I’m a nice guy. I’m personable, friendly, fairly laid back. I’m shy. I like my privacy. I have a secret life. Well, it’s secret in that the rest of my family may never have seen some of the things I have seen or done. It’s the same for all of us, right? It just struck me that among the many pictures I take, there are few enough pictures of people. I don’t like to be confronted nor to confront. I may take pictures unawares and sideways. There have been times, Halloween parade NYC, and others where the object is to take pictures of people. Ok. But otherwise, I have to remind myself to take pictures of people. Shy? Reticent? Non-confrontational? It turns out that it is the pictures of people that are the most memorable now. I suppose it helps if you are related. It seems that everyone is interested no matter how badly the picture was taken. Fortunately, I have lots of above average shots of the family. Someone I know would be fascinated by the goods for sale. Me? I just wanted a picture of the costume. That was free!
Well, it’s funny to me. I was once accused of having a dry sense of humor. Was that good or bad? I suppose it’s not a good thing to have a woodpecker loving on your wooden church. I’m scanning slides. Not editing. So, I end up looking at each and every one I scan in order to label them. I have a database. Within reason I have lain my hands on a lot of images without too much pain. But the things that I have forgotten knows no bounds. Undoubtedly I saw this slide when I mounted it. But until now I would never tell you that I got a shot of a woodpecker on the steeple of a wooden church. He was gone by the next picture. A call from God?
Here’s a puzzle the internet did not solve instantly. Why are these haystacks covered? It’s not hay? Ok, but why are they covered? I’m sure I asked someone at the time. But, I’ve forgotten the answer. An internet search turns up Monet or haystack cookies. Geez! My attention span is short. It’s a mystery now. I took the picture because it was different. It has stood the test of time. Maybe they did it just for me to come along and take a picture. Hmmmm…nah!
Not. Kristina entertained me at Harald’s party. She’s Swedish. What fascinated me was she’s actually related to a famous Swedish neurosurgeon. Don’t ask. Hey! It was a party where the birthday boy was a neurosurgeon. I sat with her and she tested me on identifying Swedish, Finnish, or Norse women from their looks. I was a miserable failure. You can’t judge a book by its cover. We traveled from Unset back to Oslo and then I never saw her again. Like me, she lived in NY. She remembered me to some folks at Harald’s house some years later. I remember her too. Harald’s Norse. She’s Swedish. Can you tell? I will admit… nah… it would only give me grief.
Harald had his home custom built by farmers in his valley. It was made from logs that were carefully selected and then aged (three to five years). His roof was a green roof full of weeds. There were chains for down spouts to drain water. The house was built into the hillside and was economical and efficient since winter is bitter cold up near the Arctic circle. All in all it was quite and experience to have attended the party.
So, my trip to Norway was great. I met a fellow surgeon at JFK airport who happened to be going as well. We would have driven together but he met a woman at the rental counter and departed with her. Ha! Smooth? It turns out that his “date” meant I had no bed. Harald scrambled to get me a room. I never knew till much later. Meanwhile I was placed at a local farm in what I would call, ‘the loom room.’ Yup, two barn style looms. Now I know. The past few years has made me conversant with weaving. And that’s a winder in the window. I had a bed in the corner. It was charming. It was unique. And now as I look back I can say that I know someone who’d give her eye teeth to have been there with me. Back then, I knew nothing about weaving. It was an adventure. I like adventures. The view? The cows would walk past going to and from the barn for milking. I admit I would have liked a date too. But, the looms and no roommate was more than fine!
It’s in Norway. You are looking at the whole town. Yes! The whole town is captured in this picture. Not impressed? How about the sign entering has the leaving sign on its back? There’s no stop sign or stop light. The only store was closed at 5PM. I arrived and asked directions. A guy repairing his car motioned for me to follow. I went about a half mile further. There! I had arrived. I was there for a birthday party. A colleague had asked me to attend his 65th birthday. He then told me it was to be held in Norway. Gotcha! I left the airport in Oslo with the directions, “Go out the airport exit and drive north.” I was on a two-lane road for hours and arrived after 6PM. It was a long way. I cannot even say that it was a one-horse town. Hey, the joke’s on me!
Poetry. I found myself in Norway for a colleague’s birthday. I was hijacked into attending. First I enthusiastically agreed to attend and then he told me where. Can you beat that? He held me to my promise. Then my supposed roommate was another neurosurgery colleague. Except John was very smooth with the ladies and he picked up his own roommate, a rather good looking blonde at the airport in Oslo. Harald had to scramble to find me a place to stay and I was consigned to the loom room in a shack behind a farmhouse. I would add that he was compulsive and needed to guarantee enough rooms for guests coming in from around the world. So he bought a hotel for the weekend. The farmer had remorse about selling it to him, so Harald sold it right back at a profit. The room I had was view to the cows passing back and forth to the barn several times a day. It’s a bit of a different view from the Manhattan skyline.
And if you look, there are houses on the mountain. What beauty. With a good internet connection, you could let the world come to you. Otherwise you are a long way from civilization.
Fiords are what make Norway famous. I imagined deep glacial valleys with high cliffs on either side. This is not too bad. I can’t say that this is what I had imagined but it’s a pretty special view.