The two women you see in the picture above, are me and my oldest friend Annie. We met on our way to kindergarden when we were just five years old and here we are almost fifty years later, (I said almost) and still friends. Whats most surprising about the longevity of our friendship is the miles between us. Annie lives in America and me here in Norway. When I left America over twenty years ago, there was no facebook, twitter or even e-mail! Telephone calls were outrageously expensive and who had time to write letters?
The one condition I gave my husband when we decided to settle down and make Norway our permanent home, was one trip to America each year! Every summer we’d pack up the kiddies and head stateside. We’d stay with my parents and I’d hang out with my three childhood BFF’s Annie, Donna and Ellen. All three of them flew to the Netherlands for my book launch, and Annie flew back to Norway with me afterwards. The picture was taken from my terrace while she was here.
Before leaving to go back home Annie informed me that mine was the second signed memoir she owned. The first was My Life, Bill Clinton’s 2004 autobiography, which sold more than 2,250,000 copies. It’s believed that Clinton was paid 15 million dollars and the book has over one thousand pages! He has also stated that he wrote his whole first draft by hand, filling twenty-two thick notebooks.
The time came for my friend to leave and as I watched her make her way through airport security, I began to miss her already. Why is it always harder to watch people go than to leave yourself?
With an ocean again separating us, it was business as usual on facebook, and on the other side of the world there are now two memoirs standing next to each other on a bookshelf. One written by a former president and the other by an American expatriate.
Here’s hoping some of the luck rubs off.
In the midst of getting my book launched two very special things happened; I was nominated for a Versatile Blogger Award and an ABC Award! (My mom always said good things come in three.) I literally jumped for joy. You see, I’ve struggled to get my blog up and running and have made a few embarrassing mistake along the way… Thats why no one could have been more surprised or delighted by these awards than I.
I accepted the Versatile Blogger Award in my last post, so now its on to the ABC (Awesome Blog Contest) Award. I received this award from Ms. Katykins at Beforiforget. Even though we’ve never met (only through our blogs) I feel as if Kate is a true friend. Her blog is without a doubt my favorite, she writes and shares everything and anything, do check it out! Thank you Kate
The award asks recipients to name 26 alphabetical things about themselves and then nominate other bloggers…
A = Alive and well and living in Norway.
B = Blond hair and blue eyes.
C = Cake, I love it.
D = Divorced and remarried.
E = Eager to please.
F = Fussy, about certain things.
G = Grandmother to four and one on the way.
H = Harry is my husband.
I = Invisible at times.
J = Jane Austin, my favorite.
K = Kind to all.
L = Lucky in many ways.
M = Mother to six.
N = Nag, yes its true if I want something I can be a real nag.
O = Overwhelmed, lately.
P = Pessimistic, I see the glass half empty.
Q = Quality over quantity, is what I believe.
R = Realist, is that another word for pessimist?
S = Scrapoholic. I love to scrapbook.
T = Tea, I drink countless cups a day.
U = Unsure of myself.
V = Vacuum, I do it a lot.
W = Worker!
X = Xmas, my favorite holiday.
Y = Yawn, sorry its getting late.
Z = Zucchini, I throw it in everything.
Since I live in Norway, I think I should do the three extra letters in the Norwegian alphabet as well.
Æ = Ærlig, it means honest.
Ø = Øl, it means beer. Make mine cold.
Å = Åpenhet, it means openness. You can’t get any more open or honest than writing a memoir.
Now for the blogs I nominate…
Its All About Purple – reading this blog is like taking a five minute coffee break (tea break for me) its always short, sweet and colorful.
Rendezvous With Renee - This blog makes me laugh out loud and lets face it, we all need to do that.
One More Morning - I love poetry but can’t write it myself, thats why I come here. Lily’s beautiful poetry always pulls on my heart strings.
Expat Alien – She’s lived everywhere… Here is where I go to meet the world.
I Was An Expat Wife – I have a connection with this blog, because I too was an expat wife. (Who has now come home).
Wordgeyser - This is a special blog written by a special lady, who has kindly answered all my desperate messages asking which widgets I need for what.
Imagine my surprise when on a dreary day in March 2005, my Norwegian husband came home from work and made this announcement:
“There was a meeting at work today, and I was asked to work in Houston for the next two years!”
After living fifteen years in Norway, this Jersey girl was finally going home. Well, not exactly…
In a blur of packing and unpacking we made our way to the lone-star state, where we lived for the next two years in an elegant home on a quite cul-de-sac.
It was at my sons bus stop where I met the other ladies of the cul-de-sac. Congregating at eight o’clock in the morning, dressed in work-out-attire, clutching mugs of steaming hot coffee and squeezing any scrap of fresh gossip they could from one another. (Note to self…bring a cup of tea to the bus stop with me tomorrow) I felt exactly as if were on Wisteria Lane.
I showed up, introduced myself and we quickly fell into a one sided question and answer session. They already knew we were from Norway because they knew someone, who knew someone, who knew our landlord. Long after the bus had driven off with our children one of them remarked on how good I spoke English, for being Norwegian. I set the record straight, letting them know I came from New Jersey! Which in turn opened a conversation on how I met my husband and ended up living in Norway.
Long story short, I don’t think any of them made it to yoga that morning and by the time I finished telling my story one of them said, “I think I smell a book.”
Well, she must have had a very good nose because here I am seven years later, on my way to The Hague, for my book launch on Friday!