What a difference a year makes. So, yes, let's acknowledge that milestone. I arrived in Sweden on February 15, 2008. It was cold and gray...and raining. And it continued to rain for many a days (weeks) to come. What an introduction. This year, things are a bit different weather-wise. Much colder. Less mud. And, even some measurable amounts of snow. The canals froze over and ice appeared in the harbor. It was like a Swedish version of a glacial lagoon.
It also reminded me of Portland, Maine. When our family first moved to the area in the mid-70's, I remember reading about abnormally cold and harsh winters of days gone by. In Casco Bay, off Portland, there are numerous islands on which people have lived since the area was first settled. The main transport to the islands was by boat. But, on several occasions over the past 200 years, the bay froze solid. There were stories of people taking horse drawn carriages or driving cars across the bay to the islands. That thought has always stayed with me. And for a brief moment, I thought the harbor just might freeze over here in Göteborg. Not quite, but I'll take what I can get.
A few days after this scene on the harbor, we had a wonderful snowstorm. It has snowed lighted for a few days. With little accumulation to show for the effort. But, then, it just came down. TJ and I had our friends and neighbors, Sofie and Kalle, over for dinner. And, I was itching to go outside and play in the snow. As were the dogs. They told me so. So, into the white we did go.
Dogs like snow. Although Lily had her fill by this point. Zoey, not so much. And everyone was all smiles until the snowballs started flying. The snow had become heavy and made for great snowballs.
We regrouped for one final photo before heading back into the warmth of the apartment. Sofie and I enjoyed tea and hot chocolate while TJ and Kalle continued with beer. A perfect winter nightcap.
By the next day, the temperature had risen and a lot of the snow had melted. Still, it gives me hope that I might see more snow through the rest of the season.
So, you may have noticed that I like to talk about the weather. Some people do. Though, in most instances it is because that is a safe and easy subject with which to initiate and advance a conversation. But for me, it is more. I love weather. I trace my interest back to when our family lived in Elizabethtown, Kentucky in the early 1970's. One afternoon, I remember coming out of the dentist office with my Mom and sisters. Up in the sky were the strangest clouds I had ever seen; they looked like cotton balls. I now know their name is mammatocumulus. They are sometimes associated with tornadoes. We went to the town center and continued errands. Coming out of a store, a huge gust of wind blew down the street. Later, we were informed a tornado had touched down within a mile of where we were. It was April 3, 1974; the day of a major tornado outbreak in the US. I've been fascinated ever since.
There are a few things most people don't know about me. One is that in 1991, I was accepted into a meteorology program at the University of Washington in Seattle. It would have been a second BS degree. I had dreams (perhaps, delusions) of working for the Weather Channel. Instead, I took a job with the Defense Department. Delusion deferred. And so, I talk about the weather. Humor me.