Wednesday, October 12, 2011

30 Minutes

This fine morning in Sweden (Day  90), finds me in a quiet home.  The only sounds are a dog barking outside in the distance, the hum of our power adaptors (to prevent our American electronics from frying), and my fingers tap dancing across my keyboard.  Sigh. Breathe. Exhale.  It's been many weeks since I have spent any part of a morning in the company of silence.

KC had her first day at Swedish Day Care/Preschool this past Monday.  Since I'm not working, looking for work, or studying in a University, we are only allowed 15 hours a week of free childcare.  So she is going to  school 3 hours a day (9-12), 5 days a week.  These are similar to the hours she would have been going in the States, but unlike the States, I can't pay to extend her hours, and she is the only child that gets picked up at noon.  The first two days, they asked that I stay with her to help her transition, and to see what the school day is like.  The third day, today, I was allowed to leave for a short time.  This is how they handle the transition for all new children at the center.

So today, after some obligatory time spent in her class, we exchanged pleasant goodbyes, KC turned happily back to her task and I slipped quietly into the hall and the sweet taste of freedom.  After stopping at the grocery store, and walking home, I have a succulent 30 minutes before I need to shoe up, and walk back to school to get her.  This is 30 minutes more than I have had in many weeks.  Thinking a complete thought, and writing a complete sentence, has never felt so luxurious.

I have much to blog about, like our continued adventures with gluten free food, and Swedish school's approach to allergies, and even how my sanity has been saved by other gluten free bloggers and their generous spirits.  Unfortunately that will have to wait a little bit.  I only have 30 minutes ya know.

So today, just a brief update.  Sweden has continued to make me swoon. Most days I'm like some lovesick smitten kitten, intoxicated by all the beauty the countries has to offer. Of course being a pragmatist, Sweden also has me enchanted with its sensibilities.  Recycling, walkability, accessibility to everything with mass transportation, and an understated visual aesthetic that makes me feel downright tipsy.  Like an early infatuation with a new lover, Sweden is filling my senses with the sweet promises of possibilities and secrets yet to be shared.  Who would have thought a place could make me feel like this again...but can it last?

The evenings are getting colder and this morning we woke up to frost on the grass.  I am pretty sure that my first Swedish winter will be a sobering experience.  It will be the time, that the hormonal haze of early attraction clears and the stark reality of Scandinavian darkness sets in.  During my dating years, this usually hit around the 4 month mark.  It was typically then I knew whether it was a love that would deepen and last, or a passing fancy.

Until then though I think I'll keep tripping along with my rose colored glasses while I manage the needs of my 'frequently wellness challenged' family.  Better go.  Time to get back to förskolan.

It's remarkable how refreshing 30 minutes of solitude can be.

Vänliga Hälsningar,


  1. I`m so glad that you joined my blog, Karen! I also hope that I can be helpful with your glutenfree cooking and baking in Sweden, and that you will find all the ingredients you need to feed your family healthfully. As you wrote, it is even more important to eat well when you have a autoimmune disease.
    All the best to you and your family, I hope that you will have a good stay in our cold country! We all have to focus on inside warmness!

  2. Tack så mycket Kjersti! Your help has been invaluable to keeping my 'frequently wellness challenged' family healthy in our new land. I am almost done collecting all my ingredients and look forward to visiting your blog for more inspiration!