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Biita's Blog

From Garnes to Selnes, The End of Living Under the Beast

Category: Artic Living | Posted: Sat Nov 24, 2007 4:09 pm

The trek back to Selnes was far quiet. We stopped an took some pics of the junipers, an what a harvest we will have come spring.

we noticed little presents that the seagulls, ravens or crows had left behind.

But mostly we talked. I had so many questions, that I needed to be answered. I needed to know there was a happy ending. I needed to know that the family lived an used the deaths as a bonding. But that was all wishful thinking on my part. Kolbjørn continued the saga, and even i could hear a hint of regret in his voice. What happened after the avalanche? What made this family drift farther apart? The mother an her small child walked the long long walk to Selnes that night with only what they went to bed in. No shoes, no coats, no hats, scarfs or gloves. Winter is cold here, it is the artic, but its mostly the wind that freezes you then cuts you into a million wind blown pieces that feel like pins an needles entering your entire body all at one time. I know, I've experienced it. Imagine walking that walk after what they just went thro, with just a torn an ragged night gown on, nothing else. They made it, they barely made it to Selnes. The grief that was shared that night is one that the Selnes family will never forget. Their friends, all but one, perished. In less than 2 minutes. Not one animal survived, all their friends but one were gone now. When daylight finally came, if what you could call daylight, maybe i should describe it as moon light during the day, when that finally arrived, the boys an their father an a few of the other neighbors from the surrounding fjørd that heard the ear splitting crack in the night, came. The women all stayed with the heartbroken an destitute Mrs. Garnes an her child. What they found when they made it to Garnes was this, nothing! There was nothing left of Garnes, just traces of snow an rubble that was left onto the path. Out in the sea was a gigantic hole. They knew they would never find anyone at all alive or near shore. But they looked for days afterwards. But the current must of carried the tradgity out to sea. Beneath the ice. Long out of reach of anyone who could of helped. It wasn't long later when Mrs Garnes left Selnes. No one knows where she left to. Just vanished and was gone. There was the last friend gone too for the boys. Now they are all gone forever. Amost 3 months later Mr Garnes came back from working out on the sea. This is normal you see because during the winter months here is the height of fishing season, the cod season, thats where the money is. And with a big family an alot of mouths to feed, he earned an stayed to earn the most he could. He come home one day. Shocked! Heartsick! Mortified! but most importantly scared to death of what he would find out. He ran to Selnes. Not stopping to breath, in the fridged iced air. Not caring if he died himself. He met Mr Selnes on his way to the farm, an was told of what happened. His wife left with their one child who survived. He was devestated, sick of heart, outraged at the mountain. This was his home, his home since his birth, the birth of his father before him an even before that. This was Garnes, his home, how dare the mountain, that hideous beast do this to him an his family. He was taken back to Selnes barely able to walk on his own, in a daze, in shock. He stayed with the Selnes' for a few more months until spring came then he bought a piece of land on the other side of the fjørd. That piece of land is on our farm we live on today, where i look out my window at that awesome mountain directly across to Garnes. This farm that i live on now was back then owned by a cousin of the Selnes family, an he bought a very small little piece of land right here. He remarried an had other children but all those have moved away. One year later back at Selnes in the middle of another cold an snowy night, eerily reminencent of another night not so long ago, another crack! split the snow. The Selnes family was woke with an explosion that shook the foundations of the farm. Down come the snow. Faster an faster an in less than a minute from the sound of the crack Selnes was wiped out. All but the house with all those precious inhabitants. My father-in-law, uncle Tobias who lives on this farm now. Aunt Hedvig who is so fiesty, an walks with a roller walker,, i call her roller derby mama, an she loves it. And Kalle, who i never got to meet because he passed on the yr i arrived in Norway, an we hadn't moved this far north yet. All would have been lost to me if that avalanche was just a half foot wider. They lost the barn an all the animals, the well cellar, the smoke houses,, an the side of the house lost a few boards. Kolbjørns grandparents took that as a sign an moved to this farm where the cousin had lost her husband a few yrs before to the sea when his boat went down with a storm, and had enough. She sold the farm to the Selnes's an moved to her daughters on the mainland. Today we live under another mountain but she is more gentle, not as big as her brother across the fjørd, and she sits way back from us. Mr Garnes eventually moved then passed on. The farm is now the my home, the only home i want to know in Norway, with a rich family history, that makes you glad to be alive.

