Tuesday, December 20, 2016


One time, Mekkar’s mama instructed him not to run fast and stop suddenly on the ice with the particular shoes he had on because she warned him sternly, “You could fall and get hurt”. Well, the rebellious Mekkar ignored the warning as he many times did. Next, after going outside and arriving at the frozen lake he took off running full speed to play with his friends and just then he stopped suddenly near them. Unlike his normal tennis shoes that he regularly wore these heavy soled rubber bottomed shoes were created to slide very little on icy surfaces for good traction. So, when Mekkar stopped abruptly, he fell down and landed the left-side of his face directly on the ice and broke his cheekbone. There was instant pain felt by Mekkar. Despite the cold there was still a worse nagging feeling inside because he now had to face his mama after not listening to her earlier stern advice.

When he got back to the house, his mama was there waiting for him, because she knew sensed something was not right and another kid had already notified her about Mekkar’s misfortune. Due to Mekkar’s moaning and groaning she would have surmised anyway what had happened, but Sirga also wanted to teach him a lesson. So, she scolded him and then told him that she was “going to make him wait before she called the doctor because she wanted him to suffer a little bit to remind him of this moment. Maybe next time you will listen to me, huh!” Sirga knew that the local physician couldn’t do much about an injury such as the one Mekkar had except to give him pain medication and advise him to rest to let it heal up. She wasn’t about to tell Mekkar this and what she had learned about a similar cheekbone fracture that happened to herself from her earlier days.

Sirga felt that if Mekkar encountered pain as a result of his direct disobedience then bad behaviors on his part would be more likely avoided, like burning a finger on a hot stove. This is what her advanced education had taught her through various psychology classes. However, she seemed to understand that bullheaded Mekkar had to learn many lessons the hard way and from his own errored ways.

Other games were created or adapted according to the conditions by the participants such as 15-on-15 ice basketball; sometimes there were more than 15 kids on each side but still with pretty many evenly matched teams according to their individual athletic abilities. Unlike King of the Ice where all the players involved could use regular shoes or skates, ice basketball was played exclusively on ice skates as dictated by the group leaders. The baskets were 5 meters (16.4 feet) high on a pole setup at opposite ends of a smaller frozen pond or lake. The baskets were constructed by some of the more mechanical men in the village. These baskets also had a small white backboard like one a person would find in an elementary school yard and they could be set up and taken down easily by the older kids among the players.

The rule was the first team to score 10 baskets, with each basket being counted as 1 point, through the 5 meter (16.4 feet) tall hoop was declared as the winner or when visibility became too dark or foggy to see well anymore. At that point, whatever the current score was would be the victor. Trouble was scoring a basket was much more difficult than it looked with a rim higher than in pro basketball with children trying to throw up a regulation sized basketball through the high hoop. At times, games could go on for hours and since a player is unable to dibble a basketball on ice, they can only advance the ball, by skating, up to 3 meters (9.8 feet) until required to pass the ball. Mekkar never wanted to jump while taking a shot at the basket because one of the first things he learned when beginning to play ice hockey is to not leave your feet! If you jump into the air, in hockey and in ice basketball, you are asking to get tagged and will probably get hurt. Mekkar didn’t want that!

Any of the players, whether they are in possession of the ball or not are subject to get body checked and tagged hard. Thus, Mekkar and all of the others always had to keep their head on a swivel and be aware of everyone and everything around them. At any time Mekkar could get knocked on his rear end. This activity was also beneficial to improve Mekkar’s defensive hockey skills, whether he realized it or not at the time.

Mekkar would also for amusement play an army men battle game with his younger brother Alf, when his younger brother got older. The rules were fairly simple as there were the same exact number of plastic toy soldiers, tanks, and artillery on each side, but no aircraft was used. Mekkar, being the older sibling, always got the first choice of sides and he always chose the blue colored soldiers and equipment. Mekkar seemed to always pick a western nation as his side and he declared Alf’s opposition black colored soldiers and equipment as the communist Russians. Mainly due to historical distain for the big bear frequently trying to conquer neighboring lands. Mekkar thought that this is ironic since the Rus were Swedish Vikings and Russians, even if they don’t admit it, are their descendents. [Wikipedia; dur.ac.uk - origirus.html; users.mildura.net.au - vikrusia.htm]

