I have a feeling that autumn will come early to Oslo this year. This past week we had a lot of rain, and what I would have termed a mini-hurricane on Wednesday, with strong winds and stormy weather. The clouds looked threatening, so all in all, it signaled the end of summer, at least to me. Temperatures have become cooler; we’re down to around sixty degrees Fahrenheit during the afternoons, the warmest time of day. We had friends from Illinois visiting us for a few days at the end of August; luckily they flew out of Oslo about half a day before the weather turned from nice to stormy. While they were here, the weather was lovely, and that always helps to give a nice impression of Oslo. We enjoyed our visit together, and I spent some time showing them my Oslo—the small little places that tourists would not really know about. One of those places is Hønsa Lovisas house, a small little red house on the Akerselva River, not far from where we live, which used to be a residence and is now a cozy little café that serves very good waffles with jam and sour cream. It is also an art gallery for different kinds of modern art exhibitions. You can read more about it here, but for my non-Norwegian readers, the website is in Norwegian, so you’ll have to translate it using Google Translate (http://www.honselovisashus.no/html_sider/10_HJEM.html). It’s a nice place to spend an hour or so relaxing on a Sunday afternoon.
I realized today that I am a ‘four-seasons’ person. I look forward to the change of seasons and what each season brings. I would not want to live all-year round in a hot climate. My sister has discovered the same; the hot southern states are not for her. She prefers upstate NY. Autumn is always a reminder of the promise of a new school year; while I am no longer a student, I still like the feeling of a ‘new start’—projects around the house, new recipes to try, new photography projects. I look forward to the leaves changing color, to Halloween, to Thanksgiving, to walking outdoors in the cooler weather. Christmas arrives with winter, and that is always something to look forward to—buying gifts, making food, celebrating the holiday with loved ones. Plus the evenings are darker and longer, so it makes viewing the skies much easier with my telescope. I’ll be looking for Jupiter, Mars and Venus this winter. Spring signals rebirth; next spring, we may finally get our city parcel garden (we’ve been on the waiting list for six years), which will enable us to plant vegetables and flowers and tend to them. We’re looking forward to that and to seeing what kind of harvest we’ll get. Our discussions now revolve around what kind of vegetables and flowers we want to plant; we may plant an apple tree and a raspberry bush. And then of course there is summer to look forward to—my annual trip to NY to visit my friends and family, as well as vacation here in Norway or in another European country. I soak in the warmth of summer, to prepare me for the cold of winter. I could not face winter without having had the warmth of summer. I am glad to be able to experience all the seasons; as my mother used to say, each season has its charm.