Saturday, June 21, 2008

The longest day of the year

Today is summer solstice, the longest day of the year 2008. From now on it´s downhill; every day is going to be shorter than the day before until we reach winter solstice on December 21st.

Back in Finland this weekend is an official bank holiday weekend. Everything is closed. In all official buildings and homes flags of Finland were hoisted at 6 pm on Midsummer Eve (yesterday) and flown all night till 9 pm tonight. Finland is full of festivals and happenings. People are celebrating the light. Traditional bonfires can be seen all over the countryside. In region Lapland people all over the world come to see the midnight sun.

I´m thinking all of this now, sitting alone here in our second home in Solingen. I came here a few days ago to work a little; Angie is on her way arriving later this afternoon.

We´ll get visitors from Finland tomorrow morning. My sister Maukka and brother-in-law Arska are coming to a late honeymoon. The wedding took place in Salo, Finland, on February 16th but only now could they take some days off from work and kids. The all-inclusive trip was our wedding gift to the newlyweds.

It is really nice to have my sister here. Too bad the visit is so short, they´ll stay with us only five days. We will pick them up from Düsseldorf Airport tomorrow at noon, staying here until Tuesday afternoon and then drive through Germany to Leipzig to show our real hometown. Thursday evening I´ll take them to Berlin, only an hour and half’s drive from Leipzig, where they stay a few days by Claudia. She´s the German exchange student who spent a year in Finland by Maukka´s home a couple of years back and is now considered as one of her own kids, sister for Aino, Venla, Santtu, Eero and Lauri. Maukka and Arska are flying back to Finland from Berlin Sunday week from tomorrow.

Claudia is by the way the only German I know who speaks perfect Finnish! She´s finishing her school this week (abitur in German, about the same as A-levels or High School Diploma, or YO-tutkinto in Finland). Maukka and Arska decided to come now so they can have a few days with us and then celebrate with Claudia.

I like my sister a lot. I think in Arska she found a real soul mate. I´m really happy to have them here.

Have to start cleaning, Angie arrives about 3 pm.

Welcome Maukka & Arska!

Hyvää juhannusta, as we say in Finland (have a great midsummer).

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