Couple weeks into our organization came a day that I rushed to the airport and flew home to Finland to see my family and to attend my sister's wedding. Unfortunately I made my trip alone, Lee stayed behind to take care of the house and 3 hounds. I spent two and half wonderful weeks in Finland, eating mom's cooking and enjoying the cooler weather and peace and quiet. Well, some might think the weather was not cool, it was probably at low 90's, but coming from Texas, oh yeah, that's nice and cool!
It was so wonderful to see the family and the friends after a long time. The sad thing is that there is always less people to meet than there was the time before and being on the other side of the globe doesn't always make it easy to accept. However, that is the life for people who live thousands miles away from their family. Another thing that made it a little bitter was that Lee and our pups were back home in Texas. Well, that resulted in lots of Skype action between Scandinavia and The Republic of Texas.
My timing in Finland was perfect, the weather was nice; blueberries, raspberries and strawberries were in season, even the mushrooms were forcing me into a daily game of hide and seek. Oh, and did I mention, it is so green in Finland, GREEN!!! Hardly anyone has sprinklers for their lawns and it is not even needed, the rain will come sooner or later and make everything lush and clean and first of all, green. The laundry gets dried on the lines outside and it smells like forest. The birds are chirping through the night, since in the end of July the dark doesn't come until after midnight. And how I missed the quiet and peace by the lake, the only ones making any noise were the numerous birds, like swans and loons.
My sister's wedding was fun and relaxed and everybody had fun and soon after the life returned back to somehow normal. I was so excited that my brother who is serving in UN Peace Corp was able to come for a short vacation and I got to see him. The time always flies by really fast, though all my siblings had arranged time off to spend with me, which was wonderful.
Like always, the time comes to an end way too soon. And my trip back home started. I had a hectic layover in Chicago, where I walked forever, waited forever for customs, security and finding and dragging my 2 huge bags without the cart for re-checking. After that was all done, the run to the right terminal and gate started, I just got to my plane before they closed the gate and sat down and started the last stretch to home. I knew the layover would be really crazy, so I was ready to run out the plane as soon as I was able to and in a process forgot that I had split one of my carry on bags since it didn't fit in overhead cabby in one piece. Well, the yummy Finnish chocolates and some other candy, some souvenirs and a pair of earrings are greatly missed. It wasn't a huge financial loss, but I was so mad at myself for forgetting such a thing.
It was nice to be back home in Texas. There is a Finnish proverb that says something like: Being home is strawberry, being elsewhere blueberry, it doesn't really translate well, but you might get the idea. And if you ever have a chance to taste Finnish strawberries, their sweetness and juiciness, you will understand what it means. Though the wild blueberries are pretty darn awesome too. The difficult part is that for me, there will always be 2 homes.