Friday, September 26, 2008

Sight for Sore Eyes

During the three years my family lived in Finland, I attended the public school. It was difficult, but somehow I made friends even though we didn't share a common language, at least for the first year until I learned enough Finnish to get by.

Katri (left) was the first person to invite me to her place to play. We walked to her apartment (featured prominently in ATWE as Sister Henderson's) and did our best to communicate by passing a dictionary back and forth.

We soon learned that chess is an international language, so we played a lot of that. I also borrowed books from her mother's collection of Agatha Christie novels (in English! The sweetness!).

Katri and I have kept in touch over the years (now in English, alas . . . my near-fluent Finnish from '87 is now sadly lacking), and I absolutely had to see her when we visited.

To my delight, she arranged for another dear classmate, Leena (right), to join us. I'd been out of touch with Leena for years but had wonderful memories of times together.

After we came home, I dug up one of class picture from '85. By a twist of fate, all three of us are standing beside one another in the same order as in the picture above:

Seeing them both again was wonderful and a definite high-point for me. Leena brought along her son Mikko, who was about 8 months old. She also has a three-year-old, and it was fun to talk about mommy things like potty training and sleepless nights—topics we most certainly didn't have to talk about when we were eleven or twelve.

Katri treated us (me, her boyfriend Antti, and Leena) to a sightseeing cruise around Helsinki. It was absolutely beautiful, in spite of the wind, and we had a great time catching up.

Afterward, Katri and Antti took me out to dinner, and we finished off the evening with desserts from the Fazer cafe. (Holy YUM!!!)

Rob went back to the apartment to sleep off some jet leg, so he wasn't there for this part. This means that it didn't even occur to me to take my camera out of my purse during the cruise or dinner. Brilliant. Fortunately, Rob was there at the initial reunion, so we have at least one picture.

1 comment:

Lyon Pride said...

I've never seen a picture of you before you met Rob. I didn't know you had darker hair. It's easier for me to see the resemblance your kids have of you now too! I'm sure I'll post later too, but this is really fun. Thanks for sharing your trip with us!