“What the heck?”

26 02 2010

Jim and I have a nephew who used to say, frequently, “What the heck, man?” He probably said this more and more, as we laughed more and more, but it became a standard phrase for Jim and me. When one of us is doing something that the other one is confused about, or when we observe something else going on that is confusing.. we occasionally turn to one another and ask, “What the heck, man?”

Sometimes, that’s how I feel with Lent. What the heck? Why all the bother? Why the fuss? Don’t we do this year after year, journeying to the cross,

Friday, Feb. 26th

trying to be more disciplined, or intentional, or less engaged in other activities that distract us from God?

I could state the obvious: God’s working on us, God’s growing us up, God’s using us and others. But the obvious doesn’t always help, when we’re in the middle of it. This sounds as though I’m really struggling with Lent. I’m not. At least not this year. But nor am I seeing any significant changes in my life–spiritual or otherwise. And so I wonder, “what the heck?”

This afternoon, Jim, Kajsa, Abby, and I took a drive out and about. I took this photo, because I couldn’t figure it out. What was it? What the heck, man? I couldn’t make it out, and we couldn’t exactly pull over at that point. So I took a photo with my zoom, in anticipation of viewing it later on the computer. Funny thing is, that even through my zoom lens, I didn’t take the time to see what this was.. I knew I would look at it later. And, voila, it appears to be (but I could be wrong) a bunch of bird feeders. That’s about all I know. But at least I know a little more than I did from my first view.

I’m hoping the same might happen with my Lenten Journey, 2010. I’m hoping that though significant changes in my life aren’t obvious today, change is still happening.. that God is working, that God is growing me up, that God is using–me and others. I’m hoping that though I may have more  “what the heck?” moments, that the picture will become clearer later on.





an outing with Grandma & Grandpa E.

31 08 2009

We’re in Minnesota for vacation, at Jim’s parents’ home. We arrived yesterday, and after I got to sleep in this morning, we took a drive out to visit a couple of parks, and a yarn store. G&GEandKajsaUnfortunately the first park we visited I cannot post photos of, thanks to my big mistake: deleting the photos shortly after taking them! Ugh. Horrible. Oh well. But the next park, Mears Park, in St. Paul, was great.. a creek running down the middle.. a band shell… flowers galore… people on lunch break, eating outside.

Grandma and Grandpa E. walked along with Kajsa, which she loved.

As we were heading out of the park, one lady eating her lunch outside pointed out a hummingbird for Joan and me to look at and photograph. Incredible! I’ve never seen a hummingbird so close, I think, and never one that did not fly away when I was inches away from it. Absolutely gorgeous.





Exit Glacier & wildlife!!!

3 06 2009

Leaving the campground, Jim and I saw a bald eagle land on the piling in the water. So we pulled over, and I got about 15 feet away from this gorgeous creature!!!

the bald eagle in Seward

the bald eagle in Seward

the eagle, again...

the eagle, again...

and on the way to the Exit Glacier, two new Venezuelan friends ran up to Sandie, saying they had seen some moose on the path. 3 of them! So Sandie, the two new Venezuelan friends and I ran ahead on the path, moose-hunting. We didn’t find the three that our friends had seen, but saw this guy!!!!

a moose!!

a moose!!

The Exit Glacier was fantastic to see. Amazing. It actually looks bluer in the photos than it did in reality. Funny.

Kjell drinking glacier water

Kjell drinking glacier water

the glacier

the glacier

the clan, minus Sandie, who took the picture

the clan, minus Sandie, who took the picture

family picture at the "toe" of the glacier, Kajsa asleep in the backpack

family picture at the "toe" of the glacier, Kajsa asleep in the backpack

Cathy fell down in the glacier

Cathy fell down in the glacier

Kjell and Cathy trying to move the glacier

Kjell and Cathy trying to move the glacier





Camping in Seward

1 06 2009

on Thursday afternoon, we loaded up two carloads of camping gear, kids, Little E., and adults, some snacks, etc. and drove to Seward, down south. I will admit to some apprehension about camping. It had been ages, since I’d camped. But I’m all for adventure, and thougth this might be fun. As it turns out, it was. Not only fun, but beautiful!! We drove to Seward, along a coastal highway for a bit, then on a highway surrounded by snow-capped mountain peaks. Really, it’s gorgeous. It helps, of course, that we saw another moose and 5 bald eagles on the way to Seward. But the photos of the distant moose and distant bald eagles are hardly worth posting. Still, we saw them.

