Home things

When I was a kid, my mom used to make us do chores on Saturdays. She’d put on Whitesnake or the Top Gun soundtrack, and we’d clean the house. I always thought doing chores on weekends was ridiculous because weekends are for lazing about and nothing more. But the habit stuck, and I still clean house on the weekends– sometimes while listening to Whitesnake.

Since I’m leaving for London soon, cleaning was especially important this weekend. I hate going away and coming home to a stale living space. Plus, doing chores early in the day makes the lazing about that happens later much more enjoyable. Work hard, play hard or some cliché like that. So I put away my laundry, vacuumed the dust bunnies, washed all the dishes, dusted, cleaned the bathroom. It got real.

Then I enjoyed my day. Since it was 55 degrees (!) outside, I went out for a short hike. I wore a tank and sweat shirt, but I should have just worn the tank. The sun was warm, and there were no clouds hindering its work. I thought for a minute I might tan a little.

This area looks a lot like Minnesota. It felt like home. Like I should be casting a line for some sunnies. But It’s strange because this isn’t a lake or a river, it’s the ocean. THIS IS OCEAN WATER. I found a flat section of rock overlooking the water and wrote some poetry about being far from home.

After my afternoon stroll, I got to do something special–attend a concert at a local school. Siv, who works at ACN, has a daughter Silje, whose in a band called “Samspillbandet” which Krista told me translates to something like “all together band.” Her band, along with the Pascal Rockers put on a show to raise funds for their groups. It felt like a very homey thing to go root for a co-worker’s kid, and I’m glad I went.

Before I get to the music, let’s talk about the school. I didn’t get to poke around too much, but I did snap a few pictures because as soon as I walked in I thought, THIS IS SO SCANDINAVIAN. Seriously. Ikea School.

This is a middle school, and it looked pretty big. I’m not sure how many students attend. I wish I could have seen the classrooms. I bet they’re just as nice as the common areas. I have a hunch that Norwegians put money into their schools. The auditorium was nice and spacious with stadium seating and comfy chairs. There are several auditoriums in this school–several…in this middle school–evidently Norwegians care about the arts. (BLESS)

Krista introduced me to her community and we visited about the music on the program. About half the songs were English and half Norwegian. Some were Norwegian versions of English songs, like “Eilin” which is a cover of Dolly Parton’s “Jolene.”

The Pascal Rockers opened with one of my favorite songs, “Stand By Me.” One of my grandmother’s favorite movies was Stand by Me, and every summer when my cousins and I congregated at her house, we’d pile on the guest bed and watch it over and over. That song always makes me think of her, and it always makes me cry. DAMN YOU, PASCAL ROCKERS.


They skipped a couple of the songs in their set, but I was very please that they played TWO CCR songs, one of which wasn’t listed (“Proud Mary”). You can never have enough CCR, imo. Then they encored with “Mustang Sally” which always makes me think of my favorite Mel who can never turn down the dance floor when that song comes on. It was a great set.

At intermission, Krista and I bought raffle tickets and a few treats that I think were all baked by volunteers. I loved their raffle tickets! They were like pull tabs instead of just tickets with numbers that somebody calls out at some point. So we got to rip into them right away and see if we won (we didn’t). Pretty smart system though. Feels much more like gambling which probably sells more tickets. HOOK THEM YOUNG.

After intermission, Silje’s band went on. Silje sang “Blue Suede Shoes” and only when she started singing did I notice that she wore blue shoes for the occasion! At the end of the show, when Krista and I congratulated her, she said, “I’M ELVIS!” Yeah, girl. Yeah.

See the shoes? 

The two songs I liked best were Silje’s “Blue Suede Shoes” (because she killed it) and the “Jolene” cover because “Jolene” is a classic and if you haven’t heard it before, scroll up, click on the link, and listen to it IMMEDIATELY. Actually, even if you know it, listen to it again.

So that was my day. It was a very Sunday Sunday, with lots of homey nostalgia woven in. You’d think all the reminders of home would make me feel more homesick, but they comforted me. Like when I make Will hug all our friends on my behalf so they remember how much I love them. It’s not exactly the same, but it does the trick.




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