SUMMER: COMINGS AND GOINGS

Ava Anttila by Jonny Kahleyn Dieb

Ava Anttila by Jonny Kahleyn Dieb

AROUND LA WITH AVA 

SUMMER: COMINGS AND GOINGS

Summer is here!!

“No more pencils; no more books; no more teachers’ dirty looks…”

Do you remember those glorious days of yesteryear when the final school bell of the year rang and we burst outdoors for the start of a grand period of “freedom”?  Everyone had plans—even if they were going nowhere!

Do you remember those glorious days of yesteryear when the final school bell of the year rang and we burst outdoors for the start of a grand period of “freedom”?

Do you remember those glorious days of yesteryear when the final school bell of the year rang and we burst outdoors for the start of a grand period of “freedom”?

Not much is different today—except we are the ‘teachers’.  Now, not only are there people coming and going as part of their plans in Southern California, but new projects and annual rituals are playing out as well in the City of Angels.

June 2013

On Sunday June 2nd, St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Santa Monica was filled with beautiful music and over 70 attendees in the Finnish Congregation.  This Mass of Music included kantele, piano, cello, and voice offerings.  The sermon was delivered by Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen, filling in for Pastor Jarmo Tarkki.  Bible readings were by Maiju Boele and Jonny Kahleyn Dieb.  The Finnish Folk Dance Group Katirilli performed an assortment of delightful dances during the coffee hour.

The Finnish Folk Dance Group Katirilli performed an assortment of delightful dances during the coffee hour

Treats at the coffee table included open faced sandwiches, cinnamon rolls, cakes and Karelian pies, and deep-fried lihapiirrakkas.

Traffic was horrendous in Santa Monica, but the outstanding Finnish Lutheran turnout was not the sole problem.  Obviously, the tourists have come to Southern California to celebrate their Summer —and our schools are out!  The local “weather-casters” had billed the day as “…perfect beach weather”.  An hour of worship, followed by Finnish fellowship and feasting before a dip in the Pacific—now that is a perfect LA Sunday!

More, please!!!!!!

The Bowl

One of the most anticipated events of the Los Angeles Summer season is the Opening of the Hollywood Bowl.  From Portland, Maine to Portland, Oregon—and most villages in between, concerts ‘on-the-lawn’/’in-the-park’/’at-the-Center Square’ are standard fare.  Everyone knows they are coming—no big deal—we’ll be there—strike up the band.

The Hollywood Bowl

The Hollywood Bowl

Well, not in LA.  Here Hollywood requires a ‘production’ of some sort.  On a recent Saturday at mid-day after wrapping up a FACC Board meeting at a member’s home high on Mountaingate near the Getty, we actually witnessed planes skywriting overhead announcing of the Grand Opening of our favorite, beloved, outdoor venue in the City of Angels—The Hollywood Bowl.

my most favorite Bowl memories are of being in the last row of the Bowl where the $1 seats permitted my then younger boys to take an after-dinner nap on the bench under the starlit sky

My most favorite Bowl memories are of being in the last row of the Bowl where the $1 seats permitted my then younger boys to take an after-dinner nap on the bench under the starlit sky

Each year when the written Bowl Program arrives in the mail, we quickly scour it for Finnish conductors and soloists—or pieces by Sibelius.  What a great excuse to pack a Finnish-themed picnic with your Marimekko tablecloth, Iittala candle holders and stem ware for a fabulous night under the Summer stars.  Actually, as glamorous as it is to be in a ‘front and center’ Founders’ Circle box with all of the accoutrements and ‘star power’ neighbors, my most favorite Bowl memories are of being in the last row of the Bowl where the $1 seats permitted my then younger boys to take an after-dinner nap on the bench under the starlit sky while Esa-Pekka Salonen conducted the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra playing Sibelius –how great a lullaby is that???  [Actually, I am not sure if it was the hour of night, a great meal, the classical music, or the ‘funny’ aromas wafting from the bushes behind the last row that brought the ‘nukkumatti’ (sandman), but it worked—and the kids love classical music to this day!]

This year, there is a Sibelius piece on July 11th : Violin Concerto performed by the LA Phil conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas.  Rimsky-Korsakov and Tchaikovsky are also on the program.  Also new this year: world famous LA restaurant Patina has just opened a full service tapas and wine bar at the Hollywood Bowl.  Chef/Owner Joachim Splichal certainly can cook—and tapas are a perfect start to a perfect Bowl evening

This year, there is a Sibelius piece on July 11th : Violin Concerto performed by the LA Phil conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas.

