Thailand, last day of visit

15 05 2014




Thailand, Day 6

15 05 2014




Lent 13: driving the curves

25 02 2013

This is where I learned how to drive–in Southern Vermont. There is no lack of curvy, winding roads in my former stomping grounds. And so I approached the learning process with fear, trepidation — and a little excitement. My dad told me, when he first started teaching me to drive, that he wanted to make sure I knew how to drive the curves. And he did. And, I loved it.   Lent 13: driving the curves

I still love to drive the curves–in Vermont. The curvy, winding roads of life, however? Not so much. I’m not wishing for a bunch of perfectly straight roads-that actually sounds boring. But at times, I’d like to have a bit more variety, and not so much curve.

As I write this, I can’t help but think of those in my circle of friends and family who are currently on a stretch of  really hard curves. Illness, medical procedures up the wazoo, loss… lots of loss… death of loved ones, depression, strained relationships, lack of adequate finances, feeling utterly overwhelmed. It all can feel a bit out-of-control, much like driving too fast on a curvy road.

One of the things my dad taught me, about driving in Vermont, is that you don’t put the brakes on very much as you approach a curve. Obviously, if the situation warrants it, brake! But if you’re driving at the normal speed, and it’s a normal curve, keep driving into it. Don’t give it too much gas, don’t give it much brake… keep driving.

Easier on a Vermont road than on the road of life. And yet, I also have learned that–for the most part–one has to drive into the winding roads of life as well. Even when we change direction, even when we pull over at rest stops, even when we have to stop and fix a tire, switch drivers, whatever… we still need to get back into the car and drive into the rest of the trip. It takes more guts and white knuckles than I think I have, most of the time. But thanks be to God for his strength, for the Holy Spirit’s guidance, for the love and grace of Jesus Christ… and for the community of faith, that helps sustain.

Grace & peace & blessed driving.





Lent 11: smarter than a GPS?

24 02 2013

Lent 11: smarter than a GPS?Yesterday I drove to York and back again, for a “ONE” workshop, held at St. Paul’s Wolf’s Covenant Church. Great to be with colleagues and their parishioners, great to learn some good revitalization stuff.

The drive is about two hours, give or take. On the way there–no problems. But on the way home, I missed a turn. Or, I should say, I neglected a turn. I saw it… but didn’t believe it. I thought I knew better than the GPS. This isn’t entirely without reason. There have been many times when I have taken a short cut that my GPS doesn’t quite catch up with for several miles… But today, on the way home from York, the GPS was giving me accurate directions. And I was convinced that what I thought was actually the better way.

Not so much. After a mile or two, I realized my mistake, and I then followed the guidance of my GPS. And before long I was back on track.

There are times when God tries to tell me something… and I think I know better. I end up off track, and it usually takes me much longer than one or two miles to turn around. I’m not saying I understand or always agree with the ways God might direct me. But I can always affirm that God’s way still  needs to be my one way.





real, and pretend

13 08 2010

A couple weeks ago, Jim, Kajsa, Abby and I drove to Vermont for a week’s vacation at my parent’s house, along with several other family members. The day we drove to VT from Harleysville was a rough day. Kajsa was pretty sick, I was getting sick and in fibro pain, and we were all tired of being in the car. When we finally crossed over the VT border, (from NY state into Bennington),

Kajsa in the "Real Vermont"

I said, “Kajsa, we’re in Vermont! Yeah! Finally, we’re in Vermont!! Isn’t that great?”

Kajsa looked around out the window.. she looked at me and asked, “but where’s the real Vermont?”

“The real Vermont? What do you mean? this IS the real Vermont, Kajsa… we’re in Vermont!”

no, the real Vermont.. where is it?”

“Kajsa, what do you mean?” I asked.

“The house Vermont.. The real house Vermont.”

a-ha..

“Do you mean Grandma and Grandpa S.’s house?” I asked..

“Yes”, she said. And then I had to break the news that the “real Vermont was still an hour away….

Last weekend, Kris and Phil were visiting, and on Saturday we went to Philadelphia on the train. On the way back, on the train,  I was once again tired, in pain.. ready to call it quits for the day. I laid my head back on the seat, and closed my eyes. Kajsa was standing up on the seat between Jim and me, a bit more energetic than either Jim or I felt. Pretty soon, I heard, “Snip, snip.. snip, snip… Mommy!”

“What?” I opened my eyes and looked at Kajsa. She was holding two fingers as though they were scissors.

I cutting your hair, Mommy… with my little scissors.  You like it? I’m being really gentle.”

