That being said, my husband and I still fantasized regularly about our next foreign sojourn, but the conversation always ended with, “When the kids go to college.” Well, I did not have that kind of patience. So I decided to live in the now and make my next home in Sweden, where I have two dear friends and a few more acquaintances (carry-overs from my years in Europe).
But I had to think out of the box to make this happen.
Rather ingeniously (if I don’t say so myself), I came up with a solution. The kids would be thrilled with their new bedrooms (though the space would be much smaller, as European scale often is). They would get a fair sampling of authentic Swedish cuisine (whether they liked it or not). And I would finally have the sleek kitchen and Scandinavian-designed home I’d always wanted. My kids could continue in their same schools. And they could still visit their local grandparents. All this without traveling more than 10 miles from my South Florida home. How did I make this happen, you ask?
It’s a little Swedish village called Ikea.
Here’s a picture of my living room, where we entertain our Swedish friends and all our other overseas friends via live Skype chats. (My narrow-minded American friends won’t come over because they think it’s weird that I live in Ikea.)
Here’s my eat-in kitchen, where I fight each night with the kids over why they should eat their pickled herring, meatballs with lingonberry jam, rose hip soup, and of course their turnips, but then end up ordering Domino’s Pizza…because we can. (Though Ikea frowns upon outside catering, since they provide their own Swedish market right on the premises.)
Here I am making my daughter’s bed. Apparently, her laziness carries overseas.
And this is my son's idea of how to make his bed…
My favorite part is the home office. In this immaculately organized space, I can write my blog entries and my next great novel, An American Almost in Sweden.
And my reading room, where I spend time reading the BEST NOVEL EVER WRITTEN!
All this for free! Of course, I have no sex life because of all the security cameras (and we think the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is invasive), and privacy does not exist in Sweden, as evidenced below.
But all in all, I tell you this is the life here in South Florida, Sweden. And I don’t even have to take vitamin D supplements to survive the winter. Now, let’s see how long it takes Ikea’s security to kick us outta here and turn us into homeless Swedes...I mean Floridians.
Until then, vi ses nästa vecka, och undvika matjessill om du kan! (See you next week, and avoid the pickled herring if you can!)