Dear Family and Friends!


Jane and I are reflecting over the past year today on the first Sunday in Advent  a year of great joy and much sorrow. 


Joy with our little Janey, 1 year old  in January 2002 – Jane was over for that important 1st birthday party  – and our many conversations and good times with Kajsa, Rich, and Janey in September during our three weeks in Delaware. Gail  was also in Warren visiting with his mother, Cora, and quickly stopped by other old friends - Walt and Vi-  Tobi and Bruce, and visited with brother Tom and Mary Lou.  He even had time for a swing to Virginia to see the house building project brother David started a few years back and is now nearly finished and to have a great evening together with grilled Buffalo steak - believe it or not a local Virginia product. 


Sorrow at losing, all too early,  two good friends, Jane’s nursing school friend, Boel,  and Gail’s  boss and colleague, Leif. Our thoughts today are with families. 


We are also so much wishing for peaceful solutions to arise out of all the sword rattling in the name of fighting terrorism.  Certainly it is the underlying causes of terror that must be addressed, not just the terror acts and perpetrators themselves.  And certainly we must address those causes of terrorism with international solidarity and not just with a  might makes right” policy.


The highlight of the year was celebrating Jane’s 60th birthday in Rome, the Vatican, Florence and the Tuscany countryside. Rome’s Coliseum, Fountain De Trivia, Spanish Steps etc all were visited by walking and riding the Rome busses.  At the Vatican we could even  see the Pope as he celebrated mass in St. Peter’s Square on the May 1.  In Florence the Uffizi Gallery, shopping and birthday dinner were highlights.  The Tuscany countryside offered visits to the vineyards and towns from the middle ages at impressive heights and included a relaxing good conversation evening with a Stockholm colleague who has a country place in the Tuscany hills.   What a great 12 days we had seeing the new sights, enjoying good food  and wine, and relaxing on the Tuscany countryside.  We highly recommend to all to do Tuscany!


After coming home,  there seemed to be birthday party after birthday party (all that we were suppose to avoid by going away!) with old colleagues and friends – including a secret visit with Åsa and Sten to a charming bed & breakfast  in Österlen –southeast coast of Sweden – that included a fantastic asparagus buffet center of Swedish asparagus growing country.  We never knew asparagus could be prepared in so many ways.  So now we are even trying to grow asparagus here in Norrbyggeby with a few “imported” plants. You know it’s fun to turn 60!


And as usual Gail’s year was filled with a good bit of business travel – England, Finland, Latvia and a number of places here in Sweden.  Jane even followed along for a long weekend in Riga as part of her birthday escapades.  


Jane continues to work with Andreas and his staff.  Andreas had a great 30th birthday theme party with all his friends and family in March.  It is always so warming to see Andreas in such good spirits.



June-July- August were also our “take care of the farm” months!  Lots of potatoes and tomatoes, cucumbers, corn, pumpkins, sunflowers, berries etc.  Finished painting the car port, took down lots of trees so that we have winter fire wood for the next 3-4 years and opening our views out into the village and neighboring forests.  Even participated with a specialist team of guys to erect about 175 feet of  classic old Dalarna  fence (called a gärdsgård)  around our greenhouse and garden area. It is said it might even keep the deer away!


 Most disappointing about the summer, however, was that Gail had to miss the long planned 40th reunion of the Warren High School Class of 1962.  He really had planned on attending his first high school reunion, but sad events here just didn’t allow him to get away in July.


Unfortunately our egg production diminished this year.  Down from last year’s 100 eggs per month to about 30.  We lost 3 of our 6 chickens, but will renew our flock this coming Spring!  Our cats are still very spry bringing into the house, to our consternation,  almost daily,  their proud catches of field mice.


Last Christmas and New Year we spent quietly in Norrbyggeby with the most snow since 1985   30-40 inches. What a nice Winter wonderland!  And just three weeks from today we will be in Delaware with our little Janey and her parents.  What an exciting Christmas and New Year we will have.  And Great-great grandma Cora will also be with for those Delaware holidays!


We look forward to hearing from you all, and as always,  you are most welcome to our Norrbyggeby.