Everyone these days wants to know what happened in Sweden.
I can tell you what happened in Sweden. They had winter. They still have winter with snow and ice. It’s cold and windy. A warning “class 1” — that is fresh gale — has been issued.
And what is happening in Atlanta? We have summer. Technically it is still winter. But we have summer. Today, February 24, we had 79˚ Fahrenheit — the warmest ever in February.
On February 2, Groundhog Day, at 8:14 a.m. General Beauregard Lee, Georgia’s own celebrity groundhog (or whistlepig), came out of his groundhog-sized, antebellum-style mansion at the Yellow River Game ranch in Lilburn. He found no shadow. After one full minute without seeing his shadow he made the prediction that we’ll have an early spring down here.
He was right. We got spring quickly. Flowers are flowering. Greens are getting green. People are wearing T-shirts, shorts and flip-flops. Birds are singing in chorus.
Talking about chorus, here's something really new and you Nordstjernan readers are the first to know: We just started a new Swedish choir in Atlanta. It’s a mixed choir that's so new it does not have a name yet. It grew from Atlanta’s great Lucia Choir — consisting of men from Vasa Drängar and women from SWEA. Once a year we perform at the Lucia Celebration Concert, and we sound very good. Now, us 20 or so singers have come to the conclusion that we'd like to sing more than only once a year.
Our first performance is already planned. It will be on March 25 at 3 p.m. at St. Luke Lutheran Church in Atlanta. The Rev. Louise Linder, from the Church of Sweden in Florida, will conduct a service, in which the new choir will sing Swedish spring songs. And more performances are on the calendar.
But right now I have to get up from my couch and start the “spring tillage” — raking, aerating, digging, planting, cutting, trimming, painting, you name it! Whereas in Sweden they are shoveling snow, freezing, slipping and blowing away.

Göran Rygert