Tuesday, September 18, 2007
The first and most important item is that our trip home from Stockholm to Hanover was eventless. We arrived at our house a bit before midnight Saturday. Everything here seems to be fine, and our cat Molly might forgive us for abandoning her, and may even forgive us for replacing Melissa - who is a more attentive cat caregiver then we are.
I woke up Sunday morning and thought to myself, "Did it really happen? Did we really go to Sweden, or was it a dream?" There is not a lot of physical evidence. When we hiked in Lapland my shoes were caked in mud and took two days to dry out. After the European trip little puffs of volcanic ash emanated from my shoes with every step. But this time, my shoes look about the same as always, just a bit more worn.
Did we bring anything back from Sweden? That was a question at customs. Will has a jujitsu outfit and a few tee shirts. Robin has an NSK (fotboll team) uniform. Kristina is shipping a box of hand blown glass, and I am shipping a print. But that really isn't much. We also have acquired a pile of book, but there are in English and not really from Sweden.
And there I realized, as I put the last entry in my journal, that one of the major things I am bring back was my journal. It went as a blank book with a red leather cover, and returned with 175 pages of a hand written adventure. Likewise there at 18 "Swedish Reports" (including this one), which add up to between sixty and seventy pages depending on how they are printed. We took 1750 photographs, a quarter of those from Paris. My book writing has also grown, with about 300 hand written pages of various drafts.
But what did we bring home as a family? It might be years before we really know. I had hoped that by the end of the trip the boys would feel comfortable traveling across foreign countries, living in a city and communicating in something besides English. At the outset that seemed like a challenge to me. I mentioned this to the Will and Robin near the end of our time in Italy and they thought that those goals seemed trivial. I think that if an objective seemed major before an event, and trivial after an event that the object has been accomplished and the lesson is well learned and internalized.
So in conclusion ...
I had a great time. I hope this reports were informative, and perhaps a bit entertaining. We are all home in one piece, and where as we might not be ready to ship out tomorrow, I think Sweden was a great experience and we will be ready for the road again someday.
Our Family In Paris|