I took the bus last Thursday to my grandparents summer cottage by lake Lummene (yup, the Finnish cosmetics company Lumene took it's name from our lake). The bus-ride wasn't as bad as I thought it would be; it only took 2,5 hours to get to the "city" of Kuhmoinen (population 2805...). I thought I would be stuck at traffic for hours and hours, after all most Finns left for their summer cottages on Thursday. My brother, sister-in-law and niece Aino had already left on Wednesday. Which was good, cause I could ask them to heat the sauna and was able to go to sauna straight from the bus. I love that sauna !!! My Granpa and Dad built it in the late ´60 and it gives the best löyly (=heat) ever, very soft and pleasant. It is an old-fashioned sauna, which is heated by real wood (no electricity) and that gives a nice smell. And I love swimming in the lake during my sauna-rituals (after all sauna is a sacred place for Finns). Your skin and hair gets extremely soft in that lake. The lake is full of ulpukka (=yellow water lilies), imagine yourself swimming there at night (well, we have the midnight sun at the moment, so it doesn't get that dark).
The cottages (we have three: sauna with a small room, where I sleep, kitchen hut and aitta (=shed, where my brother's family sleeps) are very basic and simple; we do have electricity, fridge and radio, but no tv, no shower, nor a modern toilet (we have a "outhouse" in the middle of the forest). I have spent most of my childhood summer's there swimming and exploring the forest with my family. It is so much fun to spend time there now with Aino and "teach" her about the forest :) Well, kind of, after all she is just nine months old, but she is VERY interested in the conifers; she loved to touch the mänty (=pine) and kataja (=juniper). I have to get myself a book about the Finnish wildflower's,me and my sister-in-law got really frustrated, cause we could not identify the half of them. But I was very proud to recognise vanamo (=linnaea). And if Aino takes after my brother, we are going to be in serious trouble in a few years, 'cause she starts asking about the flower's, trees and birds. My brother had a severe "mikä tämä on" (what's this)-phase (well, so did I) as a kid.
So we spent a lovely couple of days there, but on Saturday Aino got really sick, her temperature was 39 C (102.2 F) and she became a little delirious. She still wasn't crying (that munchkin smiles all the time), but you could tell, that she wasn't feeling good at all. When she started refusing to eat and drink, we decided it was time to get her to see a doctor. We packed our stuff and drove back to Helsinki and took Aino to ER. It turned out to be an ear-infection, she got her antibiotics and she is feeling OK now. But I'm not... I have Aino's flu now... I have a day off from work (I went to see The Killers yesterday). Thank heavens, I do not have a high fever (only 37.3 C), but it still feels like somebody beat me up really badly :) But the Killers show was worth it !
I'll post pics from Lummene after I get the cd from my brother.