This is the mountain i live under now,,, she is a lady an keeps to herself.

I have posted this before but if you look at the spot where the trees are next to the house, that is where the end of the avalanche came an took out the other housings that where there.

The mountain gave us our warning,, go home, stay away until i say so, don't come back until next summer. As we were leaving Selnes it started to snow, an when we got home it looked like this.

down on the field you can see it nice an clear the drive way down to the cabins an sea.

Our home where i prefer to be after being in the presence of the beast. That mighty mountain that sits so quietly just waiting for who next will invade his fairytale land.

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Across the Fjørd to My Mountain, A Trip to Garnes

Category: Artic Living | Posted: Sat Nov 24, 2007 1:05 am

I spent the morning when there was light enough to see, on a walking hike to the mountain that i see from my kitchen window. I go there often in summer, but in winter its to dangerous. So why did i go if its to dangerous? All the snow has melted with the southern wind that has been blowing lately here. So I packed up my husband and the dog and we decided to go hunt down rose hips, check on the wild juniper for berries to see how much of a harvest we will have come spring. (juniper makes an awesome candy from the days of the viking, tastes like dark black licorice) So here we go on our trip to Selnes the abandoned family farm across the farm. Wait, i know i said Garnes, but that is to come. This is Selnes, one of the 3 farms that we have up here, altho no one lives in it, frankly because its to dangerous because of the mountain, there is also no hot water or electricity. There is an outhouse, equiped with an actual flushing handle, an ofcourse i keep it stocked with toilet paper. The stove in the house is an old time cast iron job that is so awesome an huge it heats nearly the whole house. We go there in summer to get away, or to fish, or i tend the rhubarab patch an look for wild herbs an plants. So this is Selnes

While we were there doing what we intended to do, we decided to talk a walk down the path, that used to be a horse an cart road, but is now mostly used by tourist or locals who just want to walk the fjørd, or the sheep that pass thru.

That is Kolbjørn an Balder walking the path that leads to Garnes, about a mile up the road. That is the next closest farm to Selnes. While on our walk we had to use reflector vests incase of snow or worse hunters were out hunting ptarmigan, or i think its called grouse in english. Rype in Norwegian, ptarmigan in Saami. But we got to talking on our walk, an Kolbjørn asked me if i had ever heard the story of Garnes from his uncle, an i told him no, tell me.

The farmers settled on this land, Kolbjørn says because the land was excellent for potatoes, rhubarb, onions and cabbage. What they didn't take into thought was the mountain itself. It had fresh running water comming straight down the slopes, they had abundant fish from the sea, an good dark rich soil compliments of the sea itself. But because of this they over looked the mountain, the hazards, the danger of living at the foothills of a place so overwhelmingly huge an monstrous. See the thing is the mountain itself is in constant motion, it moves, this is an island of mountains, and because of that motion, even tho we don't feel it, the snow does. One night deep in the heart of winter a family known as the Garnes family had a farm not to far from the Selnes family farm. They were friends, worked together sometimes, an shared when times would be tough. Both families had children, an the children played together, an worked together. They skated on the sea an skied in the mountain. Deep in winter one night the mountain shook. Down come the snow, disaster about to happen. No time to run. Its the middle of the early morning hours. No light to see what is happening. Down come the snow. The father was a fisherman an was out to sea, he left home when went to work, a wife, and his children. And down came the snow. A cracking. A rumbling. Then a sudden boom!! like something had exploded. Then everything was pushed out to the sea. Thru the thick ice. And buried.

Mrs. Garnes an one child made it out alive.

They walked the long road to the Selnes farm an told what happened. The Garnes family that day lost 5 children, an their grandmother. I write this today because its something that happened to a family that loved, laughed, an worked like every other family on the fjørd. They were a likable family by all. But I write this because i felt it was something i had to do, for those who lost their lives to let them know that their lives haven't been forgotten but passed on so other can remember. This is something that is common in Norway, alvalanches. This is to all those families who have endured an lived an to those who haved passed on because of it.

As i stood at the top of the old barn ramp, which was the picture above this one, i looked out over the fjørd down where i knew Selnes would still be standing. And i knew. I just knew that it was okay to tell their story. Its a sad story but an all to common story that you hear in Norwegian history. As i walked back to Selnes i said a prayer an gave an offering to those who have passed on, an made a promise that i would tell their story so that they won't be forgot.

