Spare Change

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I was at Target on a weekday afternoon, there to buy essentials mind you, and the parking lot was packed. I had to park next to Buffalo Wild Wings. And walk!! The place was more crowded than at Christmas! What in the world were all these people buying? Didn’t most of us just overfill stockings and line the floor beneath our Christmas trees with badly wrapped presents? And TJMaxx was the same…. Read More

It was a harrowing trip from Stockholm to Frankfurt to Denver to St. George Utah. It was long and cramped and the show selections on United were as bad as the overcooked tortellini. Sixteen hours of travel time got us only so far as Denver, ugh! Then we had to go through customs. I was flying with Maggie and Jonah and between the three of us we somehow managed to haul 6… Read More

Six weeks. That’s how much time we have left until we move. I know the drill. I know. I’ve been here before, but it still doesn’t seem real. And it won’t. I know. Not until I get on the plane and look down over Stockholm, to where I lived for the last three years, and listen to the flight attendant instruct us on where to find the exits and how to put… Read More

A mist has settled over the Baltic outside my window. The boats, and not so distant trees, are shrouded in a gauzy grey. On the far end of the inlet the land has disappeared altogether. There’s only sky and water. Were I a sailor, new to these parts, I’d embark on my journey supposing nothing existed beyond my shore. I’d be wrong. I’ve seen what’s there on a sunny day, but right… Read More

I’m back in Sweden, making the most of the remaining weeks of summer, trying not to complain about the sweltering 85-degree temperatures when we have no air conditioning. In America I’d be wearing sweaters this time of year, pulling on a cardigan before entering the arctic blasts of restaurants or the grocery section of Super Target. Gosh I need a Slurpee. I’m down to my thinnest cotton t-shirt and capris. If I… Read More

THE GREAT thing about a road trip is you can travel almost anywhere, five hours (or less), and find yourself in a completely different landscape, different country, different world. Denmark is considered part of Scandinavia, but when we drove there it felt less like Sweden and more like Nebraska in the middle of The Netherlands. Flat as a postage stamp, Denmark’s countryside is quilted with swaths of phosphorescent green fields, dotted here… Read More

While the east coast has been gripped by one heck of a winter, the weather in Sweden has been kind of blah, freezing cold one day, raining the next, weird. Today the sky is as still as stone, the ocean half frozen, half thawed; the water black as coal. The weather can’t seem to decide what it wants to do, (and neither can I). As an American, I wouldn’t mind a few… Read More

Karen Ament is a blogger at Humble Mumblings and a recovering expat, currently finding her place in the world. Caught somewhere between Scandinavia and Pennsylvania, she is again trying to make her family a “home.” Her story is as real as it gets for us transplants. She’s proving it not only can be done, but by extending our view of what “home” means, we can broaden our little corner of the globe…even… Read More

Remember that Seinfeld episode in the parking garage…the one where no one can remember where the car’s parked? Kramer is carrying a heavy air conditioning unit, he eventually off loads behind someone’s parked car; Elayne is worried her goldfish in the airtight plastic sack is going to die; George is worried he’ll miss his parent’s anniversary dinner and Jerry has to desperately urinate. At some point Jerry muses: Why is it other… Read More

Your Christmas cards aren’t mailed yet? Mine aren’t either, at least not all of them, and I’ll be lucky if they’re postmarked before 2014. I’m not feeling too bad. A friend of mine didn’t mail hers until after Easter one year. Personally, I think Christmas and Easter go fine together. But in case you don’t get yours, here’s what we all look like (on our better days).Of course it’s not like I… Read More