Back from the fatherland.
Highlights: a week in a cottage on Lake Michigan (which, along with the other four great lakes, is more or less an inland freshwater sea with waves and everything, for those who don't know) with no fights, a great deck hovering on the bluff above the lake, and lots of red meat; the mind-boggling excess of the Meijer - a combination grocery and cheap department store - that is situated somewhere outside North Muskegon, Michigan; making incessant fart and other jokes with my 12-year-old nephew, who is a total goofball and never shuts up, reminding me curiously of, well, me, when I was a kid; dinner under the trees with the cat doctor at a French-bistro-type place in the old Swedish neighborhood of Chicago; dim sum at Phoenix with half the family, my sister-in-law making sure we get only the good stuff and stay away from the chicken feet.
Mostly, though, the visit was about the very low-key feting of my parents, which was the reason we were there in the first place.
As always, it's a revelation to go to America, and a revelation to come back.
The Swedish phrase for the day is hemma bäst. It means home is best.