By now I’ve heard from quite a few people who take time out of their mornings to read my little article. I have to thank them for the letters because they are very supportive and they make me really excited about writing the next article. There seems to even be a theme to every letter I get. The theme is: “Enjoy every second that you’re there. You’ll look back at this when you’re older, and you’ll recall so many great memories.”

I understand just what they mean, but the fact is, I’m enjoying every second now, every day. I won’t wait to look at the memories later. When something happens, no matter how small, I think of how much I’m going to smile when I think back at that moment. It’s because I live for details…

For example, I used to read on the bus in the mornings and afternoons, but I can’t do it anymore. I’ll look up from my book and out the window for a second and just get lost in what I see. In the fall, I couldn’t help but marvel at the grass that was still green (my mormor said that it was a special grass that lasts long into the fall).

Then winter came and, if I was able to go home early when it was light outside, I saw the fields that were hushed by that familiar blanket of white. Now, in the spring the grass lies very close to the ground and there are waves imprinted into the flattened grass where the snow once was.

I notice, while walking or running to catch my bus in the afternoons, that the ducks have gathered at the river that runs around the castle – and not just ducks – the benches are brought out from winter storage and the people passing by stop and sit. The people either just watch the city life from where they’re sitting in a small garden or they sit and talk to a friend.

I notice that the sand that was intended to melt snow a few months ago has been swept away – a sure sign of spring since that means that the people who take care of the gardens aren’t expecting any more snow.

It was amazing this afternoon as I ran to get to the bus stop on time, I couldn’t help but smile when I saw so many people sitting on the grass in the garden just talking and trying to shade their eyes from the sun. It’s spring and I now finally understand why Swedes love their springs and summers. After such harsh winters, they deserve it.

After the bus finally got to my stop this afternoon, I crossed the street and strolled slowly, jacket in hand, on the way to my house. I bent to touch the tar to see if it was cold. It wasn’t, and I slipped my shoes and socks off and walked barefoot all the way home. There were a lot of rocks but I’ve always had tough feet.

This immediately reminded me of the first time I went barefoot last year. I had just gotten off the bus, and I did the same thing. As I remember, the screen door to our house was shut, but the inside door was open to let fresh air in. I walked in to see my mom in the kitchen and I smiled broadly, telling her that I had just walked barefoot for the first time this year.

You see, I am enjoying myself this year, no matter what season. I think of everything I do with my friends as a memory. Whether it’s the laser tag I played with them so many times or the really long lunch line this afternoon – everything is on my mind and will stay there.

So, there is nothing to worry about when it comes to me enjoying every second of my year abroad. I’m so incredibly thankful to be here… in fact, I still think it’s crazy that I’m actually in Sweden this year. I mean, Sweden!

Like I said, I live for the small details in life – someone has to notice them.

Want to say hello?

[email protected]

Angelika Guy, Huginvägen 12, SE- 715 21

Odensbacken, Sweden, air mail

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