So don't be saddened by this story but look at it as a way of seeing the power of nature that no matter what it should be respected, an even when it takes those we love or those we just heard about, its still something that deserves my respect even tho this country is like a fairytale, sometimes even fairytales can be a little intimadating.

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(Sing along) Ohhh the weather Outside is,,,,

Category: Artic Living | Posted: Tue Nov 13, 2007 6:12 pm

,,,,,,,,,,DECEPTIVE!!!!! I'm telling you looking out the window, not a flutter of the wind to be found. The day was so nice, chilly but sunny and calm. It was 2 in the afternoon, and I was putting on a pot of coffee for Kolbjørn an I, when I looked out the window then the clock an thought, dang is it gettin dark fast. So I grabbed my camera because I wanted to capture how dark but not quite full dark an show my children. I opened the door, felt the air an thought its still kind of warm out an ran out an down to the field so I could get the best shots. I knew I only had about 15 minutes so no coat, gloves or hat. Just pulled on my boots an ran down in what I had on all day. long johns an shirt, pants and a turtleneck sweater. I was warm. Ha! About 1 minute later i could feel my nose starting to run, in about 2 my eyes were starting to tear up an freeze, an a few minutes later it was all I could do to hang on to the camera. I swear even the ravens were making fun of me. But I got the shots!! lol. I payed for it too. I tried to run back up the hill, but my feet were freezing already,(I only had on 2 pairs of socks and boots) I finally made it to the house, an tried to open the door, I did it an just about fell into the entry room. There I stood. Tears running down my face, nose running to my chin, face, ears and hands getting to be a pretty bright red,, when my husband greets me at the kitchen door holding 2 cups of coffee with a fire roaring in the fireplace behind him and says to me "Are you cold?" One eye was starting to thaw so I narrowed it. Lets just say at that point if I could of moved I probably would of kicked him an sent him sailing thru the air in search of a new land. (nah not really, but I felt like it,,lol) But the kind an gentle man that he is, he puts down the coffee cups, goes an gets me a blanket an wraps me up in it, then bends down an takes off my boots, guides me to the kitchen table an helps me to sit down. I know at this point, I heard ice breaking at my hips,,or so it seemed. He covered my ears with his hands an was talking to me in norwegian, an smiling an laughing. He's lucky I didn't make out most of what he was saying, but what I did hear, I started to laugh too. He wiped my face an made me drink some coffee, then guided me up the halve spiral stairs we have to the den or family room. There he says to me,,"Okay lets see what made you go out to take these pics an freeze over an lets send them to the kids" I thawed It pays to freeze sometimes.

So here they are, the pics that I just had to get. Also if you look at the first pic to the last one you can see how fast it was getting dark, and why I ran out like I did. Would I do it again,,,lol,,, you bet I would.

one of the camping cabins

by I would say 2:20-2:30 in the afternoon today it looked like this,,,

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My Son is my Hero

Category: Children | Posted: Sun Nov 11, 2007 3:57 pm

I would like to introduce you to my son. Meet Joshua, my only son who I am so proud of.

He is a special son, my only son, my joy, an my heart. The reason I write this blog today is to honor him, its Veterans Day. He's not a vet, but he is serving his country at this moment. Stationed thousands an thousands of miles from me, but still close enough that I know he is fine, just a phone call away. My son came home from college one day an said "Mom, I know what i want to do now, at this moment with my life for the next few years" Terror went thru me, because he said, "the next few years" Deep down I knew what that meant. I sat there, trying to be calm, when he told me he was joining the army. All I could think of was why? Why? What about school, what about your life here, what about me? Ofcourse I was being a selfish mother, but then he is my son, an I thought at that moment I had every right to be selfish. But he calmly explained that the reason behind his signing up was simple, he wanted to honor his father while he still had the chance to do just that. His father died when Joshua was just 8 yrs old. Leaving us to struggle an survive, but bond in a way I honestly don't think would of happened if he was still alive. I wanted my children to stay children an not grow up at that time, not to rob them of their childhood, an I think that I have accomplished that, because I would tell Joshua, yes your my little man, but you have plenty of time to become one, so don't worry, worry about having fun an being a child. You only get to do that once in this life an it will pass fast enough. So enjoy it, an experiment as all kids do. Find out what you need to know to be a child, an be one. As he grew up he never really did do the experimenting that teens do, I think it was because he knew he had my okay to do that do he never needed to. Please don't get me wrong, I'm not talking about drugs or such, but the experiments of growing. He never got into trouble, an he was so protective of me and his sister. He wanted to do something that would make his dad proud,,, to him it was join the army. We talked, not argued, an I tried to tell him, Joshua, believe me your father is already proud of you. You don't have to do this. He insisted, an said it was also for personal reasons that he loves his country an wanted to serve, an show he cared for the women, children an elderly of America. How could I say no. I hug my child, cried, an at that moment I was the proudest parent on this earth.

