Thursday, July 8, 2021

Another Day, Another Dollar

"Another day, another dollar," my dad always said.  In other words, life is going on as usual.  We keep extremely busy and will probably collapse for a month when we get home in December.  By the way, I'm having a hard time typing on a regular keyboard (which I am doing now in my apartment) now that I'm used to the Swedish keyboard I use every day in the office.  My brain has to remember which keyboard I am using!

I would like to point you to our daughter, Heather's, youtube channel.  We are so proud of Heather.  For years now, she has practiced piano and/or organ for 1-2 hours per day, even now that she's a busy mom with teenagers.  We're so proud of her abilities and her hard work.  She has recorded a lot of her pieces, and her recordings are much better than the ones I'm recording on my cell phone (and putting on my youtube channel so that missionaries and others can access them).  You can find Heather's channel by searching for Heather Torrie on YouTube.  She has recently recorded herself playing a piano/organ duet of The Swan by Saint Saen.  She recorded the pieces separately and then put them together.  Interesting to play a duet with yourself!  It's a lovely piece.  Grandma Guinivere Torrie loved this piece, and had a grandson, Scott Torrie, play it on the cello as they carried her out of the chapel at the end of her funeral. 

I recently learned an interesting thing about Swedish school curriculum.  First you need to know that Sweden is a very secular country.  Many people are spiritual, but most are not religious, and some are anti-religion.  Yet, in the curriculum it is required to teach why we celebrate Christmas and why we celebrate Easter.  The point is to help the children understand their culture, which began with Judeo-Christianity.  So even if they don't believe in Jesus Christ, teachers are required to teach the Christmas story and the Easter story.  Even some schools take their children on a field trip at Christmas time to a very old local church.  In the basement, a live Nativity is presented with the "shepherds" leading the children past scenes representing the birth of Jesus Christ.  The teacher we talked to said that children always feel a sacred feeling during these presentations, and even if the children's parents say that Jesus was not real, many children say that they love Jesus, and this teacher says she can feel the children's sincerity.  So interesting!  Especially given what is happening in western schools.

When I was an elementary school student, we began each day by singing either O Canada or God Save the Queen, and then we recited The Lord's Prayer.  It didn't matter if you were Christian or not.  Everyone recited the prayer.  We all, even our Buddhist friends, took turns choosing which song to sing and then leading the prayer.  It was just a really nice way to start the day and NO ONE complained!

Sunset, 10:00 p.m. June 30.  I took a picture out my window because I could see part of the glorious sunset.  But this picture was taken by the missionaries who climbed on the roof of our building!  It reminded me of the amazing sunsets at home in Alberta.  But sunsets there are much easier to see because there's no buildings or trees to block the view.

LeRon and I went car shopping for the mission.  Found some great cars in the Subaru and Citroen dealership.  But this is one of those teeny tiny 2-seater cars that go very slow.  We learned that they are only 40 horsepower and only go up to 45 km/hr.  I had been told that new drivers were required to drive these cars.  But no . . . the salesman said that parents buy these very expensive cars so their kids can drive a covered vehicle rather than an open motorbike.  Kids can drive these little cars at age 15!  This little car reminded me of the Citroen Deux Chevaux (literally two horses) that I rode in in France in about 1972.  I swear I could see the road through holes at my feet.  It was almost like riding a covered motorcycle.  Apparently Deux Chevaux could go up to 65 km/hr.

I absolutely loved this white Citroen with the red roof and other red accents.   Too bad we don't have Citroen cars in Canada.

Love the globe willows.  They look like they have been hand-sculpted, but they grow this way.

We spent a few hours with our Montenegran friend, Tamara, and her husband Marko.  She's a wonderful photographer.  Love her work.  She makes everyone look great!  She took pictures of LeRon and I but I couldn't figure out how to put them in this post.  I'll have to work on it.  This was a picture on my phone, so not amazing.

A 4th of July grill with our junior missionaries.  Elder Scott, Elder Ronndahl (from Sweden), and Elder McCallister.

American flag hanging from our building.  Normally, we would only fly the Swedish flag (if we had a flag pole), but after all . . . it is the 4th of July -- Independence Day in the US.  My cousin, Elder Scott, grilled chicken, pork, salmon and korv (what we in Canada call weiners).  Quite the feast, along with homemade potato salad and other goodies.

Some young men joined us for the grill, along with Elder Austin (LeRon's cousin through Thomas E Ricks), Elder McCallister, and Elder Ronndahl.  I was impressed that the missionaries covered the tables to make it look nicer.  Good job!

Teeny tiny wild strawberries growing in our yard.

Music time on the 4th of July.  Elder Ronndahl on the guitar, Elder Spellacy on the ukelele, Elder Scott on the guitar, Elder Austin on the banjo, Elder McCallister singing, and Elder Torrie on the keyboard.

Fun singing with the missionaries!  I took a few (very poorly videoed) videos with my phone and have put them on my YouTube channel (L&C Torrie).

Then 9 p.m. in our apartment.  I decorated the table with red, white and blue, and then we had veggies, chips and dip, and ice cream and my homemade chocolate sauce.  Fun times!  Days never to be forgotten!

On our neighborhood walk, right next to the sidewalk, in this little forested area, was a huge sarvis berry bush!!  Some people call them serviceberries and some call them saskatoons.  I call them sarvis berries.  I have some sarvis berry bushes in my yard at home but we never get ripe berries because the birds get them every year.  This tree was loaded.  LeRon and I ate quite a lot.  We've also learned that soon the forest will be loaded with ripe blueberries.

Elder Austin and Elder Scott dug up a piece of lawn and planted a very small garden!!  Potatoes, carrots, peppers, dill.  Fun!  I miss my garden back home.  Here I've planted some flowers to brighten the deck of our office building home.

On Canada Day, July 1st, we had a seniors get-together.  LeRon and I sang O Canada for them.  They stood while we sang, and we appreciated it.  L-R: Cowgurs, Salls, Moleffs, Wilhites, Torries, Johnsons.  We have a senior night once a month.  This time the Moleffs shared pictures and stories of their two previous missions to Russia and to Thailand.  Next month we will share about our mission to Kenya and perhaps show some farm pictures too!!


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