One little four-letter word pretty much sums up something very special going on in Sweden. Fika. I have gone by myself, with Wes, and with others. Konditori is the place: sweets, breads and hot beverages are the choices.
(Shown here at the Weiner Konditori in Jönköping: Krista and Julie Bladel, Jan Bjorkman)
(Shown here: my solitary fika at the Varmland Museum in Karlstad with my beloved chocolate ball.
It is a crime that I do not drink coffee in this land of coffee-drinkers.)
Of course these fika breaks also occur in places other than the konditori. My very favorite fantastic
festive fabulous fika (try saying that five times fast) was at the home of our young Swedish friends
Simon and Sofia. (Our son, John, met Simon in Sweden at SVF in 2005, then Simon spent the next semester back at North Park in 2006. He and Rasmus whipped up authentic Swedish pancakes in our home kitchen and spent Easter with us.) Simon is now married to Sofia and they are renovating an old home to their standards, working so very hard on this project! This fika was perfection: home-made chocolate pudding topped with cream and blackberries, home-made cake by Simon's grandmother, cookies, coffee and tea.
But, the beauty of fika is that it allows you time to sit down and share conversation, ideas, plans,
journeys, dreams, updates, memories and just "being." This memory, dear Simon and Sofia, will linger long after we return to our home as we remember you in your home.