What did not help the trip much was the camera lens catastrophe. Kajsa was on my shoulders, and I was about to hand off my camera to get her down, when she fell. Fortunately I held onto her leg, and she slid most of the way down my back, fell a short distance, then after crying a bit, did her normal routine of blaming whatever “made” her fall, or what “broke” her fall.. in this case, the ground. Pointing to it, crying, shaking her head and her finger at the ground. Unfortunately, in the process of Kajsa slipping down my back, and my fear of her falling harder, I dropped the camera. With the zoom lens on it. The zoom still works–but only at that outermost zoom length. Which is good, I guess. If you’re going to break your zoom lens, I suppose it’s best that it breaks at the greatest length possible. The bad part is, it’s stuck there.. and can’t move. So, it involves a lot of switching of lenses, when I’m wanting to capture a distant shot, then a closer shot.. oh well. As I have said numerous times, “I dropped my daughter, and I dropped my camera. I saved my daughter, not the camera.”

Here are some pictures…

dead trees, dead since the 1964 earthquake.. the trees are dead because the ground sank and saltwater entered these parts.

dead trees, dead since the 1964 earthquake.. the trees are dead because the ground sank and saltwater entered these parts.

Hooligan fishing on the way to Seward (20 Mile Creek)

somebody Hooligan fishing in 20 Mile River, on the way to Seward

a stone's throw (a good throw) from our tents... in Seward, on Resurrection Bay

a stone's throw (a good throw) from our tents... in Seward, on Resurrection Bay

Kjell, Sunny and Broder, in Seward

Kjell, Sunny and Broder, in Seward

the campsite, with tired campers

the campsite, enjoying the campfire

2 Seagulls and a Sea Otter. The otter hung out in the water by our campsite for ages, it seemed.

2 Seagulls and a Sea Otter. The otter hung out in the water by our campsite for ages, it seemed.





Photos.. of ordinary birds

6 12 2007

I should have posted these yesterday. I actually took them before I wrote the post. oh well.. here they are today–and they’re not my photo for the day. Still need to look for that shot.

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Ordinary Birds

5 12 2007

Jim bought me a bird feeder last Christmas. If you know me more than a little bit, you probably know that I love animals.. birds included. I thoroughly enjoy watching the birds fly about our backyard, back and forth between neighbors’ yards and bird-feeders, and picking up the dog fur outside to line their nests.

So a few weeks ago when our neighbor added new food to his bird feeder, I was so excited: the woodpeckers, cardinals, nuthatches, chickadees, and others flocked to his feeder, and to our trees… The other day Jim put up our bird feeder, and added some new food he bought. And though this new food is obviously an improvement over last year’s variety, it has only attracted ordinary birds. Sparrows, wrens… that’s about it.

I like ordinary birds. I have nothing against them. I love to watch them going crazy over the food, and am thankful that Jim put the feeder up just in time for the ice storm. But is it too much to ask that a “pretty” bird would stop by?

For a moment I feel shame. Shame, because I want to see pretty, colorful birds, not just ordinary grey ones. Shame because I should be happy with the flock of birds that are enjoying our food. And then I realize: I love these birds–yes, the ordinary ones. I am content with providing for ordinary birds, content with all the photos I have already taken of these birds flying around our yard. And, I remember that my whole life, I have been an “ordinary bird”, often wishing I was more colorful… And throughout my life I have been thankful for the people in my life who look at who I am, rather than at appearances.

Again, shame. I should know better–from first hand experience–than to wish for prettier birds. But I quickly release that shame. (I have enough to do this week without worrying about the shame I feel for backyard birds.) And instead I focus on the joy God gives me throughout the day, as I get to watch God’s ordinary creation outside my ordinary backyard. And I give thanks that we can help them out in these cold, snowy, and icy days.

Thanks be to God.