Anyway, they would have anywhere between 15 to 30 minutes, as determined beforehand, to setup their sides in a predefined territory with snow ridges, bunkers, etc. They could only use items in that particular territory, nothing from another area was to be brought into the game. The battle would begin with Alf rolling, tossing, shot-putting, or pushing from the air or ground a bowling ball from two thirds of a meter (2.16 feet) away from the others’ battlefront lines. Whatever the ball hit directly or if it made any type of contact through rolling after hitting the ground afterward was considered dead. They removed the ones hit from the battle front, and put into a dead items graveyard pile off to the side next to but outside the battlefield zone. This back and forth by each side could go on for awhile as each of the brothers would eventually get tired of tossing the heavy bowling ball and they would take short breaks. However, there were no modifications, readjustments, or realignments of their forces allowed after the game had begun. One side would be victorious when the other’s military was ultimately depleted or the captain announced surrender. Well, Mekkar was always too obstinate to ever surrender. 

Monday, December 12, 2016


Even though where Mekkar lived was not officially considered a town by designation of the national government, he still referred to it as his home town. The country standard for a town was 5,000 or more inhabitants and it wasn’t the case unless you included all the people in the adjoining village across the river and tourists that seemed to Mekkar to visit at all times of the year. Mekkar’s village still had a special significance as a reindeer herding district and gave the natives who lived there, like Mekkar’s family, a few special privileges since they were nomadic in earlier times. Mekkar thought about this and as he got older, he grew more aware about what he called “the guilt makeup” for past poor treatment of natives and exploitation of the native area use lands by some in authority on behalf of the nation.

Mekkar wondered why various distinctions were made regarding minority peoples within a country by the government overlords posing as beneficiaries on their behalf and rights; Plus, Mekkar noticed that his neighbors didn’t trust these outsiders. He felt it was only a matter of time before those same nation-state overlords would start to take away those native rights little-by-little until they were all gone in the future. Even though those individuals and their representatives in charge of the nation had never understood nor lived in the far north, they also had no concept of how their decisions affected how to make a living in that environment. Yet, they passed rules, regulations, and laws that favored everyone else in the region except the natives. In Mekkar’s mind, it seemed that those officials wanted to totally destroy the native way of life while at the same time force the native peoples there to give up their cultural identity on an individual and collective basis. Mekkar saw it as an agenda to setup the circumstances to force them to leave the area also. Then, the overlords and their captains of industry could ramp up their ultimate plan to take over everything there and greatly increase natural resource exploitation like they have done to other native peoples around the globe. [Wikipedia; utexas.edu – gaski-newera.htm]

Even though, from an outsider’s point of view, there seems to be limitations on the number of fun activities available to arctic children. Especially during wintertime, there is more than meets the eye. Fun, recreation, and activity was not restricted to usual associated pursuits such as reindeer herding, skiing, skating, and fishing. Mainly because of the creativity and ingenuity of the natives themselves, modification and invention was rampant for playtime. For instance, there were games out of the frozen lake ice such as King of the Ice, where everyone would be pitted against everyone else. If any part of the body was pushed off the ice surface onto the snow, in any manner, that participant would be out of the game until the group had a winner and began another new round of the game. This game taught speed, agility, maneuverability, dodging, and avoidance skills.

What would tick Mekkar off would be when a small group would attempt to remove him from the ice because he got pretty good at sticking around toward the end most of the time. He had a knack for being crowned King of the Ice on a regular basis. His competitiveness meant he just hated to lose at anything and helped him in these children’s games. To keep all of the children involved, every so often the group leaders, some of the older kids, would decide that every one, especially the less athletic kids, would be victorious and let them win at this game in rotating intervals. In the long run, everyone would continue in the activity and it made it more fun for everyone. However, this still frustrated Mekkar because of his super competitiveness and he always liked to win.

