menopausebarbees
... the tales of two sisters

Dana lives in Seattle, and Tracie lives in Germany. We are businesswomen, writers and humorists. We write about life, dating, and today's modern women.

Cousin Confidential

I had a much needed catchup dinner with my cousin QD3 while visiting California this past week.  We laughed and reminisced of our childhoods. In my mind’s eye, he is still the cool natured, curly toe headed beautiful boy we call Snoopy.  He said he still envisions me as a gymnast who didn’t know up from down always walking on my hands. We marveled at how the years have flown and now we are both parents to two young adults, a son and a daughter each who are embarking on their own futures and discovering their emerging talents.  We discussed staying in shape, the benefits of Merlot wine vs others with higher acidity, projects we were working on, and he gave me an education of the No Go Zone.

Both of our fathers told us, ‘You gotta go to know.’  We have lived by this message and taken it to heart.

Sweden, where QD3 was primarily raised is the largest country in Northern Europe. I shared that when I visited there, I found it clean, orderly and was surprised that it was a cashless country. I couldn’t even use cash to pay for a $2 cup of coffee.  In 2023, Sweden is proudly becoming the first cashless nation in the world.  So if you plan to visit, literally don’t leave home without your plastic.

But what was even more intriguing about our conversation was the under belly which exists in Sweden’s No Go Zones. I was sharing about our homeless crisis in Seattle and how prevalent it still is in Los Angeles.  We talked about the economic struggles that effect so many of our marginalized communities and the need to level the playing field.  I have worked, traveled and witnessed the suffering of people from Newark to Memphis, all eagerly trying to improve their circumstance.  However, I had no idea from my brief visit to Sweden that they had the same devastating issues facing our inner cities domestically until my cousin enlightened me.

When I think of Sweden, like many of you, I think of what it is known for- scenic beauty, sea sides, and the Northern Lights.

According to several surveys, Sweden is also one of the countries in Europe where the highest share of population experience problems with crime, violence and vandalism.  I learned that these areas often have a high concentration of people of foreign descent.  The police reject the media’s reports calling this the capital city of segregation, however,  after delving in and researching, I definitely  see there is much more to view than my brief visit.

O.K., so I called this post Cousin Confidential, but I think my cousin would agree, some stories need to be shared!  Thanks for the education and memorable evening.  No time, like family time xo

Family time in the 70’s that’s QD3 on his dad’s lap and me wishing I could get out of the Pilgrim attire (my mother made me wear) and back to tumbling.