I take this evanescence and lubricity of all objects, which lets them slip through our fingers then when we clutch hardest, to be the most unhandsome part of our condition.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
Everything in Sweden is beautiful and bountiful in July. Friends have shown us a hundred kindness as we prepare to move. I know the in's and out's of the culture, of getting around, of the metric system. Of the recycling system! Sometimes I even think in Swedish phrases. We took a boat to an island in the archipelago last week, and knowing that we are about to move, I saw Stockholm's cityscape with fresh eyes. It's incredible. Hej då, Sweden. I'll miss you.

We will take Michael and Ella back here someday when they are old enough to appreciate it, and I think they will feel pride and wonder that they were born in such a gorgeous, cool country. We have a neighbor who always saw me at just the right moments - when I was out x-country skiing, or running, or biking, or walking my trash to the recycling bins - and she once told me "You're more Swedish than a Swede!" A simple remark, but I took the implicit message of it as a compliment, one I continue to relish in because I love the Swedish culture in so many ways.

I am so emotional this week. We leave in 3 days, and then, that's it. I keep grasping for ways to preserve our last three years here, but it's pretty much impossible, no matter how much cheap crap I buy in Gamla Stan.

On a positive note about moving, the sinks in our house are starting to have draining issues, and I totally don't care. Also, we had an encounter with a crotchety old lady yesterday and somehow moving seemed like a good way of dealing with it. Weeds, grow away! Snails, multiply and replenish! Rude clerk at the grocery store - so my baby cried, take it! Fleeing the country is pretty much my answer to anyone and anything obnoxious lately. We did eventually have to clean the tub though.
Andrea took this pic from the top of a tower.

I love this picture in so many ways. So much Swedishness in one little photo.

(I think Joy took this one.)

AJ Candrian  – (7:38 AM)  

I got teary-eyed reading that. I think I will miss Sweden for you. I only visited twice... but there is a beauty and charm there that I'd never experienced before (I know... I haven't been to many places) that I will always hold dear to my heart. However, I am very excited for your new adventures. And slightly relieved that you will not be in D.C. for an extended stay in the interim like originally planned, since I won't be here much longer either. Love you guys!

Brittany  – (8:19 AM)  

Like Andrea, I got a little emotional reading that and I never even got to visit. Maybe when you go back someday I'll have to go with you. Assuming that "someday" the future holds no financial stress and kids who aren't too small to need me all the time.

Enjoy the next couple days and good luck with the travels.

RachelAA  – (11:29 AM)  

The beauty is beyond me. WOW!

Joy  – (3:50 PM)  

Okay, reading this, I got tears in my eyes too. I've been wondering how it would be to say good-bye to such a beautiful place as Sweden. I love all the photos you used. I've missed not getting to come there this year.

Amy Lovell  – (10:20 PM)  

Oh Sweden, how I will miss that place. I mean, I know I only visited there once, but Sweden was the first place I ever traveled oversea, so, I kind of hold it dear to my heart, too. I've been waiting for this post, and I knew you'd put your farewell into the perfect words. Good luck with the move, I can't wait to see you guys in a few more weeks.

Sara  – (11:12 PM)  

So sad we didn't visit you while you were there!!! Ugh!! Such a beautiful place!

Amy Lovell  – (10:42 PM)  

I lied in my comment, it just occurred to me that I went to Botswana months before ever going to Sweden...all the same, I still love that place! :)

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