Let your life be a prelude to the festivals of eternity

I can't post about last week without writing about my grandmother. Wednesday last week my Finnish grandmother was buried back home in Jönköping. It was strange waking up Wednesday morning knowing they had already had the ceremony. She died in her sleep just a few days before I left for the states. As if by grand design I happened to be home for a few days to visit my parents and went to see her the evening before she passed not knowing the importance of that casual visit. Although it was unexpected her passing was peaceful and  the day was peaceful and full of love. We gathered as a family, feeling a stronger love and gratitude for eachother, the life she had lived and the lives she had made possible for us. I got to say my goodbyes then and I will always be grateful for the opportunity I had to be home with my family to say goodbye to my mommo even though I missed her burial. 

Mommo was and is one of the greatest examples I have of a strong fearless woman. She worked hard all of her life for her own sake but especially for her family. She inprinted on us the importance of education, hard work to get what we want and to not let people stand in our way but especially not to take anything for granted. To always remember the important things. She was firm but generous. Strong but caring. A boss lady indeed. 
When she heard about me travelling to the states this summer she thought it was a great idea, a fun adventure to enjoy. She encouraged me to keep a journal of my travels, to write everything down so I would remember these times for the rest of my life. So I could take the lessons I learn with me. Something I wish to do with all she has taught me.
Now she is free from pain and suffering and although the thought of her not being there when I go home is heart wrenching I firmly believe I will see her again. And until then I will be a part of her legacy, this beautiful legacy that she has created. The life I'm living is to a great extent possible because of choices she made and at times the incredibly hard life that she survived. I am because she never gave up. Because she never looked back but always forward. Until our reunion she sits in my back bone reminding me to stand tall, and in my heart telling me to take courage. 
Tills vi möts igen, mommo <3 
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Racoons and Sunday orchestras

This past week went by in a blur. I worked long days and was exhausted when I came home. ("came home" sounds a lot more dramatic than just walked 10 seconds from the one house to the house next to it as I live neighbours with the family)
Anyways a quick update:
– Racoons people, RACOONS. We have for the last three weeks forgotten to take our rubbish bins (heeeeh yeahyeah, we busy) out in time sooo yeah. Racoons come out at night and tear open the plastic bags. It's a great sight each morning I'm tellig ya. I thought it was just crazy determined birds but I was told it was racoons. So that feels a bit cooler than birds at least.
– I have seen more dead animals by the side of the road in these past three weeks than possibly my whole life. Ok, maybe not, but there are a lot of dead animals around. What type of animals I couldn't say. 
– I went spinning the other night and my butt hurt for three days. As in really, really hurt. Other than that it was pretty alright.
– The summer thing to do here seems to be to ride on big motorcycles without helmets. I cringe everytime I see it. It's usually a middle aged (or older) man in front with sunglasses and a mustache and then a lady behind. It looks pretty sweet to be fair but HELMETS PEOPLE.
– I saw fireflies for the first time this week. I didn't understand what it was at firstas I just saw these tiny little lights turning on and off randomly in the garden. There were sooo many of them but it was too dark to get a picture of it. Super cool!
– Also. Freckles. I have freckles and it's a big deal.
And here are some pictures:
Last Sunday when Anna and I had some dinner before we bought ice cream at the creamery and sat down in the town gazebo to listen to the orchestra. This is what the town square, the diamond, looks like every Sunday at seven. Everyone brings there lawn chairs and sits and listens. And it seems as if they always start off by playin the star spangled banner. Everyone stands up direct themselves towards the flag and most people put their hands over the hearts, I really enjoy seeing it. When I went past it last night there was a man in a shirt with the american flag and eagles on it, one cool dude.
The preparations for the 4th of July are well underway. Flags EVERYWHERE (more than usual) and people are wearing anything american. It was pretty funny to see at church most men wearing some kind of american tie and I saw a few women wearing special earings for the occation. I don't mind it at all, I just don't quite understand the hype obviously as I am not an american and I know very little of the whole independace day story, more then the film that is, heheee.
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Pittsburgh, wonder woman and the Y.

Here a some pictures from this past week:
I went to Pittsburgh with my roommate Anna on Monday. We went shopping, ate at a meatball place and went up the Duqesne Incline (not sure how to pronounce that but it was a cable car thing that went up a hill). Pittsburgh is a cool city with a crazy amount of bridges (it's supposedly called the City of bridges) and the main part of the city feels/looks pretty small. The really cool part is that the rest of the city is surrounded by a ton of trees and greenery so it almost looks like it's this big city in a forrest. I'll definitely be back often!
Anna and I went to see Wonder Woman last night, I really enjoyed it! The best super hero movie I've seen in a while. Also just yay for a super hero movie with a woman as the main character!!
Selfie from the backdoor steps. Wearing make up and my hair down is not a look I rock on a daily bases due to heat (hair up at all times) and mostly hanging with children so this must be from Sunday when I had the day off and spent most of my time indoors enjoying not being sweaty. 
This is "the diamond". The center of Ligonier which is somewhat shaped like a diamond and kind of works as a round about. It has this old town feeling to it but is very well kept and clean. It's a small cute town where not a lot of things seem to happen. Though I did hear a rumour that every Sunday evening there's a small orchestra that plays in the towns gasebo. All that kind of makes it feel a bit as one would imagine Stars Hollow in Gilmore Girls but obviously not as cool. I live about a five/ten minute walk to the town center and we walk past here almost everyday as I and the children go to the park or the library. 
So Ligonier is a really small town but it has a few different places one should visit/see when here. Last week I went to "Ligonier Fort" with the kids, I didn't really have the opportunity/time to read the different signs or the brochures but we saw and played in some old timber houses that were reconstructions from a war. Which war or what it was about I know not, I'll have to go back by myself. Yesterday we went to "Ligonier beach" and had a great time. And with beach they mean a pool (as in singular) with cold fresh water in it and a seperate sand box beside it. But hey, it's a five minute drive so it's great!

I also signed myself up at the YMCA (the Y) here, they have a nice gym, fitness classes and a swimming pool so I feel like I'm getting pretty settled in. Next on my list is "The Creamery" which is in the middle of town (by the diamond) and everyone recommends their ice cream. I was planning on going tonight but it's been pouring on and off all day (and when it pours here it ABSOLUTELY POURS) with thunder and a rough wind so I'll most likely be staying in this evening. But let the record state that it is also slightly less warm outside and I am wearing long legged trousers and yes it feels amazing. 
Woahm this got longer than expected but hey. Here it is.
LOVE peeps.
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