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Turning a new page in Sweden – 22! January 28, 2007

Posted by thebigswede in Uncategorized.
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Its been snowing a lot out! But I love it. Always have. Maybe its because it doesn’t snow very much at all, ever in Seattle. Maybe its because I was born in Minnesota in the middle of winter and the first time my eyes beheld the world it was covered in snow. I have no idea. Snow makes everything white, makes everything feel clean. Snow reminds me that Christ died to make our sins forgiven, “as white as snow”. In any case I have enjoyed walking around and taking pictures, a few of which I give to you here. Did your dad every tug you around on a sled through the snow? Good memories.

I turned 22 today. Exciting! My first birthday in a foreign land. I was doing some thinking about it and 22, I’ve decided, is a strange age. When you are growing up there are so many “big” birthdays, 16, 18, 21 and such. I had long decided that 21 was the penultimate age, I mean what could be better? You are old enough to do just about everything you need/want to do, and yet you are still exremely young and the future is bright. Not that those things don’t apply after 22…its just…22 is not 21. Get my point? Good! Anyway I thought the day would go pretty normally like most days go around Uppsala and that would be that. I was quite suprised when a few of my friends around the corridor told me they had a little party planned for me in the evening. Awsome! And so we had a little party with those around and chatted (mostly in Swedish) for the better part of the evening. The cake was some kind of meringue with toffee and cream, very tasty. We also had kanelbullar (cinnamen buns) which is always good and traditional. I’d like to thank Petra and HÃ¥kan for arranging the whole thing – you guys seriously made my week. Heres some pictures of us.

Really a great time. I started my history class last friday and it seems like it will be very educational. I’ve had different specialized classes on Swedish history before but nothing like a grand overview, which this class promises to be. Since the class length is so short everything is going to be fast paced and I already have my final paper due in one month. Hopefully with all the work coming up I will still find time to make Germany a reality, as well as a few other side trips that I’ve planned. We will see. Thanks for your emails, birthday cards, comments, and most importantly your prayers. I love each and everyone of you. Twenty-one was a great year and I’m looking forward to everything to come. God bless.


Nobel, Christmas, Homecoming…Hawaii?! and back to subzero again. January 20, 2007

Posted by thebigswede in Uncategorized.

I’m not so sure why I left home a second time. It was hard, trust me. I mean, look at the picture over the lake in the early morning; I’m sorry but for me it just doesn’t get any better. How can I be homesick already when I’ve only been back in Sweden for 3 days?! It probably has something to do with seeing such great friends and family…but enough of that, on to the real message! Greetings to one and greetings to all, happy late Christmas and New Year. TheBigSwede is back online and here to give you the first update of 2007. You knew it was coming, you could hardly wait, and now comes the big payoff. Its been a crazy month and although I mentioned it briefly in the previous post I wanted to show you a few pics from the big Nobel Banquet in the center of Stockholm.

By far and away the highlight of 2006 for me. The food was good, the company was good, the dancing and spotting royalty was just frosting on the cake. I know what you are thinking, you want to know where I bought such an amazing sailors hat, don’t you? Too bad! A well dressed Swede never gives away his style secrets. While we are on the topic I would like to thank Sven Svensson for spilling expensive Merlot on my tailcoat; they later found his body under the dinner table, just kidding about that. Enough bad attempts at humor, moving right along. Christmas 2006 was a great time. As always we took a drive south to Portland to visit Grandma and Grandpa McCord and I’m pleased to report they are in fine health. We opened a few gifts together including stuff I brought back from Sweden with me, including a big chunk of coal from Dalarna for my sister. Maybe if you are better next year I’ll bring you home a sweater Lindsey. That’s exactly what I got for grandpa, check it out!

I think mom is trying to steal the show with her great wall of China souvenir but whatever, you can tell it says Stockholm on his. We then returned home to have a more immediate family Christmas, followed by some much needed downtime from all the holiday stress. We all have our different ways of relaxing, do we not? Dad likes to relax with some presents, Glogg and wheat-thins.

As for me, I’m just content to relax on the couch and take it all in. The week after Christmas was filled with seeing old friends. I would like to thank Mark, Joe, Meg, Nick and others for taking the time to really hang out, eat some good food, reminisce about the good old days, and scheme up some good days to come. Then, suddenly, it was off to Hawaii and real tropical sunshine! Hawaii is one of my favorite places in the world and it doesen’t take a Ph.D. in theoretical physics to understand its appeals. Its pictures like this that still make me feel warm inside despite that its currently snowing in Uppsala.

Sure you’ve had a Corona with lime before, but have you had one on the beach in Hawaii? Let me tell you…its miles away from ordinary (lol). 80 degrees, blue skies, can someone remind me again why I chose to study in one of the farthest north countries in the world?! We all had a great time together on the big island and were all sad to see the time fly by so fast. I did manage to get a couple rounds of golf in before I left and that was very fun, although I have a funky slice that I need to work out when I get home next summer.

Good grief that is a lot of pictures in one update. I guess that’s what you get when you have a busy month. In any case I am now back in Uppsala with some studying to do (oh, the horror). Right now I’m working on a week-long trip to visit friends in Stuttgard, Germany coming up in Feb so stay tuned for more on that. Until then, be thankful for your home. As the Swedish saying goes “away is good but home is best”. Thanks for reading and God bless.