6-14 April 2002
April – only two months left and there is still so much to see and do.
6 April 2002, Saturday
Hi/low 43°F/24°F (6°C/-4°C)
Marjo took the boys out on their
bikes for the first time this year.
Marjo and I walked the three kilometers.
It was a very invigorating walk;
Marjo sets a quick pace, so I got a great work out. Pertti was busy putting his summer wheels
and tires on their car. That is the
clue to the Californians that it is time for John to have our
summer tires re-installed.
In the evening the Rees’ family came for dinner. We got out our Ireland map and
Garth was able to track the course of his
upcoming one-week bicycle race in Ireland, beginning 17 May.
Jenni is looking forward to seeing
the sights as she travels the course
with one of the race vans.
7 April 2002, Sunday
Hi/low 41°F/28°F (5°C/-2°C)
We met Heikki, Riitta and Maija at Pohjankartano, the high school that
focuses on students interested in dance. Dancers age 7 through 12 from
all over Finland had come to Oulu to compete on Saturday in the Arktiset
Askeleet. On Sunday the competition winners received their awards and repeated
their winning performances. There were children doing classical and modern
dance arrangements. I was impressed with the number of boys interested
in modern dance; many of the them performed break dancing. Some were very
13 April 2002, Saturday
Hi/low 55°F/36°F (13°C/2°C)
This evening Heikki and his family joined us for dinner. We shared about
things we want to take home from our experience in Finland. I have realized
how important the arts and crafts are to the development of the whole child,
so I will include more in my program when I return to Vallejo. We discussed
how you grow as a couple when you experience a challenging adventure together
and how you develop a better appreciation for the things and places in
your own country. We got out our map of Scandinavia and talked about places
we should try to visit before our adventure is over. It was a lovely evening.
Maija did not know what to think of John and I since she could not understand
us, but John was able to pull out a smile when he played "peek a boo"
14 April 2002, Sunday
Hi/low 41°F/34°F (5°C/1°C)
As I am sitting here looking out the window while I write this newsletter
I can tell that spring is trying to appear. We can see most of the front
lawn, since only a few piles of snow remain. In the backyard the deck,
totally covered on Tuesday, is now completely visible. As I think about
the changes I've noticed, the weather is definitely getting warmer. It
is now light when the alarm goes off at 0600. In the morning, when I am
heading to the bus stop, I can hear the birds singing and I no longer need
to worry slipping on the ice as I head through the forest. You can see
the buds on many of the bushes and trees getting bigger. Oh, at school,
the playground still had a crusty layer of snow on Wednesday. By Thursday
the snow had melted and we had a small lake on the soccer field. When I
arrived on Friday the water was gone. Pretty amazing! Downtown the street
sweepers are collecting all the gravel laid down during the winter so you
don't slip. (John - sometimes it is an inch thick on the sidewalks. After
the sweepers, tank trucks arrive to hose down the sidewalks, streets and
traffic islands.) Spring definitely must be coming. (John - And I will
soon be back to mowing, raking, etc.)
This evening I talked with Marjo about a project at school. She had made
an apple pie and invited us over for some. I had made an apple pie for
dinner with Heikki and Riitta so we ended up sharing our different apple
pies. Now we want to exchange recipes.