Back to Real Life

Paul says that a lot. Yes, we had to return to real life. We have now been back for four weeks. One whole month.

Paul worked in Cincinnati grading AP exams for one week.

I have returned to my part-time position as a Mom-Baby nurse at the hospital.

Cross-stitch square I made for a colleague's retirement quilt.

Cross-stitch square I made for a colleague’s retirement quilt.

We have hosted several get-togethers in our home, and we have accepted invitations for gatherings in others’ homes.

Saying good-bye to Dave and Jenn and family.

Saying good-bye to Dave and Jenn and family.

Coffee table party at Julie's.

Coffee table party at Julie’s.

Welcome Back party at Laurie and Chuck's.

Welcome Back party at Laurie and Chuck’s.

Laurie baked cream puffs and I made Norwegian vaffler.

Laurie baked cream puffs and I made Norwegian vaffler.

Great to visit with old friends.

Great to visit with old friends.

I got a hair cut! [well, it was just a trim because I am going to try out this mid-length hair thing for awhile. Along with my newly discovered natural color. White. Can you believe it?]

We have planted our backyard garden, a small plot of sweet corn in a friend’s field [which has nearly been taken over by weeds already], and eight, count ’em, eight flower boxes/pots.

Rocky and our little backyard garden.

Rocky and our little backyard garden.

Our little house.

Our little house.

Paul and a friend have trimmed the branches of the overgrown trees on our property and along our property line.

I have begun selling items on ebay again–so far, just some collectible Norwegian dishes. Hmmm, maybe I can make this a little business and can take ‘business trips’ back to Norway??

A Farmer's Rose pattern dinner plate.

A Farmer’s Rose pattern dinner plate.

We have met one another for coffee at our favorite Starbucks and chatted about this and that. Maybe planning future trips and adventures.

So, yes, these are a few activities which we did not do in Norway, but we find enjoyment in doing here in our real life. I have also decided to try to incorporate aspects from our ‘fake life’ [in Norway] into our real life here in Grand Forks. One way to do this will be to frequently carry my camera with me. I do not own a smart phone with which to take clear pictures at the drop of a hat and post them onto facebook, instagram, twitter, etc [if I even had accounts in instagram or twitter], but if I carry my little Nikon Coolpix with me, I will see beauty and interest in my daily real life world. Then I can continue to share with my friends from other places [as I enjoy them doing with me!].

Darling little library seen along a street in Grand Forks.

Darling little library seen along a street in Grand Forks.

Pretty display in the grocery store this week.

Pretty display in the grocery store this week.

Since we have returned, I have been asked many times “what do you miss most from your time in Norway?” or “what was your favorite part of Norway?”. Several things have come to mind: Our friends with whom we became close during our five months in Moss [I miss seeing them, eating with them, singing with them, and conversing with them on a regular basis]. The excellent, strong coffee we drank at seemingly all hours of the day with little adverse effect. [by the way, we bought a fine french press coffee maker a couple weeks ago. Oh. My. It does remind me of the coffee we were served at friends’ homes!] The interesting places to which we traveled each month–Sandnes, with our friends, Jorunn and Odd Olav; Røros where it was winter each day; Brussels, Belgium where we tried and appreciated their rich chocolate and beautiful square, The Grand Place; and Edinburgh with its historic neighborhoods, tiny closes [narrow old streets], and beautiful gardens below their famous castle.

I also miss, and this may surprise you, having to walk everywhere. Yes, I complained about it many times while I was in the thick of things, but it made me healthier in the long run. We learned to plan ahead and leave early enough to arrive on time. I was rarely in a hurry, because, basically, I could not walk very fast [bad knees, sciatica, etc–which, by the way, has improved tremendously]. I just plodded along in one speed. I think I need to really incorporate that aspect of our time in Norway into our real life–for sure.

Our Røros blanket looks nice in our living room.

Our Røros blanket looks nice in our living room.

I have grown to appreciate fresh flowers in our home.

I have grown to appreciate fresh flowers in our home.

Well, that’s it for me.  Paul also wants to write a closing post for this blog, and after that, this blog is finished. I enjoyed putting my thoughts and experiences to paper (as they say, even though it was not paper) and sharing them with all of you. It turns out that technology has created a simple way for this blog to actually be on paper–through the website blog2print.com. I plan on creating a book, perhaps a coffee table book [wink, wink], from this blog to make it easier to go back and reminisce about our adventures in Norway in 2015.

Ha det bra og vi sees.

Debbie