Occasionally there are days here where interesting things happen (amidst the boring days), and yesterday was one of the interesting ones. It was a non-grocery-store-day, so that left a bunch of time to do something fun! I wrote two notes, put ribbons around two sample packs of Starbucks Christmas Blend brought from home, and set out to see if two people were home.
The first was the lady in whose home we lived in 2002. I knew which number bus would take me there so that was no problem. While I waited for the bus, I watched a bus driver head to the middle of his bus to help a lady off. As the rear doors opened, a lady of approximately 85 years with a WALKER slowly and with his assistance as well as the assistance of a young mom with a large baby carriage (barnevogn) eased out to the snow-covered sidewalk. I was amazed because she was out and about at her age and ability. Again, today, maybe the same lady, was slowly, and bent over, walking with a walker downhill over ice and snow, across a busy four lane thoroughfare! At the other side, a young man approached her to offer his assistance as she head down the hill. I was just struck by the kindnesses of others. Anyhow, I arrived at our old house. The owner was not at home, so I left my little note and coffee. Maybe she’ll contact me or maybe I’ll go back someday.
The house in which our family lived in 2002.
The second person I wanted to visit was a friend of mine who I hadn’t seen in 13 years, Gerd, who lived in the town of Rygge, about 10 km south. I waited at the bus stop which was in the direction I knew her house was in, and very soon a bus appeared. Sure enough, my transfer was good on this bus and he understood which way I was heading. [this is where I thought of honesty. The driver collected cash from his riders, and put this cash into an old leather pouch attached to a post in the floor. That’s it. That’s the whole security system. He must have had thousands of kroner in there! I am guessing that there may be a few cities in America where that might seem a bit of a gamble. Just sayin’.] Anyway, I hadn’t contacted Gerd ahead of time, but I hoped that she would be at home. As I approached her house, I saw that not only was she at home, but she was outside just finishing up shoveling the snow from her back steps! Did I mention that Gerd just celebrated her 89th birthday yesterday!? I’m telling you, these Norwegians are hardy people! She invited me in for coffee and cake (yep, she had two kinds of cake ready to serve), and we started where we had left off 13 years ago. Her English was excellent in spite of her not having used it much in all these years. What a delightful visit with a charming lady. I left after about an hour, but not before I invited her and a friend to our apartment for coffee and cake within the next week or so.
Gerd, getting the coffee and cake ready to serve.
Gerd and I. She is such a dear lady.
The cakes: one was the birthday cake she made, and the other was a sweet bread.
One more thing before I go. As I was walking back from today’s trip to a new thrift store (by the way, I scored with a china coffee set for 8 made in Czechoslovakia bought for 100 NOK [~$12]),
My great find at the bruktbutikk!
I walked by an elementary school during recess. These kids were sledding down a hill, ice skating, cross-country skiing, and everything else a kid could do in the snow. I took a couple of pictures, from a distance, and sure enough, a teacher calls out to me, “helloooo?”. She was concerned about a stranger taking pictures, saying parents are concerned about ‘the internet’. Of course, I said, as I showed her my pictures with the kids at a far, indiscernible distance. She said they were no problem and smiled as we parted. Yep, safety first!
View towards the Østfoldfjord.
All in all, it was a good day’s adventure.