The added benefit was that the winner gained a prize which was provided by the rest of the losing group. The reward was a treat like ice cream or pizza or could be a service rendered such as doing the winner’s chores for a day. Mekkar knew it was beneficial to give everyone an opportunity to taste victory in the overall scope of things; however he really hated to lose at anything, anytime, or to anyone. Mekkar was not a person to just let you win because he felt that if you beat him in any manner you should have to earn it. Otherwise, it gives a person a false sense of confidence as well as hinders a person’s character development because in his mind you cheat yourself. He knows that the world outside doesn’t just let people win. Mekkar has done his share of travelling to come to this conclusion, and in his opinion, through a lot of observation of other people on his part.

Mekkar believes to defeat him meant that his opponent was better prepared that time and in that instance than he was. Mekkar was rare, in the fact, that he outright disregarded the new modern world court of opinion aspect until he was forced to accept it, in some form, by the majority. Suffering defeat would make Mekkar even more determined; some would classify it as plain old stubbornness, than before to win the next time. This did show up as a type of ruthlessness in Mekkar’s character. To Mekkar, losing is worse than dying and to him winning is everything and defeat should be eliminated. Maybe it was a survival mechanism for Mekkar instilled at birth or a trait that would be needed for later in life. Either way, he was unsure why this very different mindset existed.

To the Native from the North, every little thing added together are examples of past, ongoing, and future trends in his life. Like a person forecasting the weather or a particular stock from the market and then basing a specific future outcome from those indicators. That is how Mekkar determined some certainty in his mind from the environment around him. That is partially how Mekkar looked at the world and that would help develop his beliefs and convictions. Deep determination is a very strong internal trait that has always driven Mekkar to excel in his life.

The Far North Native knows that he is a take charge, leader type personality. He is definitely not a person to always be one to follow the crowd when he feels the path requires him to stand alone and against all when necessary. He was a leader, even if he was somewhat reluctant in certain situations due to a benefit analysis conducted for himself. This mentality also shapes his no nonsense attitude to boot. Like all children, Mekkar would try to test the limits of his parents’ instructions and their resolve for correction of his unacceptable behavior.

Sunday, December 4, 2016


One of the few times Mekkar had a chance to use his before its time toy, a tourist operating a rent-a-car almost ran him over. It was right in the street despite the clear weather, sunny day, and few people or animals alongside the road. There weren’t a lot of obstacles there that day except for the crazy motorist. Mekkar surmised that the driver must have been distracted somehow, by what he had no idea. He thought to himself, at least I didn’t get hit by the car and blurted out “dumb tourist, who doesn’t even know how to drive”. Especially, since Mekkar was only riding his board on the side of the road and not in the middle of the street. After that incident, he was not so keen on using his created toy as much as before, mainly because he was not a fan of being a road target or street pizza. From then on, he preferred to use his kick sled instead but it was only useful in snowy and icy conditions. Mekkar even commented, “At least, we don’t play as much road/street hockey as much as we used to because of outrageous and dangerous motorists who visit the area. Well soon, we can go out on the frozen lakes to play.”

There were games Mekkar and the kids around the neighborhood would play that sometimes included all the children, with boys and girls of all ages. At other times, a few of the games involved just the older kids or the more athletically gifted ones of which Mekkar was usually included even when he a bit younger. This was because Mekkar was one tough son of a gun; some of his friends thought it was because his parents conformed him that way. Some of the ice hockey related games, on the frozen lake, were what they call shinny, pond, or pickup hockey in other places around the globe. At first, when Mekkar was included into some of these play activities and was treated like he was entering into an initiation and introduction process conducted by the older kids and there was some physical damage metered out at Mekkar.

Since, there was relatively no protective equipment being worn, by the participants. That is, except the padding provided by the cold weather layered clothing his mama or another family member dressed him in. Plus, there were no boards set up around the small lake where the children played there which included little body checking, at that time. That would change not long afterward when portable rink accessories were created by a few people in the village. Sometimes, Mekkar would encounter a hip-check in the middle of the ice surface, especially since he was a newcomer. In addition, there was very little roofing of the puck towards a person’s head because that showed direct intent to injure other kids there. People forget a direct shot to various parts of the human body can kill a person.

