Friday, December 7, 2018

...and so it has come to this after all these years...

My computer is trying to give up on me.  I can't shut it down, and therefore I can not update it.  I am having trouble importing photos, or finding them after the computer says the import is complete.
This has all added to my not updating this blog.  I really have resisted moving on to a different platform.  I have hoped or expected blogger to update.  I have thought it was amusing, looking through the blogs that are still here, all mostly religious in nature.  I needed this blog when an internet connection was hard to come by, and I couldn't email photos to all my friends unless I did a mass email, which always seemed to make people unhappy.  Since the time that I started this blog, Instagram has started, everyone I know finally started using apps for phone calls or to text.  Our long distance plans got inexpensive, so that I no longer even need an app.
Therefore, this blog turned into a place holder for me and my inability to grasp my own timelines.  So let me update myself.
This year I haven't been looking back.  I turned 50 and thought to myself- if now is not the time to be content and grateful- when is?
I had some really good personal events happen that I wouldn't share here except in a really cryptic form.  I met my sister in person.  She came to Stockholm with another of our siblings.  This turned out to be really good, and really important, I think to all of us.  I was also able to see how far I have come as a person- and I had a renewed sense of appreciation and love for my partner and all he has brought to my life.  
We have a plan to stay mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, so I took every opportunity to travel through Europe while I was there.  I tried to be present during all travels- and update Instagram just enough to later rekindle my memories. We essentially closed up our Swedish life, but I know that life is changeable and nothing is really over.

Here are some highlights in case I need to remember October-November

Friends helping
Apartment staging
Avoiding good-byes because they make me sad
Reconnecting with people I am genetically linked too
Reconnecting with my past in ways that felt appropriate and just fine
An attitude of adjustment...trying to be nicer to myself and others and not feel the need to waste time on trivial things-  
Clearing out closets - literally and metaphorically
Mentally laying down ideas towards a more purposeful life - where we are
All with the idea of 2019 starting anew

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

The start of the Farewell tour

Millesgården, Olga and Carl Milles

The grounds and cafe by themselves are worth the long trek out to this property that once belonged to the artist Olga and Carl Milles.  
They donated their property to the city of Stockholm.
Carl's statues are other places but they look best here.
Strangely across the water is all industrial- I wonder what the area looked like even fifty years ago.


"If you know the way to blue?"

Have I already written about the sorting, scrubbing, sanding and packing?
Apologies if I am repeating myself.
On one side of trying to sell an apartment in SE versus AU or the U.S., there are only set days for an open house.  Having someone come by on short notice would be a rarity and only if the seller is quite keen to sell.
Sending items from your life on a long sea voyage is as stressful as the time before.
Having to have the apartment 'staged' for photos was a lot of work (we had help from friends)- but having the apartment look anything like the staged photos will be even trickier. 


Sunday, September 16, 2018

Lägenhet a Swedish word I can pronounce and surviving IKEA on a Saturday

How many things do you do alone?  When I lived in L.A., people used to remark on their ability to see a movie alone as if it was...well remarkable.  I understood a bit better when people would talk about dining alone, but I didn't cook, so for me the choice was "Dine alone, or eat from the AM/PM".  Actually as a teenager living alone in L.A., being able to afford my 'Chinese Chicken Salad, no Chicken, dressing on the side' filled me with such pride, that I never thought about the fact that I was alone.
Thirty-five-ish years later and there are things I hate doing, and definitely not alone.  Surviving IKEA on a Saturday is a good example.
I am still keeping this blog in its limited fashion as a timeline for my brain that refuses to understand maths. I round all numbers...which leads to adding or subtracting years, which leads to muddling up life events and this blog works well to set that straight.  Yet, I have never written other than cryptically - when other people are involved. Who am I to write about other people?  This funny habit was the exact same style of writing that led to most of my written journals being too hard for me to decipher. Which might be for the better as I am not sure I like my younger selves.
Anyway- We might say 'Thanks for the memories' to our current Lägenhet. There is much involved in this process that I, as a foreigner would sum up with the 'att passa' verb in Swedish.
This is Swedish so one verb or one word is capable of many meanings- I think of it as the Swedish collective spirit.  Anyway, there are items that "must" be in each photograph of the apartment.  One can pay to do this...what I would think of as staging the apartment- some (enthusiastic S pulling along E in her wake) friends have been helping.  Staging is quite expensive- and I do always use my time over money, in this type of situation- a situation I feel I can handle.  But also I have been boring myself to tears doing the deep cleaning, scrubbing, sorting, sanding, touching up paint.  But other than time a price to be paid was yes, the Saturday trip to IKEA. We also had two sincerely delightful small people who rallied even when Småland had a 1 HOUR wait so they came along, for the shopping, behaving if not better, well no actually they behaved better than us.
 Help arrives tomorrow morning-
I hope my second cup of coffee rouses me enough to see if the paint in the entryway has dried (it was easily 6 years old and left by a previous occupant - but all the paint was oil based...and seemed the least ecological items I have had to face off with in ages so I used them...)  

Thursday, August 30, 2018

September to September in a blink of an eye

I think my computer is dying.  I can no longer update or properly shut it down.  I seem to recall a time that I could post via my smart phone but I believe that many people left 'blogger' because the platform didn't update with the times.  Yet, I continue to at least leave myself monthly clues to look back upon and cue my memories.

