Sunday, December 11, 2011

Joulukuu - Christmas Moon

The Christmas moon and the our "joulukuusi", literally Christmas spruce in Finnish.

We like to burn candles in mid-winter. Somehow the light spectrum from a flame feels so pleasant. Someday scientists will discover that burning candles relieves seasonal affective disorder and it's going to touted as a major discovery. Ever wonder why your eyes are drawn to flame, but not to an electric light bulb? Your eyes are telling you that there's something in that light that you need.

So far we've had very little snow. The boys have been able to shovel off the pond and play hockey.

Pond hockey at it's finest.

Long winter evenings are made for chess. No game compares with it for intensity and cerebral violence. Mind against mind, with an infinite number of moves, where a single move can radically change the game. I also like it because it is the last field where I am still competitive with my sons.

Genuine Finnish sourdour ryebread - ruisleipaa. The tragedy of America is that we have forgotten what real bread is. The white foam that you find on the shelf of grocery store is mostly air and might as well be made of styrofoam for all the nutrients it contains. Ruisleipaa is a meal in itself. You need good teeth and jaw muscles to chew it and it fills your stomache for hours. I take a few slices along when I go hunting and after many hours of walking in the cold I come home for supper and guess what? I'm not even that hungry!

Winter 2011 Commencement at Michigan Tech.

Deanna and David both graduated in civil engineering. The last semester was a particularly busy one. Their senior design projects took up an incrdible amount of time. They really earned those sheepskins!

Four graduated, one more to go. Maybe I'll be able to retire then?

Janet and Pete Larson joined us for "juhlakahvit" coffee and cake in honor of David and Deanna. Pete and I go back a long ways - we went through school together from 6th grade onward. In ninth grade we had the distinction on playing together on a basketball team that only won two or three games all season. Pete was a great ball handler and good dribble like a Harlem globetrotter, but somehow that just wasn't enough. My own specialty, as I recall, was fouling out.

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