Wednesday, May 22, 2024
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When winter means chainsaws and snow-ins

If we’re ever tempted to complain about the winter weather in Hawaii, consider this story from my friend Jonas Ryden living in the woods in Norway with horses, cats, dogs, an apiary, and random wildlife that he hunts. It’s just so wild I had to share with his permission.

Jonas Ryden. Courtesy: Jonas Ryden
Jonas Ryden. Courtesy: Jonas Ryden

It starts when he gets a job interview with a Scandinavian outdoor equipment company, which is more than a little ironic in this tale. “They want all their employers to be passionate about the outdoors,” he says.

Courtesy: Jonas Ryden
Courtesy: Jonas Ryden

His interview was on a Monday. In his words:

“On Saturday it starts snowing. When the kids and I drive home from a birthday party on Saturday night we just barely make it home, and only because I drive a Toyota Land Cruiser and I get to borrow a chainsaw from my neighbor (now I keep my own in the car at all times.)

Sunday we can’t get out again because of all the snow. Power was out, and we had no water apart from the snow we brought inside to melt. [Wife] Therese was out of town, so it was just me and the boys. Luckily we had enough firewood. Therese came home Sunday night, and stayed at a friend’s house in Sandefjord.

Jonas and Therese, when not struggling in snow. Courtesy: Jonas Ryden
Jonas and Therese, when not struggling in snow. Courtesy: Jonas Ryden

On Monday, the road is still not cleared, and there’s no way I can get out with the boys. What we end up doing is that Therese drives as far as the road is cleared. I strap Therese’s skis on my back and use my own skis to get to her, three kilometers through almost two feet of snow, sometimes over and sometimes under fallen trees.

We meet up, she gets her skis, and I get the car. I shower at a neighbor’s house, and make it down to the interview with ten minutes to spare. The kids were alone for about 1.5 hours, which was quite okay. This gave me a good story to tell at the interview, and it’s an even better story now that I got the job.”

Arrow indicates Jonas' house. Courtesy: Jonas Ryden
Arrow indicates Jonas’ house. Courtesy: Jonas Ryden

Moral of this story: if you’re going to live in rural Norway, you better make sure you pass a fitness test first. Then buy a chainsaw and cross country skis.

His horses, laughing at his crazy story. Courtesy: Jonas Ryden
His horses, laughing at his crazy story. Courtesy: Jonas Ryden

And could there be a better job interview story than this?

Jonas, when I visit you again, I’ll make sure it’s in the summer.

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