This year, there is a Sibelius piece on July 11th : Violin Concerto performed by the LA Phil conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas.

Check it out: www.hollywoodbowl.com

LAFF SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM

The Los Angeles Finlandia Foundation held their annual Scholarship Picnic on June 9th.   This fund raising event helps LAFF support Finnish related educational opportunities for worthy young people.

SUOMI  KERHO JUHANNUS BLOW OUT

Suomi Kerho cranked up its annual Midsummer celebration on June 22nd.

Suomi Kerho cranked up its annual Midsummer celebration on June 22nd

Suomi Kerho cranked up its annual Midsummer celebration on June 22nd

Seppo Kotajarvi was at “Makkara Central” manning the grill.  Perfection was achieved with the taste and the snap factor on those wieners—an A+.  There were a multitude of delicious salads thanks to my favorite ‘Kitchen Ladies’.  Freshly baked pulla warmed our hearts.  Background music set the mood.  Lovely new table runners made by the ‘Sewing Circle Ladies’ decorated the dining areas.  Beautiful birch branches hung from the rafters [freshly cut from Eila Korpinen’s tree that morning].  All we needed was a lake to make the transformation to Finland complete.

Seppo Kotajarvi was at “Makkara Central” manning the grill.  Perfection was achieved with the taste and the snap factor on those wieners—an A+

Seppo Kotajarvi was at “Makkara Central” manning the grill. Perfection was achieved with the taste and the snap factor on those wieners—an A+

A properly adorned hall, traditional Finnish food, music, a libation or so, and, you guessed it, Finns from all around the community were in great spirits!

A properly adorned hall, traditional Finnish food, music, a libation or so, and, you guessed it, Finns from all around the community were in great spirits!

A properly adorned hall, traditional Finnish food, music, a libation or so, and, you guessed it, Finns from all around the community were in great spirits!

SUMMER IS NOW OFFICIAL!!

SYMPOSIUM ON FINNISH EDUCATION

As one of her final events as Consul General in Los Angeles, Kirsti Westphalen hosted a meeting in conjunction with the FACC that focused on Finnish Education.  The film “Finland Phenomenon–A Documentary” was followed by a Panel Discussion moderated by Andréa Hautala McAleenan, PhD [Special Advisor to the President, Azusa Pacific University].  Dr. McAleenan was joined by panelists Carl Cohn, PhD [Professor of Education, Director of the Urban Leadership Program, Claremont Graduate University], Jaana Juvonen PhD [Professor of Developmental Psychology, UCLA], and Dennis Sheridan, PhD [President of Educational Leadership, California Lutheran University].  A lively discussion followed.  With an audience of educators, journalists, film producers, current and former teachers, and some regular people, there were many perspectives aired.

Andrea Hautala McAleenan, Ph.D., Special Advisor to the President, Azusa Pacific University (moderator)  Carl Cohn, Ph.D., Professor of Education, Director of the Urban Leadership Program, Claremont Graduate University  Jaana Juvonen, Ph.D., Professor of Developmental Psychology, UCLA  Dennis Sheridan, Ph.D., Professor of Educational Leadership, California Lutheran University — with Carl Cohn, Ph.D., Professor of Education, Director of the Urban Leadership Program, Claremont Graduate University, Jaana Juvonen, Ph.D., Professor of Developmental Psychology, UCLA, Dennis Sheridan, Ph.D., Professor of Educational Leadership, California Lutheran University and Andrea Hautala McAleenan, Ph.D., Special Advisor to the President, Azusa Pacific University (moderator) at Bel Air, Los Angeles.

The film “Finland Phenomenon–A Documentary” was followed by a Panel Discussion moderated by Andréa Hautala McAleenan, PhD [Special Advisor to the President, Azusa Pacific University]. Dr. McAleenan was joined by panelists Carl Cohn, PhD [Professor of Education, Director of the Urban Leadership Program, Claremont Graduate University], Jaana Juvonen PhD [Professor of Developmental Psychology, UCLA], and Dennis Sheridan, PhD [President of Educational Leadership, California Lutheran University]. A lively discussion followed.

Chef Sirpa Welch served up additional Finnish pride which featured delicious Salmon and rice piirakka, Caesar salad, and sweet bites and berries as refreshments.We were all reminded of the breadth of impact of Kirsti’s tenure here in Los Angeles when Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca had a Certificate of Appreciation presented to our own Dean of the Los Angeles Consular Corps.As Kirsti and Mouf go off to Thailand, we salute them as well.  We will miss their enthusiasm, their Finnish focus, their leadership, and their friendship.  Kirsti and Mouf: a “fond farewell” and a “welcome back soon” from your many friends.