My son an I talked and talked an when I decided to come here to Norway, he totally agreed an said he would visit me every chance he got. He said his time is done now, an it was time for his mother to live. He has made his plans to join us here as soon as his tour is over,, he has 2 more years service to go. Then I have my son again where i can keep an eye on him,,lol.

This is his photo from boot camp, or well in his dorm from boot camp,,

This after boot camp when he got his orders to be stationed at Ft Huachua in Arizona for the next four years. During this time there he met people, trained , is squad leader and has graduated with honors an first in his class of graduates. He is in a communication squad will soon be sent to Iraq.

But during the time he has been in the army his humor has been honed to a wicked sharp hilarious tone. He has matured more than I thought he would ever do so fast. But the one thing my son has retained is his love of life. His sense of humor, his love of the guitar an ofcourse his video games. He broke off an engagement an well I was sad about that, but he had his reason, an those I respect.

My son leaves on Dec 22 for Iraq, to a war I don't agree with, to politics I would rather not get involved with. But this is my son, my only son an all a mother can do is send her love an be so proud of him for his courage an descision to lead his own life in a way that only he knows to be right. Its his path, his way an I respect him an love him to the hero he is to me.

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The Solstice Spirit of Winter

Category: Artic Living | Posted: Sat Nov 10, 2007 11:54 pm

,,,,,,is a time of hope, rejoicing, looking an planning for the future year ahead. In some ways its more of a celebration of life more than anything else. I also have come to respect an admire the outlook an optimism of the Norwegian people at this time. Not only is there the winter solstice but also Jul or Christmas just a few days later. So the time of year is doublely celebrated with much tradition an flare. On the winter solstice Dec 21, is looked at by the people of the artic as halv way thru the darktime. The darktime is a time when all the activities during the summer, the running around, the visiting, summer solstice, vacations, an into the autumn, with harvest, rounding up the animals from all over the island the preperations of all the harvests that have taken place that by the time the darktime does happen we are sure ready for a nice long rest. Its a time to recouperate, get our energy back, an a time to reflect an plan ahead. The vikings an before, used to believe that the sun was a wheel in the sky that slowly rolled away from the earth or land, an on Dec 21, would slowly make its way back again by rolling towards them. With that came the celebrating because they knew that with the sun came life regernerated an everything would grow again. The ancient tradition was a very beautiful one that my husband an I also celebrate along with the family members an neighbors that gather around. Each household has a celebration but because community is so important up here an was way back when also, everything is shared. The ancients would send out the sons or men of the house an bring back a log that would fit in the hearth an a log for outside. Once the men came back with a fresh log a fire would aready be built, an waiting patiently for the new year to begin. The eldest male family member would then bless the logs with beer or mead, salt and oil. Then each member of the family would make their prayers an sprinkle one of the offerings used. Thanks would be given. The men of the family would then hoist the log into the hearth, then outside to the fire. When this was done, a great feast would be served an ofcourse the first plate or dish would be given to the fire. This was the start of the new year for the ancients. When the fire would burn down a piece of the log was taken out an saved to start the fire for next year. With great ceremony the ashes would then be taken an scooped up with care an walked thru the whole house an scattered in all the far reaches of the house. The fire outside was also treated with great respect an the same was done with it, but the ashes would then be scatterd around the farm or blown in the wind. Reason for this was simple, with the hope an future of the new year ahead precautions were taken to protect them, an what better way than the sacred ashes of the annointed log of the new year. My husband an I just let the wind take the ashes an scatter where they may.

