Thursday, March 12, 2009

Longing For a Finnish Sauna

Whenever we stay at a hotel I'm hoping they have a Finnish sauna. I found myself wanting one today as I read the article on saunas and Finnish culture in Thunder Bay, Ontario, located on the northern edge of Lake Superior.

I was born in Hancock, Michigan to Finnish parents. My grandparents on both sides came from Finland. My mother grew up on a farm in a beautiful valley in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Located about a hundred yards from the house was a wooden shed with a sauna in it. I remember visiting "the farm" as a kid. One time it was in the winter. I remember taking a hot sauna and walking in the cold back to the house.

I live as far south in Michigan as one can get. But my heart yearns northward. Linda's heart yearns southward, so we have some conflict here!

I want someday to travel to Thunder Bay, take in some Finnish cuisine, smell the northern woods, see very few people, sit in a 200-degree sauna, walk out to Lake Superior, jump in the water, go back in the sauna, lay my head on a pillow next to my beautiful wife, and sleep like a baby.