Ava Anttila, VP of the European American Sheriff’s Advisory Council presenting Consul General Kirsti Westphalen with a Certificate of Appreciation from Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca

[Through the years, I have been fortunate to know and work with many of Finland’s Consuls General in California—even one whose daughter attended the French School in Helsinki with me as a little tyke.   It is always sad to see a Consul General and family move away.  It seems like they just get here, get acquainted, do their great work in representing Finland and the local Finnish community, make personal and national friends –and it is time to leave.  Each is different, each makes their own ‘mark’, each stamps “Finland” with a different hue in this Southern California Finnish tapestry, each is appreciated –and, then, they are gone (not forgotten, however).]

INSPECTOR COMING = STUFF GOING

It is fun to have visitors—many come through.  Some amazing people have been here –“…if walls could talk”.  One of my most precious possessions is a photograph taken by and given to me by an internationally renowned Finnish photographer.  The beautifully framed photograph depicts an old Finnish building with large lettering on its side that says Kansantalo (the house of the people).  The sentiment he expressed when presenting it to me means so much: that this is a place where all are welcome –to share thoughts, ask questions, get helpful hints, have strong coffee, eat a home-cooked meal, and to learn something about the ‘American way’ [some So Cal freeway tricks, too] –a place where someone cares.  There is always an ear, a shoulder, and a warm hug [for almost everyone].

There are some “visitors” who come who are not as welcome as others.  Those who have followed this column for any time probably know that this gal’s plate is normally quite full.  Off to many places, doing many things.  The daily schedule is highly unpredictable –I may be able to tell you what I am doing for the month of August, but not know where I will be on Monday!

My ‘day job’ is attorney—lots and lots of paper, most of which must be kept for 7+ years.  Others may know that my dear, recently deceased, Mom was a dedicated ‘garage sale’ maven who took great pride in her various and sundry collections and clothes—lots and lots of clothes!  When my folks moved into my home about 5 years ago, we absorbed the contents of a 4 bedroom/3 car garage home—yes, that is a lot of storage space for 2 people!

So, when my home insurance agent called to say that my carrier wanted to send out an inspector to measure, photograph, and “inspect” every inch of my property inside and out, I thought it best to suggest a delay.

homeinspector_22

As it turned out, the dreaded inspector was quite a nice fellow

Southern California property owners know that each May 1 the LA Fire Department begins inspections of all properties in any potential fire hazard zones.  The requirements are quite specific and quite demanding—and the consequences of non-compliance are equally severe and range from losing your house to fire to thousands of $s in non-compliance penalties/costs.  Yesterday, the DWP picked up over 150 45 gallon trash bags (plus allowed loose items) so you know lots and lots of work was done to pass the ‘Fire Inspection’ and that some of my Mom’s stuff did not make the ‘give-to-charity’ cut.  Still, the process was somewhat chaotic and took a long time to accomplish.  If nothing else, just the sight of 150+ 45 gallon trash bags waiting to ‘go away’ is enough to delay a ‘photo inspection’.

The DWP picked up over 150 45 gallon trash bags (plus allowed loose items) so you know lots and lots of work was done to pass the ‘Fire Inspection’

The DWP picked up over 150 45 gallon trash bags (plus allowed loose items) so you know lots and lots of work was done to pass the ‘Fire Inspection’

A persistent “insurance inspector” insisting that he urgently needed to inspect, to measure, to photograph, and to do whatever else both inside and outside my home in order to make a report was about as welcome as a root canal without anesthesia!

The inspector’s coming reminded me of how we need to learn to luopua or give up things we hang onto.  Ӓiti did not have luopua in her vocabulary—did I?   Could I say goodbye to enough ‘stuff’ to pass a penetrating inspection?

As it turned out, the dreaded inspector was quite a nice fellow.  He was so excited about his son’s imminent graduation from UCLA—the teaching job awaiting the son in Italy was at least as important as not having to write any more tuition checks!  He told of his recent visit to inspect Eddy Murphy’s place [a 34,000 square foot crib with a shooting range and a bowling alley!].  I thought of telling the inspector man my Eddie Murphy/Ivy restaurant story shared with FinnTimes readers earlier, but things seemed to be going well and I was guessing that Mr. Murphy did not have 150+ 45 gallon trash bags sitting in his yard.

