02 January 2014

One year anniversary in finland

weve been in our new home country for one year now. one more reason to celebrate the new year.

so, we found lots of positives about this country in our first year, and of course each new happy time or season or holiday or experience will just add to those feelings, but there cant be real comfort and true love until youve dealt with the negatives too. that way your relationship is based in reality right? and certainly, since my love letter to finland back in september we have found where the higher concentration of negatives lie (namely in the late fall, due to its unpredictableness), but i cant say its scaring me off. once we have a few more cycles of seasons under our belt, im sure we'll get into a better rhythm about how to celebrate the positives fully and endure the negatives more smoothly.

as it was, we found november was grey and rather glum as we had been warned, but that was nothing compared to december. the way people warned us about november it was like 'be on suicide watch. get out and vacation elsewhere if you can. medicate with booze. FIND a way to just SURVIVE!' their advice/warnings were a little intense and scary. especially since, while november wasnt my favorite month, it was nothing terrible. this year, it was much like halifax in winter or many november days of michigan, except that in michigan you usually get those teasing days of random snow and you are reminded of the beauty to come. there was no teasing here. we had one snow day in december. that is all. otherwise it was insufferably mild and dark here. hovering above freezing, raining like crazy as if laughing at us. reminding us that if the temperature would just dip a little, we would be blanketed in glorious snow.

not to dwell on the weather, but it just put a damper on motivation to get out and do anything. most nature places we liked were just mud puddles and it was cold enough that it would seep into your bones and make you want to slink back inside before long. and with me taking a finnish course and dave traveling for part of this dark season it made for a rather dull finish to our year. but the change over of the calendar reminded us that we get to start over and experience another fresh year in finland. this country tried to make us question our love toward the end there, but i will not be put off so easily.

*and how did nutmeg help us celebrate this anniversary? by requiring her first ever vet visit in finland. she started the day by stress-peeing on tons of stuff in the house for no reason. i was able to call a couple vets and get a cab. we arrived during lunch time so we had to pack a picnic lunch and X and i ate in the vets waiting area. the cat needed a blood draw but was so dehydrated from her nervous peeing that she had to stay to get an IV so they could analyze her urine later. it was an ordeal. dave went back to get her that evening, and, after hundreds of euros...they found nothing. she was just stressed. grrrr.

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