Saturday, March 26, 2011

Finnish Friday

In an attempt to blog more often, I am creating "Finnish Friday" where I will blog about my fascination with Finland. It will be in the form of a story, a poem, a photo journey, a recipe, etc...

Today will be a short story with some background information regarding my interest in Finland.

My mom's mom was 100% Finn. She was born in MN, as was her mother (whose parent's came from Finland), and her father was born in Finland (he came to the USA when he was 16). I was always pretty close with my grandma, and had taken an interest in our family history.

While in 6th grade, I was in the Gifted & Talented program at my elementary school. One of our activities was to submit our names to an organization that matched up pen-pals. Naturally I chose Finland as my country of interest. I received notification that a girl in Finland received my name and address, and I also received hers.

I can still remember that day in June of 1992 that I opened the mailbox and found this:

That letter started a lifelong friendship that continues to this day. It is hard to believe that it has been nearly 19 years since we 'met'. Through letters, and later on emails, and now even through FaceBook, we are able to stay in touch. It may not be as often now that we are both raising families and such, but advancements in technology sure help to keep it more often. There is nothing better than a handwritten letter, although to find the time to sit and write, and then take a trip to the post office, is a bit more challenging than it was when we were childless, single, and had all the free time in the world :-)

I have been fortunate enough to have visited Finland twice. My first trip was in 2002, and my second in 2010. My first trip was 10 years after we had started writing and it was amazing that we knew each other so well, even before meeting in person. My second trip was just as amazing as the first, but in a completely different way. I have many stories to share, in future blog posts.

I will wrap it up here...and do my best to keep up with my writing in between Finnish Fridays.

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