Anyway, some of the older boys still wanted to test Mekkar’s mettle and the initiation into their activities would include cheap shots at times such as elbows to the head, mouth, and specifically his nose where his eyes would water up and his vision would be temporarily blurred. Slashes to the back of the non padded parts of the legs, arms, and hands would result in cuts, bruises, and some swelling at times. But, Mekkar took it all like a man, even though he was still a boy, and eventually as he got older he started to give some of that right back too! Unknown to Mekkar, it would help prepare him for the future. Once in awhile, Mekkar would come back home after these episodes a bloody mess.

His papa recognized the signs and started to take him aside to teach him how to really defend and protect himself. First through boxing, hockey fighting, and later on put Mekkar into martial arts training. Mekkar’s papa showed him different techniques such as pulling the jersey over an opponent’s head, as tie up your challenger’s arms while in a fight on the ice. Henrik taught Mekkar that the first key is balance in any hockey fist fight for two reasons: you are on thin, sharp blades instead of own feet, which are much wider. The second key is not to fall to avoid hitting you head on the ice, because ice always wins and you can get knocked out or worse. Mekkar understood this through actual events and in those days most players performed without a helmet and that ones that did were usually considered the kooks. Plus, those that did don the head gear still lacked a half or full face shield like many players use today at all levels.

During this protective training process arranged by his papa Mekkar would come more bloodied and bruised. One time he got frustrated while punching the heavy boxing bag and ripped off the gloves, went over to retrieve the axe, took it and swung it really cutting a huge hole into the bag. The sand inside quickly ran out onto the floor. Henrik made Mekkar buy another heavy bag to replace the one he intentionally damaged and it was not cheap! Mekkar’s mama would sometimes yell at Mekkar, “Don’t bleed all over the carpets and the house”. She eventually got Henrik to build a clean up area with a shower, a storage area, racks and hooks for gear, etc. and a bench as an addition to the main house near the back entrance so the kids wouldn’t make a mess of the polar white colored carpet that covered the whole of the house.

Mekkar always grumbled that everyone had to remove their shoes before entering the house but realized this was a normal tradition throughout the whole nation and even more prominent down south. Mekkar always wondered why he, his friends, family members, and other locals they knew seemed to only approach the house at the back door. So, one day Mekkar asked his mama why this was the case and she responded that, “Only strangers come to the front door because of World War Two, when the enemy would kick in the front door of each household during each of their different invasions.

This was the beginning of other atrocities against the local populations of this area such as the burning of almost everything as they were leaving. That is the reason why most of the older people in our area here still know how to handle and operate a multitude of weapons. They had to shoot some of those guys back in the day to protect themselves. You have noticed a few of the old small and now rusting anti-aircraft and ground rocket firing machines from that time period hidden in the trees and bushes around, haven’t you?” Mekkar still to this day, even while living in a different part of the world, always announces himself with his first name when coming into the front door of where he lives. It is either a cultural installed reaction or a force of habit created within him. Perhaps, it is a subconscious response as to not get shot. Mekkar still does this, even when he lived by himself because some childhood developed habits are extremely hard to break 

Thursday, December 1, 2016


After being forced, by his mama, to watch and learn English from the sports tapes and films sometimes. Mekkar would put some of those new skills that he had learned into practice. For example, he would go outside afterward to play, but he had to use many words that he heard in the English language so far. That is, from the teaching materials his parents had acquired just for him. Sometimes going to great lengths to get them for him, while they were on their travels around the world. Later on, when he got older Mekkar would be required to gather these materials for himself.

At other times, his mama would bark at Mekkar that he could only speak in the english language and no other, just after his lessons and while playing with the dogs. The reasons for this were that not only to force Mekkar to quickly learn english as an asset for the family businesses but also because his godparents dog understood english along with 9 other languages. Attu has escorted Mekkar’s godparents around the world to more places than many people on their globe trotting adventures. So, Mekkar would be found practicing his new found lingual skills would not be too much of a foreign thing to Attu. Now, Attu was not a small dog when Mekkar’s godparents purchased him, when he was young, under mysterious circumstances in Siberia, Russia. Attu was a half Siberian husky/Malamute mix with black, gray, and white colors in his thick coat of hair. Attu’s weight fluctuated between 160 to 180 pounds as an adult and he ate a lot. As Mekkar’s god mama would say, “Eat her out of house and home”.

