Gnome place like home for the holidays 

The holidays have arrived at Del Boca Sunset with a cheery note in each cubbie letting us know that trees would be set up in the lobby of each floor and boxes of ornaments would be available for residents to hang. We were reminded that live trees are not allowed in the building and that the checks for the employee gift fund were being accepted in the office.

A long time resident gave me the heads up: the amount of the check written to the employee fund can go a long way towards forgiveness if you get tattled on for rule breaking; such as not taking a soapy shower before getting in the hot tub. 

A dollar invested in December might payoff in August. 


My across the hall neighbor, Mary Lou decided that in addition to the sanctioned decorations she’d add some of her own.(As an aside, Mary Lou is exactly who you hope you would be when you’re in your 70’s – funny, interesting, interested). As you can imagine we pretty much run the show on floor 2 building A.

The elevator on each floor opens to a floor to ceiling mirror with a long table in front of it. Mary Lou added some greenery and  five cavorting ceramic gnomes. From Norway. 

I know they are from Norway because they have “Norge” stickers on them. It is physically impossible for a Scandinavian to bring back something from the Old Country and remove the sticker. $1000 Orrefors bowl from Sweden? Sticker. Limited edition Iittalla bird from Finland? Sticker. 

So fun fact about living in the Scandinavian ghetto of Ballard — people take their gnomes/elves/trolls very seriously. And their country of origin. Those of us who aren’t Scandinavian see it all as one big place full of blondes telemarking towards their jobs at Volvo or the butter cookie factory but if you are one you know the difference. 

At the (artificial) tree decorating party someone motions towards the gnomes “I see we are going with a Norwegian theme. I’m Swedish.”

“Uh oh” I’m thinking “the S is about to get real.” “Why you think those are Norwegian”. The rest of us mutter “Read the stickers”. 

Mary Lou pulled up to her full 5 feet 3 inches and said “I brought Swedish meatballs to make you feel included too.” 

Can’t we all just get along?

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