We Finns have always lived “green” with the ‘waste not/want not’ philosophy while Americans have been more a ‘throwaway’ society.  Sometimes people carry things too far.  For example, an elderly client of mine was so happy when I visited him at his place in Finland because he was able to show off the lampshades he had woven out of used Paulig coffee bags!!

Here is the question:  Is it better to use your used coffee bags to make a decorating/fashion statement as my “crafty” Finn did in his living room, or should the trash go directly to a landfill?

Difficult call n’est, pas?

GOING IN LA

One of the most delightful, often breathtaking, Los Angeles sights is the snow-capped mountains that hug the LA basin.  You can get a great long distance view heading East on Culver Boulevard in Culver City […someone else should be driving!].  My favorite view is on Santa Monica Boulevard just under the 405 –if you are stuck in traffic, it is a delight.  Looking East, past the Century City skyscrapers, as the West setting sun spreads its pinkish glow toward the snow capped mountains, a traffic jam is a welcomed pause in our go-go-go world.

One of the most delightful, often breathtaking, Los Angeles sights is the snow-capped mountains that hug the LA basin

One of the most delightful, often breathtaking, Los Angeles sights is the snow-capped mountains that hug the LA basin

I cannot believe I just voted for a traffic jam to remind us of LA’s favorite boast to non- Angelenos of skiing on a mountain top in the morning and swimming or surfing at the beach in the afternoon.

I love LA!!

GOING, GOING IN LA

Rumor has it that the “snowcapped” part of our wonders of Nature may be going away, forever.  By mid-century, scientists say that 30-40% of the snow will disappear from our local mountains.  Boo Hoo—traffic jams will turn nasty!

GOING, GOING, GONE IN LA

The Wilshire Grand Hotel [originally, The Statler and, later, a Hilton] in downtown Los Angeles has been a landmark since it opened in 1952.  The hotel was a competitor of the glamorous Biltmore as a center of business, legal, and society activities for as long as I can remember.  When LA was ‘famous’ for not having a ‘downtown’, the hotel was popular with international travelers and had a near ‘lock’ on the activities on the Southwest downtown business.

The Wilshire Grand Hotel

Heading up Figueroa on my way to Court the other day, I saw the huge empty pit with lots of demo going on at the corner of Wilshire where the Wilshire Grand once stood. GONE!

Early in my legal career, I worked near downtown and had many meetings, seminars, and meals at the hotel.  (Lots and lots of good memories.)  Somehow, we expect that places that were always there will always be there.

Heading up Figueroa on my way to Court the other day, I saw the huge empty pit with lots of demo going on at the corner of Wilshire where the Wilshire Grand once stood.  GONE!

Currently, they are working on the demolition of the underground garage.  Massive digging will begin in August.  The $1 billion Korean Air skyscraper will eventually grow taller than the US Bank Tower [what Angelenos still call the Library Tower].  The new structure will become the tallest building West of the Mississippi River.  The plans include a hotel, offices, restaurants, and stores.  Double-decker elevators and an observation deck will provide views to the ocean—and to my mountains (with or without snow—no traffic jam required).

This Korean Air skyscraper will rise in place of the now demolished Wilshire Grand.

This Korean Air skyscraper will rise in place of the now demolished Wilshire Grand.

Actually, “GOING, GOING, …GONE” is what Vin Scully et al scream into their broadcast microphones when Yasiel Puig or some other Dodger [or Angel] star hits another ‘4 bagger’ [aka homerun]!  While there are some signs of improvement lately, for a while it did not seem as if either local baseball team knew whether it was COMING OR GOING.

COMING OR GOING

The adage of “…justice delayed is justice denied” has been parsed by those trying to explain the latest cuts to the LA County Court System funding.  Seven regional Courthouses will be closed and more than 500 jobs will be eliminated.  Budget cuts!

California’s largest Court system [here] has about 4,400 employees and approximately 540 Judges.  Last year’s operating budget was about $734 million.

Be ready for higher filing fees, longer waiting times, and further travel to your Courthouse.  Civil Courts (rather than Criminal Courts) have borne recent cuts more heavily with effects like: lines around the block/waiting for hours to dispute a traffic ticket have become commonplace.  If you are anxious to get a divorce, sue your landlord, have a custody battle, settle an inheritance matter, or get a certified copy of an essential document, be ready to pay more, “take a number”, and be patient!

