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Solstice Tuesday Style. . .


Well, ok.  Maybe not quite Minnesota cold, but markedly colder here in Mid-Michigan the last couple of days with, possibly, a significant snowfall in the next few days.  We will see what actually transpires.

Besides the usual items (corduroy jeans and Rugby pullover), today's attire includes a very heavy wool duffel coat that I've had for quite a few years, and a long woolen cap, purchased in Røros, Norway way back during February 2000.  It comes out at this time of year, and I embarrassed my son by wearing to it to take him to Tae Kwon Do classes this morning -- Like us, he is home on Christmas Break now. --  plus a few additional errands once we finished there.

Røros is inland, close to the Swedish border, and I visited with a few friends for the annual winter festival, held each year in February.  A snowy, scenic, and historically interesting town,, but NEVER have I been as cold as I was on that day.  I purchased the three-foot long stocking cap as an added layer to have atop my head, over my ears, and wrapped around my neck.

When worn with a Norwegian sweater, the stocking cap makes one look like Julenissen or Tomten, the Norwegian and Swedish elf-like figures that live in the barn, bring good fortune to the farm, and deliver gifts to children on Christmas Eve.  To keep your nisse or tomte happy, it is imperative to leave a bowl of porridge in the barn for him, so that good fortune continues in the coming year.  

If I can convince my wife to stop laughing long enough to take a few photographs, I might just share a picture here that illustrates what one of these Scandinavian figures looks like.

-- Heinz-Ulrich


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