Friday, November 2, 2012

a common dessert.

greg and i both went to bed feeling like we were getting colds.  he woke up feeling great.  i woke up with a cold.  at times i am that person in the cold commercials-- looking pitiful, sneezing uncontrollably.  in the afternoon i sat on the couch with a blanket getting my requisite number of words out.  i did it, though today it felt much more like a homework assignment than it did yesterday.  which has me wondering, if i feel like this on day two, am i going to make it past day three?  well, i will be a better judge of that tomorrow.

this morning our class took a field trip, to munksøgård, our dream place to live in these parts.  my teacher lived there for 10 years or so, one of the original members, and the other day, as i was riding to school, we were stopped at the same light.  we ended up talking about it as we rode to class and she suggested the whole class take a field trip to see it.  she also said she would keep an ear out for any openings for us.  greg and i ran into her in the grocery store on wednesday and she said something to the effect that it was obvious we should live there (this was, fortunately, prior to us loading up our basket with a bunch of candy).  if only the waiting list were not miles long (though in denmark, it is often said, it is more about who you know).

the inside of one of the group's common houses... built by the members...



the insulation...


small guest room... "in case your mother comes to town" our teacher told us.


the industrial kitchen...

this, the owner's group (there is also a "young" people's group, a senior group, a renter's group, and a family group), share common dinners three times a week.  a few households are responsible for cooking the meal and doing the clean-up afterwards for about 65 people, which amounts to about a once per month commitment.


outside of the common house...

close-up...

and the roof...


the owner's group units...

i love the little porches...



they are adding more solar panels to the roofs...



after, we went to my teacher's new place, where we had coffee and tea and rolls with butter, peanut butter (!), jam, and honey.

and tonight, our american neighbors, two doors down (did you know we had american neighbors two doors down?) threw a halloween party for their son and his classmates (about twenty-five 9 year olds). we got a note in the mail (in danish) with a balloon attached to it, sent out to all the neighbors, telling them about this party and asking them if they would like to participate in handing out candy to the kids who were planning on trick-or-treating.  if you were in, you'd put the balloon on your mailbox. a good  tactic, i thought.  but we'd been telling william that kids in denmark don't trick-or-treat-- which is true, for the most part, though we did get about two middle-schoolers at our door on halloween night.  so, we went over to their house and introduced ourselves for the first time and asked if william could tag along, which of course was alright with them.  so tonight at eight o'clock, he was back in his ninja outfit, trick-or-treating.  for real this time.  and the danish candy he brought back was pretty cute.


do you see the egg, over-easy?  and all of the black licorice?  can you guess which household handed out the snickers bars?  william was very sweet, sharing his candy with greg and i, but told me, 'mama, you're sick, you shouldn't giving your body so much sugar.  i'm going to get you some good-buggie milk.' he went into the kitchen, but we were out of "good-buggie milk" which is like a fermented milk i haven't ever seen in the u.s., so greg helped him get me a vitamin instead.

i was the one who stayed back passing out candy to the kids.  you could feel that they were as excited about trick-or-treating as their counterparts back in the u.s. which just goes to show that halloween is really a kid's holiday.  if it is going to make it in denmark, it is going to be because the kids love it so much.  that they remember the excitement of going door-to-door accumulating as much candy as possible.  as a parent, i am sort of horrified that this practice ever got off the ground-- what were those first parents thinking?  we tried to keep trick-or-treating from william as long as possible-- which is basically only possible for years one and two, and have now given into it.  not because we like it, but because we remember liking it.

later, our party hosting neighbors brought us over some treats from the party.  witch's fingers and cake and some kind of traditional danish dessert...




it's good to have neighbors, who share a common dessert.  


6 comments:

nina said...

I wish, with all my heart that you would get to live at munksøgård (I had to copy and paste that one!). What an incredible place... (Ed was a co-op guy for years and years before he went solo. But this seems like something altogether different. And wonderful.) My wishes wont get you to your goal, but still, I'm hoping for you.

Even as it seems you're making good friends left and right. Which is fantastic.

Sorry about your cold.

And however much I love your writing project, don't let it kill your love of writing.

Enough of my comments. (I restrain myself as it is.) Feel better!

Judy said...

Yippee - so glad to read that you met the Kellys. Emily makes awesome desserts - thanks for the pictures.

greg|regan said...

Hi Nina,

Thank you. It can't hurt! In the U.S. we would call it co-housing, which is different from a co-op, but I don't know much about co-ops, so I can't say for sure just how different. There are a few co-housing developments in Madison. We were in one, on the Northside, at Troy Gardens. There is also Arbco, in the Arboretum, and one more, but I can't remember where or the name. Anyway, they were apparently started in Denmark! And there are many here, but they all have long waiting lists. When we were at Munksøgård, my Polish classmate said this kind of living situation was very common in Poland-- living so close to neighbors, sharing meals, and that it was all very normal there-- commonplace. "Nothing special," she said.
The writing project-- at the very least, I don't think it will do any harm to my daily blogging. I might decide that I shouldn't write novels though. We'll see. Today was better!

Judy-- yes, we met them! Finally! And yes, the desserts were delicious! I remember now (if I'm remembering correctly) you said you thought she was in cooking school. Hopefully we'll get to try more in the future!

nina said...

Polish people are more communal by virtue of history and disposition. American rugged individualism would strike them as ... quaint and rather odd. I don't think they are the only nation in Europe that has that mindset. Did you read (a couple of weeks back) the article about longevity on a Greek island? Telling.

We all have the impulse to help one another, but there are some places where it is a given and other places where it's done more by writing a check.

I didn't know you were part of Troy Gardens. You are unique. No wonder you were so open to living abroad with your boys.

greg|regan said...

I didn't read (or see) the article. I will have to look for it.

kat said...

wow that is a beautiful common house. and units, too. i love that function and beauty can co-mingle. does the government fund co-housing there? is it a private venture? what would be an analogous source of funding here at troy?

hope you're feeling better.

and can you share your novel's plot line, in a nutshell?