The Clerk who helped me file a critical document looked harried and worried.  He has been there forever and really knows his ‘stuff’.  He said the latest ‘cuts’ had just kicked in—and more were coming.  This guy looks like he could play for the Lakers or the Clippers –I’ll bet he wishes he did!

Pondering:

How can we start building a ‘super train’ no one will ride between Fresno and Bakersfield before we even own the needed land [or have the $ to buy it], but we can take 30 days to process a Probate closing that used to take 3 days?  

BEEN THERE/COMING AGAIN

Two hundred eleven (211) Hollywood ‘stars’ have just been sent to “rehab”!!  No, I did not just ‘scoop’ TMZ.  I am referring to the ‘gold’ stars planted in the Hollywood Boulevard sidewalks, not the ‘humans’.  This ‘nip and tuck’ of the famous Walk began in September and will continue for the next 3 years –to the tune of $44 million!  As Governor Arnold used to say: “…I’ll be back!!!”

Two hundred eleven (211) Hollywood ‘stars’ have just been sent to “rehab”!!

Two hundred eleven (211) Hollywood ‘stars’ have just been sent to “rehab”!!

Stolen Lotus Blossoms Repatriated/Thief Thanked.

Recently, the annual Lotus Blossom Festival at Echo Park has had to be cancelled—no lotus blossoms!  For years, the quantity and quality of the lotus blossoms declined as the ‘stank’ and pollution of Echo Lake increased.  Finally, there were no blossoms to be ‘festive’ over and the event ‘disappeared’.  It was sad.  It was sooo sad….

A project was launched to re-do and ‘purify’ the Echo Park lake

A project was launched to re-do and ‘purify’ the Echo Park lake

Then, a project was launched to re-do and ‘purify’ the lake.  Too late—the lotus plants had died a cruel death in the stagnant waters.  The lamented loss was remedied when a ‘sheepish’ citizen came to the rescue.  It seems that our hero had ‘borrowed’ some of the grand plants when they were still thriving and had propagated more in his own clean pond.  Our thief was prepared to share his ‘bounty’ in exchange for amnesty!  The Lotus Blossom Festival at Echo Park should be on again soon!  No word, yet, on whether the lake will be re-named.

The lamented loss was remedied when a ‘sheepish’ citizen came to the rescue.  It seems that our hero had ‘borrowed’ some of the grand plants when they were still thriving and had propagated more in his own clean pond

The lamented loss was remedied when a ‘sheepish’ citizen came to the rescue. It seems that our hero had ‘borrowed’ some of the grand plants when they were still thriving and had propagated more in his own clean pond

Echo Park Lake with lotuses and all is now better than ever.

Echo Park Lake with lotuses and all is now better than ever.

ICONIC/WHO CARES

The TMZ and other Star Tours busses always visit—or at least talk about, the Capitol Records Building in Hollywood as they ply their fantasies about ‘tinsel town’.  Tourists from around the world include it as a ‘must see’ sight even if they have never seen a stack of phonograph records that the Building is supposed to resemble!!

The Capitol Records Building in Hollywood

The Capitol Records Building in Hollywood

Looking to boost its sagging circulation through controversy—real or imagined, the Los Angeles Times recently ran a piece highlighting the speculation surrounding, and the opposition to, two proposed towers that would “tower over” the iconic Capitol Records Building.  Rather than ruminating on the ‘appropriate’ height of the two, tall, circular buildings developers are proposing and architects are drawing, it seems the debate should focus on whether tourists will be attracted more to three ‘stacks of records’ than one when most do not know what a “record” is, was, or could be used for in today’s technology!   What is Chinese for “…why are we paying good US$s to look at 3 round buildings?”

WHO CARES/ICONIC

On to more ‘important stuff’!  Rumor has it that:

Going down the street in Brentwood, Harrison Ford was stopped for using his cell phone in his classic Jaguar.  Despite claiming he was on speakerphone, it did not set well with the officer.   

for_d

I CARE/CAREFUL

Crows (not Russell or a rock group) have come and they not going—well, perhaps I should clarify:

I know that there is an Alfred Hitchcock movie festival in town and that The Birds was one of his most notable films.  If you have seen that film—or even a promo, you already know that crows can be scary in the hands of a master film maker.  Let me tell you, they can scare the AH out of you in ‘real life’ too.

My quiet little neighborhood has been invaded.  It has been taken over by a loud, ‘swacking’, rowdy invasion of crows (Corvus brachyrhynchos).  These birds are huge; they are loud; they are scary; and they are destructive.  Do we have to live the Hitchcock nightmare on a daily basis when the film is in re-runs???

