Summer 2002 Photo Album, Week 1

These photos were captured using the Sony Mavica MVC-FD91 Digital Camera or the Aptek Mega Cam. All images are © TomSettle.Communications.

Saturday June 15 2002
My first trip to Finland since September 11. Today was a nice sunny day. Arrived on time but my luggage decided to spend some time in Frankfurt.

Harri (my cousin) and Liisa (my mom) met me at the airport and we visited Raija and Ville’s (Liisa’s cousin and her husband) house for lunch. Antti (my second cousin) and his family were there too. After lunch, we drove back to the airport. One of my bags was there, the other was MIA…the airport rep said they would deliver it to me when it arrived.

Harri then drove Liisa and I to our family’s cottage in Alapihlaja. Visited with Meeri and Teuvo (my aunt and uncle). Went to sauna. Talked with Harri about taking a cruise to Sweden in early July.

Sunday June 16 2002
Still adjusting to the 7-hour time difference. I woke up in the middle of the night, but wound up sleeping until about 10:30AM. Walked to the beach and moved Liisa’s rowboat. Burned some branches. We visited our neighbor Leena and she came over to our cottage to play Rack-O. Talked on the phone with Antti and Harri.

Monday June 17 2002
Worked on sanding the front porch of our cottage…Liisa will be re-staining it. Talked with Harri and confirmed our trip to Sweden…my cousin Tytti will be coming too. We’ll be accompanying their mom Meeri who’s going to visit her sister.

Saw Meeri and Teuvo three times today, Leena once. Meeri gave me an old picture of Teuvo and I (circa 1966) and lent me some Aku Ankka (Donald Duck) comic books so I can learn to read Finnish. Yeah, that’s about my speed, LOL! They make great reading material in the outhouse, BTW.

Went swimming in the afternoon. My other suitcase arrived via bus. They actually wanted me to pick it up in Hamina or Virojoki, but we have no car to get there! In the end, we walked to the local bus stop (about 1km) and picked up the suitcase. It was another sunny day, but we did have a short rain in the evening.

Tuesday June 18 2002
Finished sanding the porch and reading some mystery novel. Unpacked and arranged my stuff. Liisa washed clothes and started staining the porch.

I walked over to Meeri and Teuvo’s house to say hello and return Teuvo’s sander. We were invited to Leena’s (seen here with Liisa) for coffee and cards.

Also snapped some pictures of my aunt Terttu’s cottage, Teuvo’s cat Iines, Leena’s grill house and some of Leena’s beautiful flowers.

Wednesday June 19 2002
Went to Hamina with Liisa and Leena. I was planning to go to Harri’s today, but they were busy and I couldn’t get a ride.

Raked some seagrass from the water near our cottage…a futile attempt to create a swimming area closer to us! Took a nice long afternoon nap. Went to Teuvo’s in the evening to check my email and watch some old Finnish TV programs.

Thursday June 20 2002
Harri’s wife Mirja and their sons Mikko and Timo picked me up in the afternoon, then we drove to their home in Lappeenranta. We went shopping, had dinner and drove to their cottage in Lappeenranta in the evening. Mikko and Timo’s friend Ville joined us.

Got there around 10PM and took some pictures of the gorgeous sunset on the lake: Sunset #1, Sunset #2, and Sunset #3.

We cooked up some makkara (sausage) and eggs…Mirja and I stayed up talking until the wee hours of the morning. What a beautiful summer night in Finland!

Friday June 21 2002
Today was Midsummer (Juhannus) Eve, Finland’s favorite summer holiday. Antti showed up at Harri’s cottage around noon and woke us up…yeah I really slept in today! Antti picked me up to take me to his in-laws’ summer house near Puumala. We stopped for groceries in Lappeenranta.

It was a very rainy and windy day, but we still wound up building the traditional midsummer bonfire (kokko)…Antti and his nephews pictured here. It burned surprisingly well, given the weather conditions.

There were nine of us here, including Antti’s wife and daughters, his in laws, nephews and me. We went to sauna (got as hot as 120 degrees Celsius, 248 Fahrenheit) and swimming (14 degrees Celsius, 57 Fahrenheit). Now that’s a proper Finnish sauna!

Continue to Week #2