Kajsa, in Philadelphia

“Oh, thanks”, I said.. hoping she would keep “cutting” without needing much conversation.

“Snip, snip… snip, snip… Mommy! Look at your hair… you like it?”

“Yes, Kajsa.. thank you.” Then I thought I could give her another task. “But Kajsa, now we have a problem.”

“What, Mommy?”

“There’s hair all over the train seat. Look at that mess!”

She looked down at the seat, and there was the teeniest moment of silence before she smiled and shrugged, “I’ll just push it on the floor.”

“oh, Kajsa! we can’t do that! That’s garbage! And we can’t leave garbage on the floor.. ”

“Why not?”

“Because first of all, that’s not the right thing to do, but second, there’s a sign (and there was a real sign..) over there that say, ‘Please take your garbage with you, when you leave the train.”

Again, a bit of silence, then she turned and asked, “Is that real or pretend garbage?”





“Catch-Up” on Lent pix: Sunday..

18 03 2010

Isaiah 43:19: “… I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert…” Far from the original intention, I’m pretty sure…

Sun., March 14th

but I was tired, I was really really tired.. I was later than I wanted to be, on my way to Pilgrim Pines. The GPS was driving me nuts, and I was driving it nuts. I had to keep pulling over to turn on the light and look at my google map…. and then once I entered New Hampshire, I had to stop the car, turn the brights on, and read the signs, to make sure I was going the right direction. When I finally stopped at this signage, I thought I knew what it said, but just to make sure, I turned on the brights. Then took the picture. The way in the wilderness… the wilderness of a long day, a long drive, a long drive after a bad fibromyalgia flare-up that almost kept me home. And the welcome way in this wilderness, pointing me in the direction of Swanzey Lake, and Pilgrim Pines. Where I met up with my clergy women friends of the East Coast Conference.





pictures

9 01 2010

We’re here. We left Madison on Dec. 28th, left Chicago on the 29th, arrived in Harleysville, PA on the 30th. A great welcoming crew was here, waiting for us and the moving trucks. It’s so surreal, and yet strangely normal, to arrive at your new home, your new town, your new church. The few days have become a blur, and should be blogged at some point, but tonight I’m just happy to even get some pictures on the blog! So, more later. pictures now.

Tower of boxes, Kajsa inside the bottom box

Packing and Moving Help..

Trucks (yes, notice the trailer as well) leaving Alder Road

Christ Covenant Church, from our house (with the luminaries)

Kajsa and Anna, New Year's Day

Anna and Kajsa laughing with AJ





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.





Finally, another post.

24 08 2009

There are two reasons to suspect the end of the world is near: First, I’m finally posting again, after a long break. And second, I made a cake from scratch this summer. But in case neither of these leads to the world’s end, I’ll continue. And since so much has gone on in the past two months, I’ll resort to summarizing.

Travels:

Iron River, MI (Covenant Point Bible Camp, speakers.);

Milwaukee, WI  (Miller Park, for the annual District Clergy Brewer’s game);

W. Townshend, VT (my home, and Grandma and Grandpa Stanley); and while in Vermont: Weston, Londonderry, S.Londonderry, Townshend, Brattleboro, Pike’s Falls, Newfane…

W. Orange, NJ (to visit the Lehrer’s, friends we met in China.. and one of Kajsa’s “Ling Sisters”);

New Hope, PA (with the Lehrer’s, to meet up with the Robinsons.. another Ling Sister);

S. Plainfield, NJ, to be with friends from Pilgrim Covenant Church;

back to VT;

Madison, CT (to see my sister Susie & family);

Back to Madison, WI.

What’s happened, besides our travels, or as part of our travels:

We realized, on our trip out East, that Kajsa gets carsick. Not fun.

I watched more “Blue’s Clue’s” episodes than I care to remember, on that same trip.

Before Kajsa’s birthday, I made (not from scratch) a cake and decorated it like Blue.

Kajsa turned 2 on July 25th.

On her birthday, I made a cake from scratch.

Many friends and family visited. (Hopefully I’ll post pictures someday.)

I had a hysterectomy on July 27th, to remove fibroids and stuff. (I’m still recovering, doing well, though more-than-ready to be back at “full strength”–someday!)

I went back on Facebook. Sort of. I’m back, but not consistent.

I learned how to knit. Or re-learned, since I had once-upon-a-time knit in junior high… I’m loving it.

Oh, and somewhere in there, Brett Favre changed his mind a few times about retirement. And finally signed with the Minnesota Vikings.





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