We were quite busy catching up with friends when we returned after such a long time to Stockholm.  Sweden and much of the Arctic Circle were experiencing large scale wild fires, and a drought all through Sweden.  This at the same time that once again (a few years in a row) California is having the same problems.  Each of my friends from each location around the globe said "...and governments don't believe in climate change..." I find it interesting when a sentiment seems to travel almost word for word intact around the world.

The band got an offer to play a show in Gorky Park, Moscow and I tagged along.  When would I ever get another chance?  The city felt like the largest I have ever been too.  It felt like NYC, LA and Paris all meshed together. I had a list of things I wanted to do and see, and I got to most of them.  We saw a lovely performance of the ballet Giselle.  The audience was full of families with children, and what look to me as couples out on a date night. 

The cosmonaut museum was another highlight.  I have always wondered about the dogs they sent to space and Sputnik-! The first satellite in space.  The museum did not disappoint. 
The train stations were also amazing, but SO loud.
The bands show was loosely organized but heavily attended and a lot of fun.

I am still grateful that I got a bit of winter- as we have a lot of logistics coming up between work and possibly selling the apartment.
I also have relatives from my fathers side coming to stay whom I have never met.  Our lives do always seem to go by a bit quicker when we are living in a city and/or in Europe.  I always feel like I have less time and yet I am getting more done.  


Wednesday, August 15, 2018

A fire here, a fire there, fires everywhere.

I don't do well in heat.  I am unable to have patience, my answers become short and snippy until I reach a point where I can barely find the words I actually want, and then I start just gesturing my irritation.
Stockholm was not built to avoid heat or the sun, Stockholm was built to maximize keeping the heat in.  Our first few weeks have been trying to avoid the worst of the heat and humidity.  The heat wave came with a drought and forest fires that the country was ill equipped to deal with.   Our neighbourhood with its green spaces meant we are surrounded on all sides by dying trees and brown grass.  As most of our friends were still away on vacations, we did the least amount necessary- and did our best to get some sleep each night although with an apartment that gets full morning sun followed by full afternoon sun, and the short two hours of darkness at this time of year...we mostly just took advantage of jet lag to call people in other time zones.
The most common phrase I met with when telling friends about the heat wave and fires was "Funny, and people think climate change isn't real.".
Speaking of climate change, Sweden has an upcoming election and although I would still put Sweden on a unique scale, I am hearing a lot of what I hear from friends in the U.S. and also worries I hold myself about Australia.
There is an all encompassing feeling of being under a gray cloud.
Only the reactions are varied.

I still do not feel much like adding to this blog- and yet I find myself using the blog to go back and look through what I suppose taking a phrase used by facebook 'my timeline'.
So the place holder I would want here is to remember there was a drought and wild fires for the first time in a very long time in Sweden.  Newspapers have stated 50-60 years, and even then not on this scale.  Importantly more than one place in the Arctic circle as well as at the same time California is burning which seems to be a yearly - all reminding me of the mid-1970s and President Carter trying (without much success) to get the U.S. away from fossil fuels.

At the same time, my personal day-to-day has been good.  I've seen old friends, my best friend is finding the heat pretty hard to deal with so, neither of us are cranky with one another.  Also, I am tagging along with him for a show the band is doing in Gorky Park.  I doubt another chance to see Moscow will come my way.

Another element of this blog that is harshing my efforts is I have continued trouble with adding photos to this computer.
Perhaps stating this in type will help me actually find and fix the problem but for now...friends have arrived and I should give them my attention.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

From winter to summer in under 48 hours

We are leaving in less than a week.  The weather has been really cold, in a way that makes any gardening task seem like that task could know...just wait until Spring returns.  I have switched in this late hour to helping with the garage conversion- coating the wood panels with oil.  The goal is that the two small rooms will be completed and items can then be stored there so that the large office space can be finished- hopefully in a week in late November when he has a week between tours.  There was a recent switch to the workspace / garage / garden tool / where the automobiles are parked area that seemed to me a distraction from more the more important areas, but now, I think I was wrong.  That area being more put together makes the project seem close to being finished.  I am having trouble with the main house due to residual feelings from the robbery.  Last time we left there was still scaffolding up from repairs to the house as a result of the robbery- the house was really clean as we had had to empty to house out to have the floors repaired.  This year I seem to be leaving the cleaning to the last day- giving me a constricted time frame.  
I know this attitude of 'That doesn't matter I am leaving soon' isn't a clear feeling, the feeling is made up of all the good byes I have ever avoided, all the times I have made a break for the state line, every bitter "You will miss me when I am gone" feeling of disregard.  This is the drama I can't seem to shake.  The entanglement of emotional build up.  But I am not alone, I am part of a 'We are in this together'.  
I always feel worry when I leave my book collection, but I have library cards, and credit cards- there are bookshops and libraries all over.  Every idle fear has an answer these days.  I have picked a book for the flights.  I have ordered a new pack of crosswords.  I have snacks to squirrel away in defense of plane food.  I have armed myself with a new outfit in case of public appearances.
I have left my friends voicemails, a digital trail of my plans.
I have grandiose notions of spontaneity - perhaps I will just spend October traveling as far as I can by train.  Perhaps I will turn up on your doorstep with a rental, a map, and enough snacks to take us both across the state line.