to walk in the footsteps of their ancestral roots.  One elderly gentleman and dairy farmer from Wisconsin, who walked with a cane, and whose every step was clearly painful, travelled with two of his adult children to see the land his parents came from.  He said ” I have wished to see this land for such a long time and now I am here and complete”.  Each traveller had a reason to choose this trip, whether it was to find out more about themselves, or couples like us, who want to see the beauty of the land which will exist long after we are gone.  We could remain present and engaged in making memories.  For as many times as I lifted the camera to capture a picture, there were more times when the camera became a barrier between what I was seeing and what I was taking in. The best pictures were those I took to keep in my mind.  This was not a leisurely paced vacation. We were up at 6 a.m. and our luggage was put outside our door to be retrieved by 6:45.  We were on the bus within the hour and off to see the land and to listen to the stories of the history of Norway and the social culture and conscience of this country.  Much of how they live is based on all people truly having access to what they need (free health care and education) to live a good life.  The rules that the citizens follow make sense and everyone understands the rationale.  It seemed less emotional and more logical.  It seemed as the first cab driver we met when we arrived said to us “It’s going to be an overcast and rainy week ahead.  You will still see all the beauty of Norway and your enjoyment is only dampered by what you control. The weather is certainly not in any of our control. So we choose here to let the 99%  we have no control over not bother us.  ” We took those words to heart and saw past the rain and focused on the slivers of sunshine that teased us on some days.

We came home to the reality of disbelief and upended chaos.  I turn to literature and find the following line from Hamlet  ““Madness in great ones must not unwatched go.”
William Shakespeare, Hamlet

And with those words…I wish you a good night. May the moon stay in orbit of the earth and the sun.

10,000 Words

The physical world has so much beauty. Travel away from our home, our culture and our comfort zone, allows us the opportunity to experience not only the breathtaking parts of our earth, but engages us in a dialogue with strangers who become acquaintances in a short time.  To share the experience of travel with others with a common goal of connecting through beautiful sights, makes a trip filled with depth and breadth on many levels.

Jet lag has been setting in.  We are home safe in the loft.  While we were gone, we were sheltered from the barrage of news from home.  There are a lot of thoughts swirling through my brain about the dichotomy of vacation versus real life.  Re-entry is a bit like getting caught in a storm with little to hang on to but your wits.

My FHB and I had the most spectacular adventures in Norway and Denmark.  So many things to share but for now, we are going to be quiet with our recent memories, to allow them to settle in and unpack them into  our mental files.  A picture is supposedly worth a thousand words.  I thought I would share ten of them to cover the best of what we saw.  Don’t worry, no home  movies will be found on the blog at any time in the near future.

Enjoy your weekend. See you back here on Monday with some details and funny moments.

 

Hei There!

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“To travel is to live”…Hans Christian Anderson

“Once a year go somewhere you’ve never been” …Dalai Lama

August is our travelling month.  This is the time of the year that we don’t necessarily go see anyone we know but rather get to know one another again through an adventure of our choosing, although some adventures choose us!  This year, after some medical ups and downs,  seemed like a great time to set sail, or airplane (not personal but rather commercial) and see what we can see.  About a month ago, or less than that, when I realized that time was approaching school daze, I asked my FHB where he would like to go. The question barely left my lovely lips (his words) and he said “Norway”.  Without missing a beat, I said “absolutely!”.  We had a limited window of opportunity to plan this trip but with a bit of finagling and faith in people who know travel, the plans were made and the itinerary set.  I learned quite a bit about the dynamic of setting a wishlist at the  last minute.  It is somewhat like watching the home renovation/buy a new mansion shows where the host asks the prospective client what they “must have” and then you watch as it unfolds into the what you can afford and what is realistic.  I actually think we were much more reasonable within our time constraints and the plan unfolded.  My only request, was that since Norway was really close to Denmark (about an inch away from Oslo to Copenhagen in my wonderful world atlas), that we could  go and see the Little Mermaid and the Tivoli Gardens.  And so among other places with names I have only seen as I pored over the maps and guidebooks, we will spend a few days in Copenhagen, after we visit the land of Thor Hyerdahl, Sonja Henie, and Roald Amundsen.  We will eat herring ad nauseum.  We will see the sunset later than we have ever experienced and I am told it never truly gets dark, but rather dusky.

