If I were speaking a foreign language I could understand — you don’t get it. But then, not everything translates. Jokes for instance. Or love, but love is its own language. So, too, the experience of sitting in a Stressless sofa or recliner, the ultimate in comfort.
Experience it, you’ll love it.
“Do I have to draw you a picture?”
It is my puzzled response to those who do not understand the extraordinary comfort of Stressless sofas and recliners. Designed in Scandinavia (Ikornness, Norway) and chock full of patented technology that is too hard to explain.
Trust me. No, don’t trust me. Try sitting in the Stressless Emily sofa right now. At Traditions Furniture in Downtown Overland Park, and in Wichita, and at other fine Stressless retailers from sea to shining sea.
More idioms when you don’t get the picture.
Are you really that clueless?
What planet have you been living on?
Adrift on a raft in a fog in the endless sea?
You are walking on a deck as thick as two short planks.
It has been raining here for so long that I have come to believe I am not in Kansas any more. (Dorothy knows what I am talking about.) Perhaps this is misty Portland or rainy Seattle, or cloudy Norway.
Then, I got to thinking. In Norway in summer, the days are longer, so when the sun does come out, isn’t it twice as nice? And rain brings rainbows to dazzle and delight.
We now offer Stressless vacations. These vacations are available world-wide and right now some of the favorite spots are right here in the good ole USA. That is not to say that traditional spots like Italy, France, and Norway will not come back to us. It is just that Americans feel a little safer right here at home.
And, as Dorothy, the little girl from Kansas who loved to travel, said, “There is no place like home.” Home in a Stressless recliner remembering those wonderful trips, like this one to Alesund, Norway, at the entrance to the Geirangerfjord, and the gateway to Ikornnes where Stressless recliners are made.
Okay, you are locked away at home, hopefully, you are working remotely, and everyone is well. It is May, the sun is shining, the weather is warm, and you are itching to travel, but not quite ready to go.
It is time to go virtual traveling. It is not a new thing. We’ve been traveling virtually for centuries. Homer’s Odyssey, told around table with a cup of wine was the first virtual story. That is unless you count the hand paintings on the walls of the caves of Lascaux, in Dordogne, France. Today, hunters are still telling stories of getting up before dawn to tramp the fields for birds. Storytelling, like hunting, is in our DNA.
The Egyptians with their cuneiform told pictorial stories, and the Phoenicians and Greeks turned symbols into letters and a whole new way of telling a story. Modern inventions helped us visualize what was written. Photographs and postcards gave us a picture, and stereoscopes made those pictures 3D.
Movies made them move.
There is nothing new under the sun. The whole point of going back to Homer’s Greece and to the French Caves of Lascaux is to remind us that, we are at our very core storytellers. We like to remember. Happiness and sadness, comedy and tragedy – we learn, we enjoy, we remember.
I remember Ålesund , Norway.
If you are lucky enough to travel to Norway, do it in the summer. The days are long, the nights short, the weather is sunny and spectacular. If you go, you are likely to land in Oslo the capital. But if you want to see Norway, travel north to the fjords of the western coast. And that will take you to Ålesund , the gateway to the fjords.
Enough with the story telling. The guy at the front of the tour bus eventually needs to shut up and let the tour group gawk and the beautiful scenery. What we all want to do is to see. Here is a smattering of what I saw:
Visit Ikornness, Norway
While in Alesund, don’t forget to take a boat trip up the fjord to Ikornnes, where Stressless recliners are made.
Sultry Seattle soul singer Oleta Adams was visiting Oslo, Norway a while back.
Not sure how far north she got, there are hills and mountains between Oslo and the far north where the fjords stick out into the icy North Sea like so many fingers pointing west. Which got me thinking about one of her biggest hits, Get Here, written by Brenda Russell in 1988, which Oleta first heard in Oslo, the very same year.
Thinking, like I said, that the song resonates the very same way today that it did back then, and always will, when something separates us from the one we love.
The lyrics start out like this:
You can reach me by railway You can reach me by trail-way You can reach me on an airplane … I don’t care how you get here, just get here if you can
In Ålesund, Norway you can only get there by an airplane, or a sailboat on a clear day. And they have a saying for rainy days – Alt vejr passerer, meaning all weather is passing.
[Ålesund, population of 47,199, a port town built on seven islands, high on Norway’s west coast, in spectacular Møre og Romsdal County, at the entrance to the Geirangerfjord, on the way to Ikornnes, home to Stressless recliners.]
Directions in a foreign country can be confusing. The letters are different, the speech incomprehensible, the weather sometimes impossible.
Gudskelov (Thank God) the Norwegians speak English and good music is a universal language.
The traveler caught a glimpse of the white house outside the bus window. It was just a momentary glimpse and he would not have remembered the moment or the house had he not taken a picture.
What was it about the white house?
Strange, the traveler thought, it was a farmhouse without crops or animals. Perhaps it was the ordinariness, a plain white box look, symmetrical but for the front door, that revealed nothing of the personalities of those who lived there. The bus was on its way from the western coast of Norway, from Ålesund to world-famous Geiranger with a stop in Ikornnes. If you are counting in kilometers, it is around 120 km passing through and over three distinctive fjords, watching all the while spectacular landscape unlike anything the traveler was familiar with. The roads were two lane, adequate for the summer traffic, and winding, as they make their way along the waterway with a ferry or two to cross to the other side of a fjord.
It was not unlike the farm houses in Maine, where the traveler had been the summer before. Nor was it unlike the mountain cabins in Montana where private people went to get away from the city. To the traveler, the White House would forever remain a mystery like so many places.
The traveler put down his camera and continued to watch the scenery roll by. The traveler was looking forward to Geiranger, the waterfalls, the hiking trails and people.
Ikornnes village, where Stressless recliners are made, is located along the Sykkylven fjord, way up north on the Norwegian coast where the Aurora Borealis lights the sky. Best seen from the Fjellstua Viewpoint, the locals say.
What are the Northern Lights, you ask?
Those bright dancing green lights of the aurora are actually collisions between electrically charged particles from the sun’s solar wind and oxygen (and on occasion nitrogen) particles in the earth’s atmosphere.
Where to see them?
Attracted by the magnetic poles of the northern and southern hemispheres, they are known as ‘Aurora borealis’ in the north and ‘Aurora australis’ in the south. A pale yellowish-green is the most common auroral color, found about 60 miles above the earth. Rarer, all-red auroras are produced by higher-altitude oxygen, and nitrogen produces blue or purplish-red aurora.