Attu was a very playful dog especially with little Mekkar. One time when an excited Native from the North brought outside a football, they got on a journey to America, to play with the dog. In Mekkar’s mind, playing with the dog this time was seen as a relief that the language study time required by mama was over and he wanted to get as far away from it as possible. This is a strategy that many kids use around the world to get away from unpleasant situations and things or so Mekkar thought. Right off the bat Mekkar threw the football up in the air and as its flight downward back to earth was commencing Attu caught the football out of the air and at the same time bit all of the helium out of the football. While still in his mouth the dog would run around the yard in sort of a daring manner challenging Mekkar to not only catch him but also take the football from his mouth. Sometimes, since Attu was so large and agile for his size he would run over Mekkar in a playful manner, not in a vicious way. The dog still dared Mekkar to remove the football from his mouth. It was actually pretty difficult for Mekkar to catch Attu and he was big enough that Mekkar couldn’t even put his arms around the dog when giving him a hug.

That was one example of their relationship that they would enjoy for many years while Mekkar and Attu grew up together. That continued until Attu’s legs could not support his weight anymore and the pain became too great for the dog. Attu lived for 24 years, way beyond his expected lifespan and then was sadly put to sleep. Attu was always protective of Mekkar, especially when he was younger, against other unknown dogs, wolves, and other non-family critters. One time, Mekkar tried to outfit Attu with warmers and such but since nothing fit, Mekkar quickly gave up those ideas regarding his boyhood buddy. Attu, due to his playful soul, was very popular with the kids around the neighborhood. All the children seemed to love him and the family did too! Attu was much more popular than Mekkar dog, Laka and Laka comes from a pretty playful dog breed himself. However, both Attu & Laka did dislike cats very much and would chase them and never would back down from them, not even larger animal from the cat family like lynxes, etc. At the same time, Attu and Laka got more spoiled the older they got, especially Attu.

Sometimes, Attu would catch birds and other small creatures and bring them to the dinner table, not to eat them, but as a gift. Attu would then give that look at the table like here’s my gift, now I want my steak and red wine because Mekkar’s god mama gave him that as treat at least three times per week as a normal ritual for most of Attu’s life, besides other treats. Attu was always trying to catch birds, and Mekkar would see this alot. At times, the dog would stand up on his hind legs next to the house. Since Mekkar’s god mama was a bird photographer and had bird feeders filled with seed and red colored liquid also. At first, the feeders were on the one edge of the outdoor house roof, but since that part was lower than the rest and Attu, when he stood up, could capture the birds there when they landed at the various food sources there resulted in some damage to that edge of the roof.

So, eventually Mekkar’s god mama had to set up the bird feeding stations much higher up on the roof. She would now have to go through the attic to get to them and take the close-up pictures of these creatures in feeding mode with her fancy camera. Mekkar thought it was pretty cool to see hummingbirds captured in full flight and hovering in slow motion suspension. His god mama took pictures at home and at different locations all over the world, once in awhile Attu would be in some of those photos. Even though it was her hobby she did make some money for those efforts.

Even with his main source of bird caught gifts removed, the number that Attu brought to the table during dinnertime never really decreased. Attu was found to be a very resourceful animal that, in Mekkar’s opinion, adapted and found other strategies to get what he wanted. It didn’t matter whether it was love, approval, or acceptance. However, Attu was never used around reindeer or on the trek and he didn’t mind because the dog didn’t have that desire to go on those journeys.

One time Mekkar’s papa made him a skateboard, well it was for Mekkar, the kid. Some of the materials used were metal wheels with steel ball bearings because composite wheels were not available to the public. At least not in this part of the world; and Mekkar’s papa modified used cross country skis. Fiberglass was added to make the skis wider than a regular ski, like snowboards today but not as wide. Since the ski board was longer than a normal skate board, there were additional sets of wheels added to the underside of the board at evenly spaced intervals. They were added so it would not bow in the middle and drag around the ground in the middle and possibly snap the board. The problem was that Mekkar rarely got to use the ski skateboard. Even though his papa made it specifically for him and was individually tailored to Mekkar’s weight, foot step patterns, etc. It seemed to him that kids that he knew were always coming over the borrow it. Mekkar lamented one time that even his younger brother got to use the ski skateboard way more than he did.