Tuesday, December 04, 2007


I am a December lover. So was my mother and her mother before that..And I am pleased that Serina also seems to appreciate the busy time of advent and in fact is passing on the tradition of arranging a Christmas work shop with her fellow students in Drammen. I packed and sent her the advent calendar midst of November, and my big little girl was never so grateful for so little..
First weekend in December Serina had some days off and went by the night train and coast buss for approximately ten- twelve hours to come visiting friends and her parents. It was an undivided joy to light the first advent candle together while reciting the familiar verses.
Outside our kitchen window the sparrows are fed with seed, apples and cornballs.
On the seminar I attended in November I was strongly encouraged to allow myself to set my own priorities and make clear limits. I am doing my very best not to let every body think they can feed on me. Making a memorable December for my closest family is my clear goal and I do focus on that aim. I have had say no to other people's wants or cravings. It's not being easy, cause I hate to disappoint or not fulfill friends' expectations. Then I tell myself how really worn out and ill I've become the previous advents, and I think I shall manage to keep my mind made up.
This is a blog in reverse and ends with last week of November.. Gunnar is about to redecorate Serina's room.
To do that he had to empty to room entirely, and many a hidden treasure popped up. The flute had been gone for five years,and was found under a huge writing table. Serina immediately regained her long lost love of playing, and within a few minutes she was playing from Mozart's Magic Flute,- by heart. Wonderful!
Because of the hallway was being occupied by Serina's furniture, I told on the phone that there might not be any Christmas decoration displayed for the first of December. She sounded so disappointed in that far away place, that Gunnar made the Red Sea divide and fetched down six huge boxes from the attic.
The crib has been developed through 37 years. There's a lot of happy memories combined with these small figurines.
The advent calendar was sewn by my mother, my brother and me in 1957. My mother had a book with cross sticks patters. We were allowed to choose figures. I remember protesting strongly against that lilac rabbit, but my mother democratically let her animal loving son have his will in that matter. I do admire her for that now.
Mostly Norwegian Youlenisser are sitting on our trunks. They are more rural dressed than the former bishop St. Nicholaus, and they are reminiscences of old Norwegian traditions where amongst other trolls and nisses were a part of people's daily life. The youlenisse lived in the barn and was treated with porridge and other goodies Christmas night.
A newer crib, where the most spectacular is Serina's self made rehaired Barbie inspired angle.
The big nisse is wearing a jumper that both I and Serina wore as three yearlings. Gunnar and cousin Kristine are still a bit jumpy when they meet the old guy.
Two hours before the first candle was lit.
The days are getting shorter and darker till December 21. Now the sun rises about nine in the east. What's worse is that it's getting dark about four in the afternoon. My mother use to say that the Lord is wise to send white snow in our darkest hours.
Gunnar having a few moments' rest with a box of doughnuts and some uninteresting TV.
Husband Gunnar made it. New wooden floor has replaced the smelling carpet in Serina's room.
The bed which was partly being stored away in the attic and partly in the basement has been put together for homecoming princess.

The hallway is still blocked by important memorabiliaes.

Who would believe that we have stored away thirty boxes in the attic and given away a trailer with Serina furniture. There's more to go!The old rug is about being removed.
We've had snow for a few days two times now. Tradition says third time it will stay until spring.
Leaving Mom and Sauda in sun. The Hoofland peak in the background was mounted by my father and me in 1965. I always think of it as our peak.
Dramatic change in the weather on the way in. We drove into a tunnel of ca 500 meters. One minute there was heavy rain, coming out the road was covered with snow, the sight was zero, high mountain on one side of the road, and the fjord 400 meters steep down on the other side.
Our old car was shoed with summer tires.
My hands were trembling with fear, I could hardly hold my cell cam.
Gunnar has been out a winter's night before and kept his head calm. We arrived at my mother's without any incidents.
We had to stay one more night to wait for the roads to be scraped and salted for our safe return.
Former colleague Kirsten is a keen bridge player
with a lot of humor. She's writing poetry and painting vividly. Always brings a lot of fun and interesting subjects.

Norway was occupied for five years by the Germans in WW2. There are unpleasant memories from that time all along the coastline. The Germans called it "Festung Norwegen" and put a huge effort in "defensing" the country from the Allied Forces.
Here we are on a hike to a fortress with bunkers, cannons and on the heights :the tower of command.
Our freedom was dearly paid for.