My “American” brother got stuck with his nickname—Pepe. His name is Per Roland, but my mother liked “Pepito” (nickname in Spanish for José) so much that it’s what she called him. Pepito is diminutive of Pepe, but as he grew older it turned to just Pepe. I’ll be writing about him in a couple of weeks to honor his birthday, so we’ll leave it at this for now.
We spent some fun days at his house(s) by Stormy Lake. He had a craving for a Swedish tradition of “Fastlagsbullar” so my sister Agneta and her husband, both chefs, honored all of us with the pastries he wanted, also known as “semlor.” They are a specialty for time of Lent: sweat roles filled with almond paste and whipped cream.
We were a big crowd—sometimes up to 18! My sister-in-law did a great job in feeding us all. Corn and salads and barbeque did the job!
Grilling marshmallows by a campfire in the evening, making smores, was a great treat.
I missed the fun in the water. There was a lot of walking to do and I had to prioritize. When we got home Brianna asked me why I hadn’t been with them by the lake shore. Her reasoning warmed my heart. “It would have been so much more fun if you had been with us!” That makes me regret not pushing myself harder! Hopefully next year…
I spent some time with my dad and I stayed at the house in the afternoons so Sarah could take her nap. That makes me feel a little better. Looking at the pictures I just wish I could have been at the lake.
My brother is a surgeon but he loves to fly. Here is his smallest plane. Below I’ll put a picture of his smallest boat, a canoe!
The Bible tells us to rejoice with those that rejoice. I really had to put that to practice. I’m glad my sister got to sail and fly with my brother. I wish I could have. But than I was just thankful that I could be there. I went to the doctor when I came home and had a check-up. No cancer! Praise the Lord!
For the last two days the Dad joined us. A great relief for my daughter, so she didn’t have to drive on the way home. And what a joy for the kids to play in the water with their dad. That is a vacation!
Too soon it was time to head home again. The cabin and the trees stay, and maybe there will be a time to go back. I still have two nephews that are not married. We can just hope for more summer weddings!
One of my daughter’s responsibilities on the ride home was to make the DVD players work—in the front for Sarah and in the back for David and the girls. It wasn’t the easiest, which David recognized. “Mom,” he said, “when we get to the hotel I’m going to give you a hug and five kisses because you have worked so hard to get it to work. You deserve it!” I agree with him!
The trip home took three days, with overnight stops in Dubuque, Iowa and California, Missouri.
The cornfields in Iowa were amazing. I took some pictures while driving by but they don’t make justice to it. Go, Iowa, for providing us with corn!
In California the kids got to meet some of their cousins. David was excited to sleep in a tent with his cousin Skyler.
As I’m writing I’m enjoying another Swedish tradition—a Marabou chocolate. If you ever get a chance to go to IKEA, don’t miss one of those! If there’s anything we want our family to bring us from Sweden, it’s those chocolates.
The Kalles caviar, hard tacks, pickled herring, rosehip soup… those are the things that I keep up with as a Swedish tradition. It’s a good thing not to forget one’s heritage.
What a treat this wedding experience was! Apart from meeting my “American” brother and his family, my family that came from Sweden was Dad, my sister Agneta and her husband Ola, my brother Lars and his wife Lilo, and my nephew Eric, son of my sister Ingrid that could not come. And as I mentioned yesterday, my cousin Milene came from Peru. The bridegroom had family and friends all the way from Japan, where he grew up. We are an international family, but very much Swedish.