Today and tomorrow, my last days in Sweden before a summer back in Vermont, I am on a work retreat. The retreat is located about 20 minutes south of Växjö in the village of Ingelstad. We are meeting at Solvikens Pensionat. It really is an amazing little place and completely idyllic except for the noise of traffic on Route 27/29.
Because Jason is on Kalmar for a meeting, I needed to be able to get back to pick up the kids at school so I rented a car (man, I do love that I can walk to the Hertz and have myself in a spanking new volvo in a matter of minutes). It felt great to be behind the wheel for the first time in 6 months – blasting the radio as I travelled through the countryside – green fields and forests, red and yellow barns and homes, lakes sparkling as they reflected the bright blue sky.
We are mostly packed for and looking forward to our return to Vermont. The return is all the more bittersweet for me because my dog of 16 years, who was being cared for at our home in Vermont, died yesterday.
Returning is also somewhat hard on the kids. One moment they are angry because they want to go NOW and the next they are crying because they don’t want to go AT ALL. We talk about how one of the nice things about living in Sweden, Vermont and China is that they have friends and feel at home in 3 very different places. One of the hard things about it is that, wherever they are they can feel homesick for the lives they are missing in the other 2 places.
And then, I always trot out the conclusion I have drawn over the past few years:
Leaving is hard, but going is great.
On balance, they agree.