In the Slow Lane

Back from the Baltic

Back from the Baltic, jet-lagged, dopier than usual, and very happy.  These places I never dreamed of visiting.  Not on my bucket list, but I'm the lucky one.   A friend calls, "Do you want to cruise the Baltic?"  Having sworn off snap decisions, "Let me think about it," says I.  Two minutes later I'm in.  So much for personal reform.


Time marches on; I pack for cool weather.  Guess what?  Global warming rears it's "imaginary" head and it's Kentucky-hot in Copenhagen, Tallin, and St. Petersburg.  No  Eurpopeans whine, though.  Summer's a treasure in the Baltic, short and sweet with long "white nights."  Who cares about the weather?  Rain, unless dumping by the bucketsful, is largely ignored, much like the US Northwest.


In St. Petersburg, our guide said,  "They told us you had to stand in line like us.  Showed us pictures.  But, we said, 'Look at those nice shoes and clothes.  Why would they have to stand in line?'" 


A German guide's mother was overwhelmed when the wall came down.  So many choices baffled her. 


An Estonian family, able to reclaim the family home built in the 15th century painstakingly restore it.  Money is scarce, but the wife, a gifted weaver, keeps renovation going with her craft.


I admire Baltic carpe diem coupled with keen awareness of the past, pride in preservation and restoration.  These folks seize the day, and know who they are.  We Americans, or at least this person in the slow lane, seem a little naked, history-wise.  I mean we have a short, chaotic history.  We're kinda high on ourselves, but have we really stood the test of time?


In the sum total of the universe, we Americans are like gangly adolescents.  Can't be helped that we're young.  Much promise in the future, if we calm down and get our hormones under control. 







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