This month, Brian Cabell probes the mind of realtor-writer-adventurer Frida Waara, and finds out what makes this ever-enthusiastic, winter-loving woman tick.
BC: You were raised in Wixom in the Lower Peninsula. Was it a happy childhood?
FW: Oh, tremendous. I was outside all the time. I lived near a lake with plenty of room to play outside, with lots of friends to play with. We were on our bikes, we were waterskiing and swimming every day. My dad was a champion swimmer, the kind of guy that swam a ten mile marathon up the Mississippi River. So as soon as I could walk, I could swim, and then as soon as I could hold a fly rod, he was teaching me how to catch sun fish on a fly.
BC: You had a heavy Finnish influence from the very beginning.
FW: Oh yeah. My grandfather and grandmother spoke Finn, and then the Finn camp in Wixom was a really important place. We all played there. The people would all come to their summer place, their twelve by twelve cabins at the lake. They would be there to fish and boat, and my friends were there. We had community sauna on Saturday so you really weaved a lot of that Finnish culture into your life.
BC: Were you aware that the Finnish experience was a little different from the typical American experience?
FW: No, it felt natural. Now, my mom was a Southern girl that was always looking north, I guess. Married a darn Yankee, and he was a Lutheran right next door to a Catholic! But she adapted so well. She was an independent sort, and the Finns are like that.
Read the full interview here: http://www.marquettemagazine.com/straighttalk-with-frida-waara/