Chapter 20 – A Little Place in Finland

This blog is a book. Maybe better read from the beginning? 🙂

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There is a little place in Finland – so unpretentious – that invites you to come and relax for a few days. Its calming breeze seems to whisper, “You are your truest self with me, so drop your guard, inhale and exhale, and notice your contentment”.

It’s a place where nature envelops you with tranquility and its little birds tweet in the morning.

Other than that, all you can hear are the sounds of silence. And your own steps in the snow.

To get there, you must drive for a pretty long time in the countryside, before taking a left turn onto a dirt road in the forest.

A beautiful forest. Hilly – majestic in its simplicity.

It’s no touristic site, nor does it aspire any fame. It is just whole and happy to be what it is.

Precious. Priceless.

Ten kilometers down the dirt road, after various curves of peaceful expectation, you come to a little farm where the dogs start barking to announce your arrival, a few horses neigh behind a white wooden fence, and the lady in her late sixties who owns the place comes out to greet you with a warm smile and animated chatter. Her husband is a friendly man, too, though he talks much, much less.

 

They’ll lead the way, ten minutes further down to their lake and the little cottage you’ve rented to spend a few days. There, you can enjoy total privacy and solitude. Naps, the fireplace, healthy meals (and some Fazer chocolate, of course).

Anna loves jogging and walking around the lake. And all the hard work of carrying logs from the woodshed to the cottage.

The property has electricity, but no running water, which makes the whole experience even more special, as the water to do the dishes has to be fetched from the lake.

Once a day, you sit in the sauna and let it revive your whole being – body and soul – as you look out the sauna window at the amazing views with pine and birch trees, before a skinny dip in the hole in the ice.

Avanto, in Finnish.

For her, the place is loaded – but only with good memories and emotions. The first two times, she came here to celebrate a very white Christmas with Mr. Ex, their little kids and dear friends.

Santa Claus showed up too, making his way slowly to the cottage in the unblemished snow. Four-year-old Kristiina was so excited to meet Santa in person, but then she recognized our friend, “It’s Rick, it’s Rick!” she giggled happily, while Baby Joey slept through the whole thing.

Anna will always be grateful to Rick for introducing her to this place.

In the next chapter, permit me to forward our story to February 2017, a little over a year after Anna’s divorce.

This is the first time Anna is here at the cottage alone.

All her stays have been special, but the best two were with CT2, aka Tinder Date #16, aka let’s wait and see.

Are you getting any curious? Well, if you’re patient…

…You might get a few glimpses into the warmest, most passionate parts of her sielu soon.

© 2017 rf

 

 

Obs. Next, flashforward to day 428 since moving out.

 

 

Chapter 15 – Tinder Date #6

This blog is a book. Maybe better read from the beginning? 🙂

 

Saturday, 23 January 2016.

 

Day 34

 

So, Luukas and I text. 

How can we have this much in common?

He’s a teacher too – physics; his father is also a retired pastor; he’s divorced with adult kids; loves volleyball and running (well OK, he runs marathons – I struggle to jog 5km). He’s lived in Oulu, Jyväskylä, Porvoo and Stockholm, and like me, lives in Helsinki now. And more. 

He convinces Anna to call her up immediately. She’s intrigued and a phone call would be a first. Why not?

Oh, no! He sounds soooooo formal. And laughs exactly like Santa Claus, Ho, Ho, Ho. Anna, you are so adorable! Ho, Ho, Ho.”

Still, he seems like a good person. Plus, he’s in very good shape, in his really blurry pic. So Anna decides to accept his invitation to have tea the next evening.

 

Oh, Thank you, thank you. Ho, Ho. Where?”

🎅

She’s slowly started to feel that, when unsure, why go all the way to the other side of the center. Let them come to me.

She doesn’t tell him her neighborhood, of course, but suggests a gaming restaurant on Tyynenmerenkatu.

 

 

Day 35

 

On Sunday, after a pleasant day with a little jogging, she’s not feeling too excited, but still, when a human being gives you their precious commodity of time, the least you can do is get nicely groomed for the date and look as cute as possible. It’s a matter of respect.

