When we finally unlocked the door to our house mid-evening local time on Tuesday, we did so to balloons and "welcome home" signs made by the daughter of one of my closest friends.
The fridge had been stocked with milk, bread and butter, as well as cheese, strawberries, grapes and other luxuries. There were flower baskets by the front door, and inside a huge bouquet decorated the kitchen island.
A big box of Twinings Earl Grey tea had also been purchased, in anticipation of the many afternoons to come, sitting around the kitchen table with a cup of tea, while the kids play downstairs.
Another friend had left a tray full of home-baked delicious cookies. Needless to say, they didn't last long.
Everything looked amazing. I was so touched.
Then yesterday noon-time, a third friend stopped by to pick me up for lunch. 7 of us chatted for 3 hours over the most amazing dim sum I've ever had. Some of the girls had even rearranged their work schedule to be able to join us.
How can you possibly express your gratitude for something like that?
The girls all looked wonderful. Better than wonderful, in fact. And it was easy to slip right back into the conversation - almost like I hadn't been gone at all.
Except that the dim sum tasted so incredibly good. Oh.My.Goodness. I'd forgotten how much I missed it.
My re-introduction to food groups other than meat and potatoes continues today, as a sushi lunch has been scheduled for noon. Then tomorrow, we hit Asian Legend.
Being of stoic Viking stock, I could never adequately verbalize how much my friends mean to me, but I am immensely grateful to have them.
And though I'm filled with conflicting feelings about being so far away from Norway, one thing is crystal clear: The best friends in the world - they are all right here!