3 Weeks in the Life

clareeNovember 16, 2011

Today marks the three week anniversary of our arrival in Finland. Over the course of this time, we have shared 21 dinners together, skied by the low light of the arctic winter sun, frozen our legs in the icy (and questionably healing?) waters of the Muonio River, and competed alongside some of the world’s fastest skiers. We’ve also had the unusual pleasure of seeing both the sunrise and sunset every single day. In a season of long and overwhelming darkness, this is an enlightening counterbalance. Skiing laps around the 2km loop in the morning, I notice how the sky has changed each time I come into the biathlon range and am faced with the horizon of hills and windmills. I missed the most beautiful view on this day by one lap (about 8 minutes), but you get the idea:

sunrise range

The lighted biathlon range is in the lower left-hand corner.

And here’s a picture taken from between our cabins at noon the same day:

high noon

"high" noon.

So you may wonder, what are we doing all the long, dusky day while we’re not out on the trails? IF YOU GUESSED “TOTALLY LOSING IT”, YOU’RE RIGHT! Well first of all, for the record, between 2 training sessions, 4+ eating sessions, grocery shopping and nightly cooking for 8, ski maintenance, muscle maintenance (in my case this involves multiple trips to Pepa’s cabin for daily preventative and remedial care), upkeep of personal hygiene (can a mustache alone constitute “filth”?), and a good night’s sleep, most days don’t leave enough time for prolonged lassitude. But then, we do have an occasional afternoon or day off. Not surprisingly, some deal better with this span of unscheduled time than others. Below I have documented the activities of Hannah, whose creativity was never in question, but who enjoys being housebound during a 2:43pm sunset about as much as the next person. It turns out Hannah is highly skilled in such a multitude of productive activities that she has lamented the slow passing of time but once: in a fleeting and trivial exclamation, the negative effects of which she promptly dispelled with a hot cup of tea.


DAY 4: First installment of the Muonio Collection. Price negotiable with the Artiste.


DAY 8: A new fur coat and quality winter boots for a grand total of 9 euros. Recreational shopping with prudence and purpose.


DAY 13: This real, Vermont woman can not only shoot a gun, but she can install and whittle her own homemade stock.


DAY 17: She came, she felted, she crafted. (Also notice the second installment of the Muonio Collection, upper right.)

DAY 21: What is there to turn to after 3 weeks of social isolation? Well, there's always personal grooming; or better yet, fraternal grooming.


Like sister, like brother? Maybe next year, Ethan.

Three down, one to go. See you soon, USA.

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