I am trying to learn a few words in Norwegian and pack efficiently.  I have a feeling I will be better at one and not so good at the other.  The reality that we have our minds mostly intact, our spirits still strong, and our senses of humor which can carry us through customs and misadventures, makes me aware that there is a lot of world I want to see and now seems like the best time to start.  You can follow me on Instagram @bblueiris13.  I will possibly blog while we are travelling, but if not, please know that I will be back in touch with tales of Scandinavia @thoughtswhilewaitingfortheelevator/wordpress.

Have a great week.  God kveld!

 

 

 

Waiting Room

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Shut your eyes (metaphorically) and imagine hearing several voices…and you are hearing “Joey, I told you to sit down”,  “Brad, you don’t belong there…come over here!”,”Tanya, will you stop…how many times do I have to tell you!”  and other conversations…”So how old is she? She is adorable!”, “How do you get her to sit still..mine is always moving, moving!”.  Any guesses where I am….no I am not at the pediatrician’s office.  I am at the vet, with Paka for her annual exam.  I felt a little strange when the technician said to me “What kind of name is ‘Paka’?  I thought, she probably thinks that I am strange, since my cat’s name (which means cat in Swahili) is not a people name. She asked me if Paka was actually Parker.  Paahka…  that is how it would sound in Massachusetts with the Boston accent.  Go figure.

I love to people watch.  I love to people watch people with their pets.  The veterinarian waiting room is like a incubator for observations of dialogue and behaviors, and many one-sided conversations between the pet parents and their “offspring”.  It’s actually a much friendlier place than my primary care doctor’s waiting room. There’s a lot more eye contact.  I was absolutely fascinated by Brad (who was a pitbull….yeah…Brad the Pit) who couldn’t have cared less about what his mother was asking.  Lily the little white puff barked incessantly and every time her mother told her to quiet down, just barked in response.  It was beyond comical.  When we were finally taken into the exam room, Paka, who I believe was keeping her eyes shut so as to say “I hope this is all a bad dream”, seemed reluctant to come out of her carrying case.  The doctor, who I adore, always asks me the same litany of questions about Paka and her health (any vomiting?), her state of mind (so did she seem angry with you when she rode in the car, and was she particularly vocal?) and inquired whether she seemed bored.  I stated that she vomited when she ate kohlrabi leaves that morning, and that she was rather “indignant” when taken out of her home, and that in fact, she tempers her boredom with periods of long naps and bird watching out the loft windows.  He smiled at me with his amazing smile and seemed happy with my answers.  It’s always the same “dance” but I never mind.

Veterinarians are really special humans who have to develop relationships with both the pet parents and the pets.  They take care of your special friends from cradle to grave. When our twenty year old cat, Lucy, became more and more frail, and it seemed like it was her time to leave us, our vet was compassionate and patient and helped us let her go.  Our family will be forever grateful for his guidance and support.  I baked him cookies.

I am someone who has always loved animals, despite being bitten in the face by a nasty schnauzer named Sonny (Corleone) and scratched by a large gray cat named Molly.  Animals seem to have moved up the ranks from working animals, mousers and beasts of burden, to pampered creatures with people names.  The days of Fluffy and Duke seem behind us, along with people names like Bertha and Ike.  Mittens and King seem so yesterday.  Both my childhood cats were named Charlie (actually Charlie #1 was Charlene but we didn’t know that until the vet confirmed it).  My dog (who came with his name from the rescue, was also Charley (note the ‘Y’).  Personification makes these loving, doting creatures, rise in stature.  There’s a whole industry that is supporting pets. I just saw a television program in which a man was pitching wine for cats.  We have lost our minds for sure.  But when Paka comes and sits next to my FHB and watches television with him (especially the news) we feel comforted that it may be a dog -eat-dog world out there, but it’s a peaceable kingdom in the loft.