As some of you know, I’m an artistic staff member of the Hamilton Children’s Choir, and the group just returned from a 10 day tour to Sweden. If you’ve ever traveled before, you know that you bring back more memories than you can count – a whole smorgasbord, really! Here are just a few of mine: Four Short Stories from a Swedish Adventure.
There was once a girl taking a plane to Sweden who didn’t like airplane food. She claimed not to like the cheese served with dinner, or the cake! But the girl happened to be sitting near a boy named Joel, and Joel liked both cheese AND cake. Joel believed that when people think they don’t like something, they should try it anyway because people’s tastes change over time, and also because it’s usually more enjoyable to like something than to dislike something. So usually, Joel encouraged people to try foods they claimed to dislike. But this time, he didn’t encourage her. Instead, Joel decided to appreciate people’s varied tastes by respecting the girl’s right to leave the food on her tray. Then, when she fell asleep, Joel snagged the girl’s cheese. And also her cake.
The Spectacularly Coloured City
There was once a man who wanted to paint his house. But the man lived in Stockholm, and so before he could paint, he had to apply to the city beauty committee, who would make sure that the man’s desired colour wouldn’t be out of place in the city’s landscape. Some people probably didn’t like this because it interfered with their personal liberty, but that was the rule anyway, and the city was known to be one of the most beautiful cities in all of Europe.
Eastern Canada’s Mirror
There was once a beautiful small town named Kladesholmen on the Atlantic coast of Sweden. A few times in history, there have been huge shoals of fish that were so thick people could fish by sticking a bucket into the water. And they did! And the town was prosperous! But then the fish got used up, and the people got poorer. But many people live there still, leading a simple life on the coastal rocks. No one is really sure if it’s bad or good, but everyone agrees it’s certainly not like it used to be.
A Swedish Breakfast Adventure
There was once a boy named Joel from Canada who wanted to eat some herring while he was in Sweden. Herring is a fatty fish, a little bit like Salmon, but stronger in flavour, and it’s often served in a sort of cream sauce. Herring is common in Sweden. Common enough, in fact, to be served as part of the breakfast buffet. Joel found the prospect of fatty fish in cream sauce for breakfast to be not-so-appetizing, but having had no other opportunity to try it, he ate the herring for breakfast anyway. And you know what? He found it not-so-appetizing. But he’s glad he tried it just the same.
It was a smorgasbord of memories and stories indeed. And the great thing about smorgasbords is that they usually have something for everyone. But they don’t serve themselves - it’s up to you to take what you want!
The colourful and beautiful city of Stockholm
June 17, 2009
“Life is a smorgasbord and most poor suckers are starving to death."
- Patrick Dennis
American Author 1921-1976
(quote from book Auntie Mame)
Joel Hilchey speaks and facilitates workshops across North America, empowering students, educators & business leaders who want to build stronger, more positive teams and communities. Contact him by phone at 1-877-487-5635 or check him out online at www.joelhilchey.com!
RIDDLE: I’m a food and a colour and sometimes you will find me inside a nice moose, but not the regular kind. I’m a bit of a flake and I’m not very sweet, and though some think I’m ugly, I’m tasty to eat! What am I?
Since lots of people ask how my trip to Sweden was, and lots of people also ask about the Children's Choir, I figured the choir's Sweden Blog would be a good website of the month. One of the other chaperones did a fantastic job at blogging, so if you've ever wondered why someone might want to be in a children's choir, this blog will give you some insight!
Lots of people are finishing school for the summer, and some have already finished!
I'd encourage you to really use the time to the maximum! Find what you love to do! Go on adventures! Catch up on some reading! Rest up!
Try writing down a few things you'd like to accomplish, do, or see, by the end of the summer! I'd love to hear your goals, so feel free to send them to me!