Todd and I built our Finnish log sauna as a practice building before we built our log home. Our teacher, Ron Brodigan at the Great Lakes School of log Building in Ely, Minnesota advised us this. Our options were a boring garden shed or an outhouse- or….a party size sauna- where we got naked with our comrades and sweated and laughed and joked and showered off the sweat in the great outdoors and cool night air, then sat on the benches lining the log wall , towels wrapped around us, while our kitties purred at our feet and rain pitter pattered on the tin roof- well, it was the best way to spend an evening with our friends. ESPECIALLY, after a hard day building our log house. This is how the Finns did it. So for the last 22 years, Todd and I did just that. Our kids never indulged because their young bodies needed to go through puberty before their sweat glands were developed enough to rid their bodies of their heat. After they were old enough, they thought it a bid weird getting naked with their parents’ friends and never indulged all these years. But now they are in their 20′s and we announced that we were firing it up to celebrate the Winter Solstice holiday. Their friends were over visiting for the night and we all had a fantastic time sharing this Scandinavian cultural activity. One of the kids asked if it felt strange to us. We said no, this is what we do, this is who we are. Years ago, this is how we actually took a bath before we had plumbing. We taught them the sauna protocol and etiquette- pitch blackness in the sauna room, hold out your hand to direct open seats, shower off the sweat and sit outdoors with your towel wrapped around you, chatting it up. Although no one actually SEES anyone else naked, or even tries to look, there is this refreshing level of intimacy as human beings sharing a moment in life, relaxing, releasing toxins, becoming supple and humorous as the Finns say. No need for television or outside stimulus- it is such a wonderful way to share an evening with friends, and really after all these years of sauna-ing it up with our friends, there is no one finer to sauna with our grown children and their friends. Some of the finest things in life are free.
It was interesting to share something like this with our adult children, have them feel comfortable, be on the same plane