These photos were taken last year before an after the darktime. The reason I have no pictures of that time is because there is no moon. No light. Only the stars to guide us where we want to go. Yes ofcourse we have modern technology an can use reflecter vests an flashlights, but its still dark an its a darkness that absorbs all light. The picture that I have here is the last moon before the darktime. It looks like the sun, but its the moon. The daytime moon trying so hard to shine enough light for us humans to make our way thru the day. But she only could give us light for 15 minutes then she was gone, an gone for over a month, only to come back an gives us her fullness again.

As she does here, we finally are rewarded with the moon, an light again as promised to us by an ancient pact made so long ago no one remembers when an how it was made.

Then slowly, ohh so slowly we are rewarded with light again, an bless with a very small amount of daylight by the sun, an the moon can now rest again soon, very soon, but not for a few more months.

But the promise of the sun is one that will come soon enough, but until then I will pay my respect to the moon an her light that she gives to us here in the artic. I will take the time to recouperate my body back to full speed ahead with the sun. But for now she tells us to slow down, enjoy the company of others, look to the future because of our faithfulness and it will be given back to us. After the darktime happens the fjørd freezes over an the slow but every happening of light lets us go out an play an visit our neighbors. Renew aquaintences that got lost for a month during our darktime. The winter solstice is one that will ground you, an make you aware of the death of the land, but with the death comes life, an the solstice gives us that reminder that its on its way, with patience, an time, we the people who live here understand that an we play by the rules of the heavens an the earth an the ancients who paved the way to a tradition of the Norwegian people that is in the blood, in the heart, an given generously to those of us who seek to understand.

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The Solstice Spirit

Category: Artic Living | Posted: Sat Nov 10, 2007 3:07 pm

,,,,,,,is something i think that grows on a person with age. Why do I say this. Well when I was younger I knew what it was, the solstice, but I really didn't pay any attention to it. So why do I wonder about it now. Maturity, maybe, where I live, maybe, who I have grown into, possiably. All I do know there is more to the solstices than I had once thought. I have learned that the summer solstice is a time of joy. A time of getting ready. A time that has been honored in many different ways. Here in Norway, I have noticed my spiritual growth has taken a huge leap forward, at least in my eyes its forward an not backwards. I have learned about time honored traditions that goes back thousands of years. These traditions shouldn't be scoffed at, but should be preserved in humanity, an the societies from where they come from. They should be shared with others to extend the joy an beliefs of the peoples who celebrate them. I can tell you at the summer solstice this year, one of the rituals that I experienced was the bonfire. Not just an ordinary bonfire, but a friendly spirited bonfire made that way by the people. I participated in preparing for the fire, by helping pile up the logs an wood, an just about anything an everything that a norwegian family wants to get rid of. But what I noticed is this, before the fire is started by the man of the house, each memeber of the house an also visiter attending each gave a toast to the logs, an sprinkled some beer to the site. Each gave a little prayer of thanks for the summer warmth, an gave thanks in advance for the crops they know would come soon. Then the fire was lit.

This is my husbands uncle who is 89 yrs old, an has attended a St. Hans, Midsummers Eve, Summer Solstice every yr of his life. He says summer is just another summer unless you prepare an start it off with a bang. Summer should be celebrated, an celebrated it is up here in the Artic. The time is so short, just 3 months of warm weather, then its all gone. So the community celebrates with a flourish. Neighbors walk to others bonfires an chat,eat,sing an tell stories of summers past. Sausages,, there has to be sausages at every fire. Those sausages just aren't grilled an eaten, the first one goes to the fire an offering of being givin the chance to get ready for the up comming winter. A thank you for what was already givin, an what will be givin in the future. But those sausages are eaten with lomper, a flat potato based "tortilla" also known called lefse. Once the sausages are eatin, the fun begins, the stories get told or sung along with a violin or guitar. Some are ballads of times past, some are about women who they will never forget or are trying to forget. Others sing the songs of the sea all who have been taken by her. Then more stories, as the beer an drinks are passed around an the tales get wilder an wilder, along with the animation of having to act out all the scenes of the songs. Then as the night comes to a close, everyone gets back in their boats an travel to the place they call home, or they walk an visit with the other people who have walked to other bonfires an greet each other on the roads. The summer solstice, the longest day of the year, an the people of the artic make use of every minute of it. They don't waste it ever, even when relaxing, or having cake an coffee, its never a waste is it. Your still doing something, an its under that glorious sun that is here for only a short time in the north.

