I realize that this is probably going to cost me some of my hard-earned "Swede cred", but I'm really tired of snow and the frigid temperatures that have kept it hanging around for weeks on end.
I'm sure this sounds odd to folks living elsewhere, but this part of Scandinavia is known for significantly milder winters. Light snowfall is common, but accumulation is not because it's rarely cold enough to keep it from melting within a day or two. NOT THIS WINTER! The first big blanket of white fell just after we left for the US for Christmas and it's been stacking up ever since, often wreaking havoc on the public transportation system.
Initially I was kind of excited about it since deep and lingering snow is so unusual, but the novelty has definitely worn off in the last few weeks. The only good thing I can say about it now is that it's making Dr. Darling feel a little less sad over her company closing up shop in January. Delivering mail by bike in these conditions would NOT be fun.
Even walking is hazardous these days because the stuff that's been on the ground the longest has been stomped into a hard pack that behaves more like ice under your feet than snow (my pal Miss Zilch calls it "snice"). And the municipalities try to combat the slippery-ness (is that even a word?) by spreading a mixture of coarse brown sand and gravel over it, which then gets tracked inside with the snow.
This means there's been a jumble of grimey boots and puddles of melted snow and grit in the entryway of The Penthouse Nordic for over a month now, and I'm tired of that more than anything else (though notably, not enough to do anything about it.) I kept hoping that I would come home from work one day to find the winter shoes organized and the floor swept and mopped, but evidently the mess didn't bother my PhD housewife nearly as much as it bothered me.
That is, until today. We had to be at the hospital for my scary bi-annual check-up with the oncologist this morning, so I worked from home this afternoon. During lunch I'd called DHL to arrange a pick-up for some documents that need to be in London by Monday. The dispatcher said the driver would be by sometime between 4 and 5 p.m, and when I passed this info along to Dr. Darling around mid-afternoon, she dropped what she was doing to tidy up the entryway.
Shazz: What's the deal? I've been annoyed by that mess for weeks now and you're cleaning it up for the DHL driver?
Dr. Darling: It's embarrassing. It looks like a couple of teenagers live here instead of two grown women.
Shazz: That may be true, but the DHL driver doesn't know us and certainly isn't going to care.
Dr. Darling: Well, he's sort of a colleague.
Shazz: I see. So you're sweeping and mopping the entryway to our apartment as a professional courtesy.
Dr. Darling: Something like that.
So now I'm dreaming up documents to ship internationally from The Penthouse Nordic on a weekly basis…or at least until the friggin' snow melts.