My quiet little neighborhood has been invaded.  It has been taken over by a loud, ‘swacking’, rowdy invasion of crows (Corvus brachyrhynchos).

My quiet little neighborhood has been invaded. It has been taken over by a loud, ‘swacking’, rowdy invasion of crows (Corvus brachyrhynchos).

Seriously, LA, not only do they destroy the lawns we try so hard to keep looking nice, they “decorate” our cars, lawn furniture, and other indiscriminate targets with their output/offerings.

Two crows were fighting on my roof yesterday.  Hearing the ruckus, I went to investigate and was almost crashed into during their scrimmage.  The crows have gotten so big (like haukkas), I am afraid they are going to swoop down and carry off Sohvi-Koira!

While not quite as big, the crows have become like the coyotes who are not scared of humans –mere ‘shooing’ them away does no good.  Both are omnivorous scavenger pirates.  The crows have become the bullies of the bird world here lately.  Apparently they have become prolific all around LA and are here to stay.

I read recently that pesky birds (seagulls, in that case) are causing similar problems in Helsinki Harbor marketplace. We empathize.

Splat, splat be sure you wear a hat!!!

YOU CARE/CONSIDER CAREFULLY

Tuliaiset: Souvenirs and Hostess Gifts

If you are going to Finland for a visit, you may be thinking of what special things to bring along.

The tuliainen is brought to your Finnish host and presented upon arrival.  It is usually a thoughtful souvenir or ‘pre-thanks’ hostess gift for someone you are visiting –especially if you will be staying in their home.  It is always nice to bring a little touch of the USA, California, and/or LA with you.

Some like to bring a touch of Finland back home for “someone” –often ourselves when Finnish chocolate is involved!

In the US, wine or a floral arrangement is nice to bring for a dinner party.

In the US, wine or a floral arrangement is nice to bring for a dinner party.

In the US, wine or a floral arrangement is nice to bring for a dinner party.  Here, a hostess gift can be presented upon arrival or sent after a stay at someone’s home.  A handwritten note provides a nice personal touch.  [Linens, stationery, a book, or an interesting household item are also appropriate.]

Gone are the days when an Angeleno going to Finland could be a ‘hero’ by bringing a nice bottle of California wine to a Finnish host/aficionado.  The new weight and liquid restrictions make the wine next to impossible.

[NTF:  You can get ideas from your Finnish friends who visit here from what they purchase to take back home.  Recent ‘discoveries’: Victoria’s Secret items are huge, even for the teen set; Apple computer products, especially new releases; cedar wood ‘moth’ balls for closets; and corned beef are among a few of the things I have seen packed for the homeland by Finns.  Of course, any official NHL game jersey with a Finnish star’s name on the back is pure gold!  When in doubt, ask.  As you know, there are some things Finns do not tell you unless asked!]

Whenever I am planning a trip to Finland, I try to remind myself that the best thing anyone can bring is your joy, love, and appreciation –it does not hurt to carry-on the makings of a California celebration for your friends, as well.

Even before I leave, I start to think about what I can bring home –I plan for suitcase space accordingly.  We all have our favorite Finnish things that best remind us of our stay: the tastes, the fashions, the art and design for the home, the little ‘reminder-things’ that will keep the memories of experiences alive as long as possible, or that make it easier for you to share with those back home.

‘Tis a shame, but that six pack of Lapin Kulta is better enjoyed while in Finland.  Liquids will be hard to transport even if there is a legal way.  I cannot help but think of my American friend Mona who is a converted conscientious cloudberry fan.  I always brought her a bottle of Cloudberry Liqueur –she now gets a Lumene Cloudberry Face Cream purchased in the US.  [Don’t tell her please –this will be our little secret.]

Lumene Cloudberry Face Cream

Lumene Cloudberry Face Cream

Things in my ‘coming home’ bag, always: smoking bags (available in any Finnish supermarket), tubes of mustard, Fazer chocolate bars, licorice (best purchased freshly-made from a farmers market), Oululainen’s hapankorppu, tubes of cardamom seeds, and anything not ‘sniffable’ by the NSA beagles […remind me to tell you about the accidentally hidden makkara one day].

Whether you are GOING, COMING, or just HANGING –HAVE A HAPPY SUMMER!!

Or as Arnold ‘Governator’ would say:

“Hasta LA Vista, Baabee!!”

 

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