This photo is me looking out at the midnight sun, an falling in love with each day that i look at it, knowing that thru the hard, cold and darktime ahead, i know that the sun will always shine for me when it comes back.

Summer solstice with its lush green vegetation, mountains streaming with spring fresh water, an wildflowers dotted thru out the artic realms, it is a time of magic an with age I have come to recognise this an accept it as truth. My fairytale farm is just that a magical story come true.

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The Midnight Sun

Category: Artic Living | Posted: Fri Nov 09, 2007 10:20 am

,,,,,,,has come an gone. But the image is one that doesn't leave you for a very long time. I think if a person believes in miracles then the midnight sun is something of miracle in itself. The fact that we sit ontop of the world an it never sets below the horizon an shines day an night, over an over, is amazing in itself. Everyone believes that the midnight sun only shines like that for one month. Statistically they are right. But here in the artic the sun shines for months day an night, it only gets a little lower in the sky each day. By august we finally get an hour of dark and then its still not totally dark. Then each day it gets steadily darker an darker, with more hours of darkness each night. I took this picture in the beginning of august, so you can see we still had daylight all the time.

The midnight sun, beautiful each an every night that it is up. My dog an I usually go for walks at night when its summer, an when you have to wear sunglasses at midnight, I usually find myself laughing at how bizarre. If anyone seen me they would think I was crazy walking along an just chuckling to myself at how fortunate i am to experience something so awesome as what i see each an every night for 3 months. The guest that come an stay here are simply amazed, an you see them out at all hours of the night snapping photos or just enjoying the late evening an early morning hours. Can you blame them, I live here an still am amazed. I will use the word fairytale over an over again, not only because its my favorite word to describe here but because its the most common word that is used by the guest, men an women alike. I have worked in my garden at night only to have a guest come up an kneel down an start working with me. There is something to this sun that inspires people to do more, but at the same time brings a calm, more relaxed person to the surface. Who knows maybe its just the place, or the sun, or the water that is in constant motion. I like to think that when I am bothered by lifes worries all i have to do is go down to the sea an let it all go. The sea will take it away, an when i do that an the sun is up at 2am, it then becomes almost a religious experience for me. The sheer miracle of seeing the sun when its not supposed to be there, grounds my feet an plants me right here to my fairytale land.

This is a sunset, that lets me know the miracle of summer is now on its way out, but will return again with a full circle made in time.

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The kitchen window

Category: Artic Living | Posted: Fri Nov 09, 2007 12:01 am

,,,is the first place i look when i start each day. I look out to remind myself, that yes this is really my life, an not a fairytale. The view is simply amazing! I have to remind myself over and over that what i see is really what is infront of me. So I will start this blog with the mountain that sits across the fjørd an is part of my front yard.

This is my view from my kitchen window. Amazing isn't it. That mountain is the 4th largest in the Lofotens. I have hiked only a quarter of the way up it, my husband an many of the guests that stay here has made it to the top. I can tell the weather by that mountain. When the fog comes rolling in from the sea, an its thick an heavy, we are goin to have rain. When its thin fog, we have high humidity, but it will be chilly at night, even when its the summer an the midnight sun is goin strong. In winter the Aurora Borealis comes over that mountain when the time is dark 24 hours a day,, an before. When the fog comes in dark an gray, it will snow, alot. If its a thinner gray, then we have just a little snow. I have tried to capture pictures of the northern lights when they dance across the mountain an out to the far reaches of the sky, but my camera just isn't strong enough. On that mountain when the grass is green an the days a very long, we look over at it, an you can see stone faces carved from millions of yrs of artistic sculpuring. The kids an adults that come to stay here on the farm are amazed when we show them the images in the stone. One is a big ol' troll, with big thick eyebrows, slashed eyes, an a huge nose that covers his face an a straight mouth. The others are smaller trolls, with just as eager faces to be seen as the larger is. I have found the profile of an indian face just at the edge of the top slope. In all there is over 13 faces that have come to light and enchanted almost all who find them. The eagles love that mountain i think more than i do. Theres homes are scattered at the top, an when they come down to fish its also another amazing site to see. So I think i probably do live in a fairytale setting, an its something i will never take for granted, as long as I have my kitchen window to remind me of what to expect outside.

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