At the moment live in a small community here in Norway. To say that it is remote is an understatement. The road ends here. If you have come this far, you have come far. Here people have lived for generations, growing their potatoes, herding their cows and hunting for moose. They have watched the seasons change and the weather take it’s toll. Big events are events such as birthdays and 4H graduations. They cut wood for the fires that will get them through the winter. I think it sounds so romantic and simple. It feels safe and wholesome. People who make a living growing cucumbers must have good values. There is therapy in looking over potato fields ready for harvest, not to mention wheat and barley. Where I go running there are cabbage fields and carrots. My community is like a big vegetable soup.
Some days though, I feel a little claustrophobic. Like today.
All the people at the office where Partners rents a room had lunch together. And when we have lunch, the conversation will take us far. We explore new ideas. And usually the new ideas come with me. Like the day Steve and I brought an avocado. The poor avocado got passed around and smelled and touched by all. Some said they had seen one before, but none had never tasted one. Today I brought salad dressing consisting of balsamic vinegar and olive oil. A radical thing to eat for a people group who mostly stick to Thousand Island. We passed the dressing around and everybody tasted a little. It was not too spicy, was the verdict. Several said they would consider eating it again.
Somehow, from the dressing the conversation turned to pork. And this is an area where there is a lot to say. Ribs is a great topic. We talk about ribs a lot. Some get sick when they eat them, but they eat it anyway because it is yummy. But from the ribs it went to the pig’s head. And now there was talk about how you get the meat out from the head. And that with some patience, as long as you dig through the veins, the webs and the mess in the head, you will actually end up with well over a plate full of the best meat you can imagine. Many came with input on this, and by the end of lunch my balsamic vinegar was forgotten and all we were left with was the idea of a desecrated pig’s head.
I like this place and it’s people. I like the beauty and the fresh smell of cow dung. I like that the kids can go camping alone in the forest and that I can go running after dark. I like that people know my name at the grocery store, and that I can get vegetables straight from the farmer. But I wish that I would not have to be the one who introduced balsamic vinegar and other radical ideas. Imagine what it will be like the day I bring sushi.