Signs of spring in Minnesota

Spring is just around the corner in Minnesota, so we have been able to enjoy some walks and bike trips in St. Paul and Minneapolis. If you haven’t tried the Nice Ride bikes yet, we recommend it. On Saturday, we rode from the Cathedral Hill area of St. Paul to St. Anthony Main in Minneapolis to have dinner on the patio at the Aster Cafe and attend an album release event for Rachel Kilgour, who performed with Sara Pajunen, Chris Koza, and Liz Draper. So convenient to get bikes from the station near our home and then return them to the station near St. Anthony Main. No worries and no fuss, plus little expense and good exercise!

I hope the sun and warmth of spring helps to get me going on my cardiac rehab program again, after a bit of a plateau after Christmas. Here is one of my favorite spring poems by the Nobel-prize winning Norwegian author Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson. Below each line is my own, very literal translation, intended to convey some of the meaning of the poem but not its poetic rhythm and beauty.

Jeg velger meg april!
I choose April

Jeg velger meg april
I choose April
I den det gamle faller,
In it the old falls,
i den det ny får feste;
in it the new gains a foothold;
det volder litt rabalder,-
it causes a bit of a ruckus,-
dog fred er ei det beste,
yet peace is not the best,
men at man noe vil.
but that one wills something.

Jeg velger meg april,
I choose April,
fordi den stormer, feier,
because it storms, sweeps,
fordi den smiler, smelter,
because it smiles, melts,
fordi den evner eier,
because it has abilities,
fordi den krefter velter,-
because it overturns powers,-
i den blir somren til!
in it summer is created!

– Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson

Sett i gang 2 is available on Amazon!

What a difference a few months can make! On the morning of August 5, I had just updated my author biography for the upcoming release of the second edition of Sett i gang 1, the first book in our introductory Norwegian curriculum. Suffering from the effects of a bad cold, I was working from the couch with my Mac laptop, covered up with a blanket on a warm summer day. I felt a little bit funny and could smell something burning. Of course, I googled something like “what does it mean when you smell burnt toast,” but that is the last thing I remember before my cardiac arrest.

Anyway, not to revisit that whole thing again, but I didn’t really get to enjoy that book release as I normally would. That’s why it feels especially good today, exactly five months later, to finish the second edition of Sett i gang 2, the second book in our introductory Norwegian curriculum.

sig2-book
It was really good for me to get back to work on the Sett i gang project once I was home from the hospital and starting to feel better. In fact, it was a type of cognitive rehab for me to accompany my physical cardiac rehab program. In the beginning, I tired easily, but after a few weeks I was able to work more normally again. My co-author Kari has been very patient as I worked my way from being a patient to a full-fledged colleague again. We were also very fortunate to have two incredible graphic designers working with us – Laura for the first three chapters and Erika for the rest. We appreciate their talent and dedication to the project.

And just in case you are interested in learning some Norwegian, here are the links to Amazon where the books can be purchased: