As the days continued to grow shorter and the sun finally set below the horizon line, not to reappear for another three months, we did our best to acclimate to the winter world of the Northern latitudes. We spent the days, of course skiing, but also enjoying the beginning of the Christmas festivities. The town was decorated and strung with lights. Julenissen (Norway’s Santa) walked the downtown streets passing out candy, and the winter craft bizarres sprung up just about everywhere.
The beauty of the winter light is hard to describe, you must see it to know how magical it makes the world look. With the spirit of Christmas added, it was pretty amazing.
We were not able to stay in Norway as long as we had initially planned. Joel was scheduled to return to Antartica for another season of field work for the Winter of 2013-2014. Rather than stay in Norway with the kids, we chose to make a trip home to visit friends and family in the States. This turned into a permanent move home for the kids and I, as my job as a Physical Therapist at Alpine required my attention, Grandma Debbie became very ill and sadly passed away in March, and it became too much of a challenge to switch the kids in and out of school from Norway to Missoula and back again.
We will always look back on this time travelling and exploring as a family with full hearts. We formed an everlasting bond as a family unit. Odin and Adelheyd learned how to lean on each other as siblings and form a lifelong friendship. We understand more about other cultures, traditions, and ways of life. We have learned how to adapt, fostered a love for travel, and formed a very special bond with our environment from mountains and oceans to cities and forests. Thank you Norway for giving us a place to call home for a year. We are happy to return to Missoula, but will always hear you calling for us to return and once again explore all the beauty you have to offer.