Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Its a grand ole flag

We enjoyed a cool Labor Day weekend in Dallas. It even rained all day Monday! The weather showed us that it can once again become bearable and inviting outside - you could get the tiniest whiff of Fall in the air if you breathed in deeply and closed your eyes.

Papa fired up the grill and we enjoyed a tasty meal on our patio as Peanut played with her collection of cars in her sandbox. Ahhh...

Out in the front yard, there were flags planted here and there in our neighbor's yards. I was a bit confused the first time the flags appeared seemingly from nowhere and without rhyme or reason. Our immediate neighbor had one, then no flags for 5 - 6 houses and then suddenly two in row.

It turns out the flags are part of service sold by a local high school group. For a small amount each year, they will come place a flag in your yard on flag flying holidays.

In Helsinki where most of us lived in apartments, the flagging was taken care of by the building maintenance staff. I also enjoyed the days when I walked out the front door and suddenly was surprised by the flags gracing all entry ways and public poles. While I didn't always know why a certain day was a flag day, it made it a bit special -- and worthwhile of finding out as a few holidays come with a special pastry - yum :-) - like Runebergintorttu is a Finnish pastry that is seasoned with almonds and rum. There is usually raspberry jam in a sugar ring on the tart.The tart has got its name from the Finnish poet Johan Ludvig Runeberg who liked to enjoy the tart with punch according to the legend. Runeberg's tarts are available on Runeberg's birthday on 5 February.

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