Self-respect, mainly.

 

And what if he ends up being Mr. One, huh? I don’t ever want to regret not showing up looking good.

Nothing over the top. Just the usual.

Shower. Hair, light make up. A casual outfit. A nice overcoat and a beautiful, fashionable scarf.

A sincere smile, self-confidence and eye-to-eye contact are anyone’s most important accessories.

 


 

Evening has come, and Luukas walks up to her on the dark street, blond, tall, handsome and… shy! Poor dear.

The restaurant is closed, so change of plans, and they go to the Little Big Café inside Verkkokauppa.

Anna can’t remember anymore all the things they talked about that day. She does remember, however, that he was intelligent, timid, and…

… kept on talking about all the wrong topics.

 

(a) His upcoming unemployment and no stress in looking for another job.

Oh, my. His hair looks so oily. Didn’t he wash it for the date?

(b) His illnesses. The pain and discomfort.

This keeps getting better.

Hey, we all have our conditions, but please! Win me over with your talents, your confidence and your charm, first. Show me what all your good qualities are.

Slowly. No hurry. A little mystery is good.

 

Hey you Mr. Wanted out there: win me over and then I won’t mind your brokenness. I have my share, too.

Skills, people, dating skills!

 

I’m here practicing mine. Hmm.

OK, then I can stay a little longer and do this in peace. I’m not wasting my time. Phew.

Oh, poor-fit-marathon, dear. Good attributes, but why are you wearing a cheap, old-looking, hoodie? The color doesn’t suit you. It’s too small and has a couple of holes in it. It looks like a teenager’s hand-me-down. From last decade!

 

Btw, there’s a youTube relationship coach with good advice out there. Matt Boggs. Please, check him out. Respectable stuff.

Some of us need it more than others…

It’s not about positivism, but working to become a better version of yourself. It will take work, but you yourself will benefit the most.

 


 

Saturday, 30 January 2016.

 

A week later, Anna goes to the Educa Messu, an education fair for teachers. Guess who she bumps into there?

Yes, him.

He gets all happy and excited to see her and grabs her hand, pulling her to see different stands.

Walking hand in hand, she panics on the inside and is shocked into passiveness. Wide-eyed.

Akward! Does he think we’re on a date?? What if my teacher colleagues spot us like this? Some don’t even know I’ve separated yet. They’ll think I’ve found myself a teacher lover.

Help!

She has the idea to get deeply mesmerized by some pedagogical books opposite them, and thus has to let go of his hands to flip its many, many pages. Genius.

He finds ways of grabbing her hand again, so she repeats the trick.

He doesn’t take her hand in his again and she feels better.

 

Anna has been fasting today and is feeling quite weak. The fair is over and Luukas invites her to have a hamburger at Sävel in Kallio. They’re on the tram and she’s feeling so weak that she just goes there with him.

Just being friendly. And ravenous!

Besides, she’s told him he’s nice, “But sorry, I realized I’m not ready for a relationship or dating yet.”

 

They have a chat about work while they dig into their burgers. He’s OK. And he gulps his beers.

 

Then, after eating he brings his chair that has been safely opposite hers to her side of the table. What?

He hugs her and starts kissing her cheeks.

At a burger restaurant?? People are watching!

She shows him with her body language that she’s not interested, but he kisses her ear and whispers, “I’m a very passionate man! Must be my half-Russian blood!”

“Sorry! Stop! I’m not ready.”

“Oh, Anna, you’re simply wonderful.”

“Thanks, but no. Not ready yet. Thank you for your company. I’m feeling tired, so I’ll have to go now.”

 

They bump into other once more, when Anna is with Kristiina at Stadium in Kamppi. Anna introduces the two, and the three of them chat for a minute.

“Mom, he’s so handsome and nice!”

“Yes, he is. But he’s not for me.”

I’ll really have to do that research on how to politely let a man know I’m not interested.

Urgently!

© 2017 rf

 

 

Obs. He is nice, but there’s just no chemistry.