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Archive for September, 2011

As I walked/ran with Karel to barnehage today, dodging raindrops, and then carried on to Åpen Barnehage with Emil, amid the many, many deep thoughts that crossed my mind were these two: 1) I should really get some rain gear; 2) When on earth is lemming season over?

Try as I might, I can’t really find a way to connect these to things into some super-witty cohesive post. That is, other than: Would I bet thinking about EITHER of those things if we weren’t in Norway? The answer to that, I believe, is no.

So, walking around here lately is a little bit like playing Frogger. Or, rather, a Frogger scene where the player wasn’t very good and the death rate was high for those little animated frogs. Now subsitute lemmings for the frogs, and we’re getting closer. You know what? I’m too tired to come up with a metaphor that makes sense. Here are the facts: When I left this morning there were no less than 6 dead lemmings in our yard. When I got back there were at least two more. I stopped counting the little mounds of fur I saw on the street.

Evidently this is like the first time in 50 years that the lemmings have descended upon the town. Their population outgrew the mountains, I guess. Now all the cats in town are fat and shiny. A month ago, I’d never seen a lemming; today, I’m becoming an expert. Why an expert, you wonder? Yesterday I was outside in the backyard with Emil, when from across the fence I heard a distinct squeaking noise. ”That sounds like a lemming,” was my first thought. (My second thought was something along the lines of  ”what has happened to my life that i can now identify mountain rodents by sound alone?) Aaaaaaaaand…..there was the delightful image of our neighbors very cute and cuddly gray kitten poking and flipping this angry but most likely mortally wounded little lemming around. WHICH I watched, interested and horrified at the same time. Should I save the lemming? And do what with it? Nurse it back to health so it can jump off a cliff…. ‘cuz that’s what they do, right?

— a non-lemming interjection: you know how people always say they know to check on their kids when they’re too quiet? I never really got that until my darling baby Emil Birk became mobile. When Karel is quiet, he’s just playing quietly. When Emil is quiet….well, you just better check. I just found him sitting in the kitchen eating an apple (or trying to eat — can be hard with 4 teeth) he had plucked from the counter. That’s not so bad. At this exact moment he is standing on a small chair trying to open the door to the balcony. The same chair I found him standing on yesterday to reach a magnet on the top part of the fridge. He uses a stool that’s a bit lower, though, to climb up on the sofa or the coffee table. Each job has its appropriate tool, obviously. —

Easy prey that they are, please know that these little guys at least put up a pretense of a fight. Last week I was walking on the edge of our little forest on the way back from Norwegian class. Suddenly, a little creature darts out onto the path, zigging and zagging exACTly like those little zhu-zhu-mechanical-hamster things. Maybe it thought I was on its trail and it was trying to lose me. I don’t know. ANYWAY, it stopped, so when I got to it I also stopped, just to see one of these guys up close. I mean, up close and alive.

Soo…. turns out lemmings can get mad. It turned around and squeaked at me! It squeaked at me so hard it flipped itself over. Twice, even. Little lemming legs kicking in the air. And moved towards me. Not running away in fright, like I was sure it would. Nope, that lemming stood its ground. I was impressed.

I will even admit to feeling some tiny pricks of nervousness for a split second, along with the image of  a squeaking lemming attached to my pant leg. I’ve been calling it the ‘lemming attack’ ever since.

That’s pretty much all I have to say about that.

We’ll save the purging of all those thoughts about rain-gear (and the norwegian’s relationship with weather in regards to clothing) for another day. Aaaaaannnd if you guessed that the other adult member of our family has been gone for a couple of days thus the outspilling of meaningless rodent stuff….you’d be right.

 

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If you thought that I wouldn’t continue the trip summary, you were almost right. But stubborness prevails…

After spending our first days together in Oslo, we boarded a bus to take us to train to get us to Arendal, home of Bjørn’s dad Ivar and his wife, Lil Torunn. Lars joined us again at this point, for which we were very grateful. Turns out we had a lot of luggage. At any rate, the trip went smoothly, despite a rather rushed start (we split into two groups…my group may or may not have gotten distracted by some clothing sales) and nearly missing our connecting train. (Fortunately, I interrupted Lars and Bjørn in the middle of a deep conversation — about football — while checking on Karel, just to be reminded that we did indeed need to switch trains at some point. My heart sank at the thought of shifting all that luggage AGAIN, but despair soon turned to quiet and efficient…rage, for lack of a better word, when with a quick look at a watch I was informed that transfer would happen in 2 minutes. Otherwise known as 120 seconds. We did make it, and only left one bag behind…. which was, of course, my mom’s purse containing the passports. (insert eye roll) )

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