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Sunday, May 4, 2008

Sweden – 2 May 2008

Friday evening we’d planned a get-together with Gary Graden and his wife Maria Södersten at their house in Nacka, partly to introduce my folks to some of our friends, partly just to have a good time! Included were Maria’s mother, Barbro; Margareta and Bertil Dimander, good friends of Birgit Hemberg, whom we’d met before (originally Birgit was going to come, but had to cancel); Birgit’s daughter Anna and her daughter Nena (Anna sings in Gary’s choir and we’ve met her on many occasions); and Linus and Stina and their two charming daughters (their youngest is just starting to walk—both sing in Gary’s choir and Linus is the choir president—we had a little bit of business to talk about, too). Of course, Gary and Maria’s two boys, Johan and Filip, were there as well.

Kathryn and Maria had planned the menu and Kathryn spent time beforehand prepping salad fixings, fruit and a great dessert (an English trifle). We also brought a lot of wine, so Kath had loaded three suitcases with wine and food for the taxi! Maria made appetizers, some gorgeous roasted potatoes and vegetables and Gary barbecued again—just fantastic. They also made a delicious punch with elderflower juice, mint and rum.

It was a terrific evening of conversation, eating, drinking, more eating, and a bit of music, too. We left around 11:30, the taxi dropping us off at the train station for a short walk home, before taking mom and dad to their home. I can’t imagine a nicer time—we owe thanks to Gary and Maria.

Most of the dinner party:

Maria and her mother, Barbro:

Gary jamming with his son, Johan:

Me and Gary:

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