Friday, August 21, 2015

First Reading Completed

I couldn't say "first book completed" lest it sound like I'm writing a book here! (though, that's maybe not a bad idea...) But there are several books I brought with me to read, and the friendly librarian showed me where the English section is at the bibliotek the other day, and since Svea still naps quite a bit in the mornings, I believe I will have a fair bit of time for catching up.
This seemed like a good place to start. Jens and Signe actually sent this book to Jeff and I before we left, but I didn't have time to finish it. Here, though, while we are trying to "live Danishly" I have a lot more time to read! I finished the book yesterday. It's about a British couple who do something similar to us, and, in a somewhat random opportunity, pick up and move their lives to Denmark for a year. The author writes about her experiences trying to uncover the secrets of why the Danes are so happy. Seemed like a good introduction.

We are doing our best (I think) at trying to live Danishly while we are here as the chagrin of Anders who really wishes we would drive the car places! We can pretty much walk to everything we need here in town. It takes less than 15 minutes to walk to the Friskole, the Højskole, and the ABC grocery store. Therefore, we walk. Also, Jeff has not yet mastered the manual transmission car to his satisfaction and a feeling of wanting to drive with all of us in it.

Our life here so far seems simple. That's not quite the right word, because it could appear to have negative connotations, and I do not mean that at all. It's just, tranquil. And unfettered. And uncluttered. The flowers we received when we arrived had reached the end of their life, and as I was getting around to throwing them out, I noticed how serene the window looks with even just the pitchers left over from the flowers! This is what I mean by simple. There is a certain beauty in simplicity, and this kitchen view is so calming.
When I picked up the boys from school yesterday, I was a bit sad to see Torben standing by himself next to a riding toy in the middle of the field, staring at the ground. I thought he looked dejected and that is heartbreaking to a mother! Then I saw him move slowly, and I realized he was just standing still watching a bee (he's quite afraid of them, for some reason) and waiting for it to move out of his way. Whew. No crisis of loneliness! Svea saw him and called out to him (she really is a bossy one, even though she doesn't have many words yet!) and he immediately turned and ran to us. When I asked what he did all day, he said "play, play and play. That's pretty much what my answer will always be." Ah! The unfettered joy. (have I really used the word "unfettered" twice today? My goodness. I don't think I've used that word ever before...I think that says something about the life we have here)

All of this play has the children very hungry -pretty much all the time. We have been eating a lot of delicious fruit mostly. And bread. The kids mostly eat the white bread typically reserved for toast -but, I say, they are eating bread! They never eat bread at home. So, one step at a time. We even got Anders to branch out and eat strawberry jam for his sandwich, so, his horizons are broadening. There has been a good sale this week on honey melon (a close relative of honeydew), for 4.95 Kroner, which translates to just under $1 US, so we have been eating a lot of it. This is a typical site for our counter:

It feels so rustic. Or calming. Or, something. Like being transported to another place -a place with delicious honey melons from Spain. I did discover I have to cut the rind off, or else the children leave about half of the melon behind. It is common for us to eat one of these after school. Plus they will have crackers and whatever other food they can get their little hands on. Apparently all that playing makes you very hungry! Dinner is at 6pm, and we get home about 3:30, so there is a lot of time for snacking in between. I love that the snacks are good for us, though! The only "good for us" thing we're still having a challenge with the kids is that the primary drink is water. Anders doesn't want to drink water. And, like me, he's not a huge fan of milk as a beverage either. So it's common to hear "I don't want anything healthy to drink! I want some sprite!" They are doing well drinking water with meals, but in between times it's still a bit of a challenge. We happened to have some crystal light packets with us, so they occasionally have lemonade or pomegranate-cherry water instead. And since I am on the subject of food, I thought this was a fun photo of Svea munching on grilled corn. 

 Oh yes, and the popsicles! Ice-Stick (I know there is an actual way to spell that in Danish, but it's pronounced like "eece-stick" so I'll go with this for now. The boys were very excited for these! Also the ice cream and gelato -which is very expensive so reserved for special occasions. It sure is delicious though!

This is the song we sing each day at lunch time. I can almost pronounce most of the words. I'm not sure what it means yet, but I've got the words and melody. 
In this home, there is a very fancy coffee / espresso machine and I have not yet figured out how to make it work. 

It looks very cool, though! And There actually aren't too many levers -looks like maybe just three. So I can probably figure it out. But I'm a bit scared of it. Thankfully I found a French Press, and I do know how those work! 

Summer was a great time to arrive in Denmark. It's sunny and gorgeous, and the plants are blooming. While reading the book on living Danishly, she talks a lot about how cold, dark, and wet the winters are. I think it might be difficult if we were to arrive then. That's another reason for all of the pictures of flowers and nature -to help us remember when it's dark and cold and wet that sometimes it is bright and colorful. 

We have discovered that this town is very close to an air force base where they practice flights for fighter jets. I was glad to learn this, as it was a bit disconcerting to sit here each morning and hear -then see- the fighter jets flying overhead. 

This town is small, and we are not far from the farms. I forget this sometimes, until I leave the windows open for a while and come into a room wondering what the horrible smell is. Did the baby fill her diaper in her sleep? Did we forget to take the trash outside? Why does the whole room smell of poop? Ah, yes. Because the windows are open and there are cows. Not very far away are the cows. Ok then. Again, knowledge of what is, makes things less disconcerting! Also there is a rooster not far away -I haven't seen him yet, but we hear him often. I kind of like that, too. It feels...pastoral. The only part of things that doesn't feel so calming is how fast the cars go down the road outside! 

It turns out that Thursdays the shops are open later, and it seemed they opened earlier as well. When we took the kids to school, I saw more people out and about than I'd seen any other day, and when we came home from the grocery store in the late afternoon, there were still a lot of people out and about. We even know enough people now that we run into people we know while walking, and they wave "Hej!" as we pass.  

Salmon for lunch (I had some...) and very delicious tomato sauce over rotini. Dinner was hot wings! Anders was so excited about them. He said "mom, these are even better than the spaghetti chicken!" And that is hard to beat! Torben had several of them also, and also some of the leftover breaded whitefish from the day before, which Svea also had. Hard tack with brie is also very of my favourite additions to the evening meal. 

And speaking of food, it's just about time to get ready for lunch. There is something comforting and reliable about routine. And I love that I have time each day to write, and read. Soon we will start up with a gymnastics class or something for Svea -to get us out and meeting some more people. But I think we'll keep the quiet mornings of play, reading, and writing. I have grown accustomed to it already. And the fighter jets. There they go again. 

1 comment:

  1. Great post! Love your blog. Will have to put the book on my reading list. Life there sounds wonderful. Glad you are enjoying it.