Before I begin my article, I want to thank the Buffalo community, once again, for a wonderful turnout at our Father’s Day parade last Saturday. We had a variety of classic cars, new convertibles, motorcycles and a few tractors show up at our parade. Our gentlemen were so excited to see these, as well as their families and friends. Thank you so much for your dedication to our residents. Also a huge thank you to our police and fire crew who helped lead the parade on such short notice; and once again, thank you to Vickie and her crew at the Grace Community United Methodist Church, who helped organize the parade on the other end. Buffalo, you are the best!

I asked our ladies and gentlemen on Monday, “When you think of Sweden, what do you think of?” Well, the first thing they said was Swedish meatballs. The first thing I thought of was Swedish fish, which is my favorite candy. We will talk a little more about that later.

So I guess you have figured out what we are learning about this week. Yes, we are taking a trip across the world to Sweden. So, pack your bags, we are headed to the land of Scandinavia.

Sweden is in northern Europe on the Scandinavian Peninsula. Finland is to the northeast and Norway to the west. Sweden’s government is set up as a parliamentary constitutional monarchy, similar to England. We held a discussion on Monday about the royal family and how their country is run. We definitely liked the fact that they work six-hour days, have 25 paid vacation days a year plus 16 holidays. Also, both the father and mother can share up to 480 days of leave after their baby is born, at 80 percent of their salary. One other item is that Sweden is known as a “welfare state,” in that the government takes responsibility for the economic and social welfare of their people, which means health care and education for everyone is funded by taxes.

One of the most important holidays celebrated in Sweden is the Midsummer Day, which marks the summer solstice and is annually held this week. So why not celebrate with the Swedish people. It is a celebration of life and love. People pick flowers and make floral crowns to wear throughout the week. Can you guess what we are going to make?

A few of our other activities consist of making Swedish tea cookies and kladdkaka, creating a Scandinavian door decoration and Swedish heart basket. We are even going to make some Swedish sushi. Yum yum!

Did you know that our ever popular candy Swedish fish really come from Sweden? The creator, Malaco, began marketing this candy in the 1950s. Because fishing is very popular in Sweden and the U.S., they decided to create a brightly colored, chewy, gummy fish just to market in the U.S. It caught on very quickly and is still popular today. I grew up eating Swedish fish, and to this day they are my favorite candy. Both Walmart and Dollar Tree sell these in their stores, if you want to try them. We will have a few activities this week that relate to this candy.

We hope you all had a wonderful Father’s Day. Now we have to get ready for our next holiday, July Fourth. It will be here before you know it.

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