The View From Mrs. Sundberg's Window

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"I felt that nyckelharpa in my fillings"

October 28, 2003

Listened to the show on Saturday and it was not bad. I had the kitchen to myself and was mixing a double batch of sugar cookies for the kids to take to school—the kind of cookies I'll frost with a pale orange frosting and decorate with candy corn some night this week.

There was some fiddle music early on by a group of Swedish musicians, a song called "Lost in the Beet Fields" and I swear I felt that nyckelharpa in my fillings. It was a beautiful song and I called the kids in from the video of "Hansel and Gretel" I rented to keep them occupied and said "Now this is the kind of thing you can do with your life if you practice your violin and don't give up." There was a collective sigh, and they stared at me for a moment and asked for a bite of cookie dough, which I gave them, and they left to go watch their movie.

I never did work in beet fields, though I have put in a few hours working in cornfields back in my youth, and it isnt anything I'd want to go back to anytime soon. I still get a rash on the back of my hands when I'm around corn tassels.

I put the cookie dough in a Tupperware container to chill for a while and turned out the kitchen light and sat up on the counter by the sink, which I never do when Mr. Sundberg is home because he thinks it's not grown-up. Through the window I watched the oak branches bending in the window, how the leaves held on, how the leaves resembled human hands. I imagined a man putting his hands on a woman's hips and smelling her hair and I thought it'd be neat if Mr. Sundberg did that sometime without me asking him to.

He is away on a trip to Colorado and Nebraska, giving motivational talks, and today he called and said he missed us all. I certainly hope he means it. A few flakes of snow fell this morning, down through those oak tree branches. The wind is still blowing, and I need to close the storm windows as soon as I wash them.

Think I'll frost those cookies tonight and get the kids to play for me something on their violins.

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