Today it feels almost wrong to write something as light as my post today, but I'll publish it anyway. But first of all:
My thoughts are with Virginia Tech today, with all the families that lost a loved one yesterday. Why did something like this have to happen? Why can anybody in this country go and get and gun and just kill 32 innocent people? When will Bush wake up? I am so fed up...Change the law NOW!
And here is my post for this Tuesday:
Peter and I are looking to get good tickets back to the old country now. Let me tell you, it is not an easy task.
We have decided that we will (probably) celebrate Midsummer’s in Småland together with my sister and her hubby-to-be. Hubby-to-be is from the deep woods of Småland, so that is where we’ll probably spend Midsummer Eve this year.
Midsummer is one of the biggest holidays of the entire year in Sweden right up there with Christmas. I usually try to avoid it since I am not a fan of Midsummer.
I have never liked that holiday, and MIND you, most Swedes love it. I have several friends who claim it to be the best holiday of the year.
All right, the nature is nothing but absolutely stunning in June (June 22 this year)! Crisp, blooming and then we have the gorgeous light summer nights. Nights when the sun hardly sets, in the northern part of Sweden it won’t set at all. In the rest of the country it won’t be pitch black the entire night, just dusk until dawn. Beautiful!!! The light nights will continue until August.
A traditional Midsummer lunch. (Pic from IKEA.com)
No, what I don’t like about Midsummer is all the hoopla-ho! You are supposed to have so MUCH fun! You’re supposed to be out in the country- side and celebrate your heart out. The number one location on Midsummer is to be out in the archipelago anywhere around the coast of Sweden, or in the province of Dalecarlia.
So, on a traditional Midsummer’s Eve you might start out picking flowers and branches with birch leaves, and with them you’ll later decorate the big may-pole. In the middle of the day you will eat a Midsummer’s lunch with herring, potatoes and a schnapps. Then a lot of people will gather at the meadow where they will later dance around the may-pole.
In the evening you usually grill outside. OR, I should say it is “mandatory” to grill outside, no matter how cold. And, on Midsummer you’ll never know what kind of weather you’re going to get. It can be either 48 degrees F or 80 degrees F. It can be sunny and so nice or it can be rainy and miserable.
Oh, and on this evening you just HAVE to have Swedish strawberries. That is a MUST.
I think I am sort of tired of the whole “have to” stuff. You just “have to” have fun, you just “have to” drink lots of aquavit, you “just have to” enjoy it. It was of course worse when I was younger. You were a loser if you did not have anything fabulous lined up for this day and night.
Now it is easier, now you can relax more. But, I am happy not to celebrate, really happy. I don’t need it. One of the pluses in living in The US is that you do not celebrate Midsummer. Sure, you can celebrate with your Swedish friends. But, it is not necessary for me either. Yes, you all hear what a BORE I am…Jeeez how boring I sound. I love parties, I love to have fun, and I am often the last person to leave the dance floor, but I think I totally got burned out on Midsummer when I was younger.
All right, if I were in Finland, in our summer house, I would LOVE it. Just being in the stillness with a few people, sit and watch the sun set to the north-west with a glass of wine in my hand and a quiet conversation, that would be my Midsummer. I can easily pass on “Helan går” or “Hell and Gore”, as we call the song here in the US ….And numerous other schnapps-songs that are sung that night. Sign me out…
I also have faith in celebrating with my sister and her hubby-to-be (OR what am I saying!!! He will be her hubby by then). I think it would be wonderful to celebrate in Småland, being in the country side, eating a good meal drinking good drinks…without ALL the pressure.
All the Swedes reading this is probably thinking; WHAT is wrong with Annika!!!???? Heck, Midsummer IS the BEST. No questions asked. Annika is weird.
Sorry, folks, this is just how I feel…
But, as I started this post, we are trying to get tickets to Sweden now, and if we are to leave on the Wednesday before the BIG day the tickets are so damn expensive. So right now it looks like we either SKIP Midsummer, or we will be leaving on the Tuesday. SAS is really cranking the price up for people that want to arrive in Sweden prior to Midsummer…
We’ll see…But, it will probably be Midsummer in Kroksnäs this year…And I am actually looking forward to it…
It is a done deal. We’re leaving on June, 19 and return to the US on August, 14. Småland here we come…Midsummer for Yours Truly…
Dancing around the May-pole (pic from Roslagsadventure.se)