Thursday, July 25, 2013


Learning how and when to say Bra! was part of our lesson. Of course, as Americans, we all got a big kick out of repeating the word because it brings something else to mind. But our Swedish cousin and lovely new friend, Ulla (pronounced Oola) was giving it her all. Bra in Swedish means “good.” Ulla stood with the Karaoke mike in one hand and her flash cards in the other all full of enthusiasm and eager to share words and phrases with us. Please don’t ask this old lady to remember them all although kör som fan, “run like hell,” stuck in my mind as I imagined a bear rearing up in the blueberry patch. Okay, I confess, I had to Google Translate this one partly because we don’t have those two little dots over any letters in our alphabet and partly because I remembered the English but not the Swedish words.

Perfect weather, canoeing, hiking, golf, howlers (the little tykes) and growlers (brown jugs of beer for the big ones), cavernous houses, and crummy hair (me) were the order of the day. I was in charge of the cooking and my menus were well received though not perfectly executed. The kitchen was awesome however lacking in equipment and my assigned sous chefs were at the ready for each meal. After all the food was on the table and devoured, I walked away. Cooking and not having to clean up has always been a dream of mine. Am I a simpleton or what?

Now imagine staggering, cup of coffee in hand, to the big kitchen picture window in the early hours of the morning and having to look at this:

Or the joy of baking four pies with blueberries as big as this:

Or sharing the Karaoke mike with a crew like this:

My sisters: Shari, Wendy, Stephanie, Liz, Pam and me. Fun!

After supper one evening several of us sat on the plush chairs and sofas in the hub house great room and asked Ulla if her experiences with Americans met her expectations. She didn’t answer right away but you could see the wheels turning. “I was surprised at how gentle Americans are,” she said. “Not arrogant like some other countries.” She puffed out her chest in a slightly bullying fashion as she said it. She also said it seemed like the people were satisfied with their lives here. She and her family visited Manhattan before they flew on to Oregon and even in the city she said, “The workers at McDonald’s seemed happy with their lives.”  It was so nice to hear!

I’m not one to blather on and on about a good time I’ve had to people who weren’t there and don’t care. But you’ve had wonderful times like this haven’t you? Times when you really, really wished everyone you know and love could be there having just as much fun, sharing the crazy stories of their lives, yukking it up at the antics of the kids, and chowing down because the food always tastes so much better when the good times are a rollin’. Yeah, I know you have.

For the 35 Americans and 4 Swedes who gathered at the Sunriver Resort in Sun River, Oregon last week it was bra times all around. Next time why don’t you come along? 

The Wennmans: David, Ulla, Amanda, Fredrika


  1. What a wonderful experience and now I can use the word in a new way.

    1. And that new way will be a hoot coming from you, Linda! Thanks for stopping by.

  2. Susan, we WERE there in reading this blog and we do CARE. Thanks for sharing it and loved the photos! Welcome home.

    1. Thanks, Cindy! I'm glad to be home and can't wait to go away again. LOL I know, I'm a nut. Hugs. XOXOX