Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Swedish Festival

This saturday is the annual Swedish Festival in Kingsburg, CA. Attending this festival has been a tradition with Steve and his mom for a long time. Kingsburg is a swedish farming town est. in 1870 and his dear late grandma started her life there and it ended it there. His mom and him would go for a few weeks during the summer to visit and some of his favorite childhood memories were spent there. He would go fishing in the river, drive tractors around the farm, pick plums, sort plums, box plums & eat plums. In fact, to this day, Steve can't eat another plum! As nostalgic as it is for him to go to Kingsburg, the festival is just not as exciting for him as it used to be when he was a little boy. I guess knitted & crocheted sweaters and bottled jams just aren't this thing!!! HOWEVER, the tradition has been passed on to me, and I'm honored by it & LOVE it! His mom & I leave at 5:30am - it's about a 4 1/2 hr drive. The Dalla Horse Restaurant serves a traditional Swedish breakfast with Swedish pancakes, lingonberries & strong coffee and we arrive just in time for it. They have so many fun boutiques, antique stores, garden sales, book sales and kettle corn that is a must. In one of the antique stores, I found an old yellow "Tunka Truck" like the kind Steve used to play with as a little boy, so I bought for our kids on day! Isabelle, our 2yr old neighbor who loves cars, has already gotten some use out of it!
His mom and my favorite store is Da Stuga, which has gifts and home decor in it. In fact, last year we went in the store right before the parade started and came out after it had finished. The parade lasts long over an hour and we had all the intention in the world to see it, however, Da Stuga is a place where time stands still!

SIDE NOTE: While we were on the road trip with my folks over Christmas, we stopped in Kingsburg & went to Da Stuga. My mom surprised me by purchasing this wooden green duck that I had fallen in love with. It was a group effort it hiding it from me - both Steve and my dad cornered me in the store while my mom hid it in her jacket at the register, trying hard to NOT look like she was a shoplifting foreigner. Anytime I started walking toward her, they would "usher" me into the opposite direction! Well, their effort was sucessful and I ended up being VERY surprised at Christmas when I opened up my gift! Veronica, the duck, sits proudly in our kitchen and is a fond reminder of our fun-filled road trip!

During the morning, they have a parade with all the who's who of Kingsburg, school bands, a basset hound parade (just adorable), and then my favorite...all the "older" couples that have been married longer than Steve and I together have been alive! They drive around in cars the same age as their marriage and I tear up everytime I see their sweet seasoned faces. So many folk are dressed in traditional Swedish dress, and they even have the raising of the Maypole. We just have the best time and come back home in stitches from all the laughing and giggling fits. In this day & age, its so refreshing going there & just getting away from the craziness of our lives, seeing the simple joys of life and just taking in a deep countryside breath of fresh air!