It has been interesting seeing Sweden without the snow. It reminds me so much of Minnesota, right down to the huge granite boulders pushing through the fields here and there. There are lakes and rivers and so many trees that are the same. Oaks trees and pine forests like we see in northern Minnesota. The white birches look mostly the same, except the branches weep like a willow trees does. There are roses and hedges of bridal veil and juniper trees.
There are great sections of land that have been cleared and planted in crops, but the crops are different. This is definitely not corn country. There were fields covered in a low blue-green plant that had a blue haze of blossoms hovering above it. Someone told me they thought it was linseed. What ever it was, it was such a beautiful thing to see. I wish we had the time to stop and walk into one so that I could smell it. In my imagination it smells better than lavender, more beautiful than roses. In reality it probably smells like a skunk. There are also fields filled with yellow flowers, bright yellow like every little kid colors the sun. I don’t know what they are. Leif said they were used for some kind of cooking oil. I will have to do some research on that one.
We had lunch with Leif’s sister, her fiancé and their two children. The girls are sweet, 12 and almost 6, and full of energy. Even the little one is trying to learn English so she can talk to me. Her fiancé on the other hand is one of those people I can’t seem to stop picking on. He has a great sense of humor and always has that “I just did something wrong but you’ll never guess what” look on his face. I can’t resist giving him crap, but I probably should. He reminds me of my brother, always joking, always picking on his girls, and they always give as good as they get from him. Very fun to watch, even if it's usually in Swedish.
It has rained all day, so I haven’t been able to get out and see more for you. I am hopeful for tomorrow. Leif’s brother called today and said he was “thinking of a small excursion in the car for tomorrow." I think his phrasing sounds way more exciting than “hopping in the car and looking for something to do." This sounds far more exotic: something requiring picnic baskets and blankets, definitely a camera and some Dramamine. He drives fast and I will be in the back seat.