In a sense, everything we authors produce can be labeled as “human interest” when it’s our goal to have our words make a difference in another person’s life. Even now, as I’m finishing my memoir, my guiding light has been to show how, as a young Swedish-speaking girl in post-war Finland, my life in the United States became colored by my sense of not belonging anywhere.

I’ve selected the following few samples mainly because they are representative of a variety of sub-topics:

Hassles Aside, Amenities Make Condos Worthwhile. Miami Herald, (Jan. 26, 2003).

Condo-living can be a real hassle but there is a trade-off. My humorous essay speaks of how I avoided the condo-commandoes and developed my own coping skills.

Musings on “Gud som haver.” The Quarterly (Swedish Finn Historical Society; http://finlander.genealogia.fi/), Vol. 3 (Fall 2009).

Although this is a story about an ancient Swedish children’s prayer I approach it from the standpoint of the philosophy of translations. It’s intended as an eye-opener for any English-speaker who’s ever asked someone for an explanation of a foreign word without realizing the challenges one faces when trying to transfer the meaning of one language to another.

Bars and Cafés: the Coffee Culture in Finland. The Quarterly (Swedish Finn Historical Society; http://finlander.genealogia.fi/), Vol 20, (Fall 2012).

Kaffetaren battre bild

Maybe surprisingly, coffee drinking has deep roots in Finland where it was first a prohibited pleasure. But when the coffee pot became a meeting point for parishioners welcoming visiting clergy, a distinct new social experience was born. Today, it has evolved into full-fledged coffee houses that compete with those on the rest of the Continent.

To the left is a picture of the coffee pot I remember from my childhood (translated inscription, A spot of coffee is the best drink on earth).