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Daddy Day

During my first week on the island, I instituted Daddy Days for Marcus and Nora, who are 6 and 4 respectively. On Tuesdays, I pick up Marcus early from school and spend the afternoon with him alone. And I do the same for Nora on Wednesdays. The rules are simple: Read more

My 24 Hours of Fame

Yesterday evening I sat down in front of my laptop to check email and news. I was surprised to see that there were about 20 emails from this blog: comments, likes, and new subscriptions. On most days I see one or two emails like that. I went to the blog’s dashboard to look at traffic. It showed about 300 page views for the day, which easily topped my previous record of 134. What’s going on? Has someone hacked my site?  Read more

Marcus’s Birthday

A third of the children on the island came to Marcus’s birthday party yesterday. There’re 28 school aged children on the island. Marcus is in first grade, which is equivalent age-wise to kindergarden in the US. There’re 10 students from grade 1 to 4, and they’re in the same “home room”. All of them came. Read more

Scaling the Lion

The locals call the mountain on the island Rødøy Lion (Rødøyløva) because of its shape. It’s a dramatic mountain. One side is the lion’s back which gently slopes up until it becomes very steep at the head of the lion. The other side is a precipice, dropping about 450 meters to four picturesque beaches. Actually, to say the mountain drops straight down is an understatement, because the top sticks out further than the middle. The peak is right at the top of the precipice Read more

My Accomplishments in Fishing

I thought I’d hone my fishing skills over a few months and report in this blog on catching “the big one”, complete with a photo of me grinning while holding a biblically sized cod or halibut. But readers demand to know my catch now, so blog on this topic I must.

Fishing on Rødøy started very badly for me. Read more

The Summer Refuses To Leave

This weekend our friends Aleks and Hulda came to visit from Oslo, and weather decided to cooperate. Yesterday we went hiking and visited a salmon farm. And we caught a lot of fish. What we couldn’t eat, I salted. Now I have a veritable gallery of salted fish drying in the wood shed.

Last week, a family on the island invited us over for dinner and told us about their favorite beach, Read more

How Do Children Adapt to Change?

When we were going back and forth about living on a remote island for year, the biggest question was, “How will Marcus and Nora adapt?”

I thought often about a haunting conversation with a stranger many years ago, pre-children. Kristin and I sat next to a man at a bar in Saugatuck, Michigan. The man told us about his family with two small children sailing around the world for several years. Read more

Time Management for My Time Off

In 2000, my wife and I met and fell in love in Lofoten, a group of islands even further to the north from here. Later that year, I went to Oslo and lived with Kristin for 3 months. Kristin taught school then, just as she does now, so during the week I had the daytime to myself. That was the last time I had such an abundance of free time. Of course I don’t regret those 3 months in Oslo; but I did learn something about myself and free time: without time management, I get nothing done. Read more

The Best Camera is the Camera on You

Yesterday the whole family went to mainland for a day and two nights – the first time for all of us since we came to the island. We had an appointment with the person responsible for immigration in our area to get the permission for me to stay in Norway for a year. Dealing with the immigration bureaucracy of any country is like trying to get past a Sumo wrestler. I am all sorted now, thankfully. More about this later.

The trip is a 2.5-hour boat ride plus an 1.5-hour car ride each way. I’m neurotic about traveling light Read more

Learning To Live With Less

No dishwasher.

This used to be a deal breaker when we looked for a vacation house to rent for a week. For the next year, I’ll have to stand in front of the kitchen sink everyday and scrub, scrub, scrub under a very temperamental faucet.

Oh, by the way, no car. No Italian espresso machine and coffee beans freshly roasted and shipped to us from Kansas City. No Parma prosciutto. No dryer. No TV. No La Creuset pots and Read more