Thursday, July 24, 2008

Just in Time: The park at the shore of Lake Michigan

It's a good thing I walked down to the shore and to the little park yesterday. Today I noticed that the local civic club is setting up tents and stuff for a festival this weekend. It is a fishing derby, but I think the majority of people who attend, go for the beer and the brats, the friends, and the music. Yeah, you can also see what fish people are bringing in to be weighed. They can be big salmon, I guess. Well, I like brats, and I like beer, but not a pitcher of it. Fishing is theoretically OK, but not going on that big lake in a small boat. And I don't like mingling in that type of crowd without a friend. The music will be drifting in through the window when I need to get some sleep tomorrow night. I'm just glad that this house isn't one of those that is on the edge of that tiny park.

And every body there will also be very glad that the place doesn't stink of dead fish and seaweed. I was asked in the previous blog post comments if it usually stinks. No, there are probably more good days than bad days. It depends on the wind, among other things. Of course, if the wind is coming from the west and it is the time of year when the farmers are spreading manure, well, then there is another odor. This is, after all, America's Dairyland. And all of that is part of God's World.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Lake Michigan

You really can't see across the lake. It didn't stink today, no dead fish or seaweed.

Two wrong turns

This afternoon I drove from NW of Lake Superior to the western shore of Lake Michigan. I made two wrong turns, one because the sun was in my eyes when I was trying to read the sign to enter the highway. I got on the wrong freeway. I knew right away because the sun was supposed to be at my back. You know how far one has to drive to correct that kind of mistake. I won't tell you how stupid the other wrong turn was. In any case, that delayed my arrival until 5 minutes after the convenience store here was closed, so in the morning I might not have much for breakfast.

The moon over Lake Michigan was orange and large, but not full. It was a wonderful sight, signaling that I have arrived at the ancestral home.

Why do large lakes have the word Lake before the name and small lakes have the word Lake after the name?

Monday, July 21, 2008

Any book recommendations for somebody seriously ill?

We have a person we care about who has a seriously debilitating illness, needing a lot of personal care.  She has some depression now, which is understandable, but she isn’t seeking enough help with that.  Other family members are wondering about some suggestions for reading material, especially in the area of faith and spirituality during an illness.  Do you know of anything that might help? 


Of course, there is more to this story that I’m not mentioning.  This person is a Christian, but I think that due to long time confinement in her home, she has lost touch with the church she was a member of.  Knowing her, I’m guessing that she hasn’t asked for pastoral visits.  Fortunately, LSS is sending in some visitors recently.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Genuine Article

Have you seen the beer commercial where the producers set up a situation to test people's honesty?

In one scene, the bar tender gives back way too much change. Most people keep it without saying a word. When someone finally tells the bar tender about the mistake, he is celebrated for his honesty; he is the genuine article. In another version, they leave a cell phone on the seat of a taxi until someone not only notices it, but also calls the cell phone owner and makes the taxi driver drive to the owners office.

Well, we had something similar happen for real today. A woman found my daughter's wallet, including all the money and credit cards, on a sidewalk in a town a few hours drive away from here. She called here at 7:00 am, making three long distance calls to us, but that was after calling another county's sheriff's office first because she mistakenly thought our address was in another county.

Then I had to try to contact my daughter, which I eventually could through leaving voice and text messages and calling her friend's father. My daughter got the wallet by about 8:30 am. I can't imagine what she would have done on this trip if she had found herself at a gas station in some other small town with no money and no credit card and not knowing anyone there.So here's to a GENUINE ARTICLE named Sharon in central Minnesota.

Friday, July 18, 2008

A week and a half later...our anniversary dinner on the deck

A week and a half ago we celebrated our 35th wedding anniversary. Actually we didn’t celebrate because I spent most of the day and all of the night sleeping. I’m not one who likes to nap, nor do I sleep all that well at night, usually, but I had a bug. My anniversary supper, lovingly prepared by my life-love, was a piece of toast, a small bowl of chicken noodle soup, and a cup of hot water [aka tea without the teabag.] My head remained foggy for a week, so I still didn’t feel like doing anything special.

Yesterday we received a package with an anniversary present from our daughter: a photo album about our early years together with recollections from some family members. What a lovely, personal gift!

The clouds cleared in time for us to eat on the deck, and we opened this gift, in the presence of our other daughter who already knew about the album. What fun to relive those early years. How nice to see some of the family when they were still quite healthy. What hair we had! The kids must think we were hippies. Or did everybody look like hippies in the 70’s?

Because my head had finally cleared, I remembered that I had actually bought a gift for my husband, so I gave that to him last evening as well. He had surprised me on our day with four plants; I had said I hadn’t gotten anything.

Thirty five years ago I never would have imagined the adventures we've had!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Friday Five: Summer Camp

Friday Five: Summer Camp

The RevGalBlogPals had the Friday Five last week on summer camp. I’m not a member of the group, but reading the entries sparked a lot of memories for me, so I thought I’d join the camping fun.

1. Did you go to sleep away camp, or day camp, as a child? Wish you could? Or sometimes wish you hadn't?

I attended Camp Mt Morris, a Lutheran Camp, in Wisconsin for two summers when I was about 6 or 7 years old because my mom was asked to be the camp nurse, so I got free camping. I can’t find this camp on the ‘net, so I don’t know if it is still there or if it has changed names. I loved the activities: campfire singing, worship, swimming, horseback riding, archery, shooting BB guns, crafts, etc. I was way too young for the socialization part, so I was lonely, but sometimes I’ve visit my mom at the nurse’s cabin.

I attended Lutherdale in Wisconsin when I was about 13. My only memory was that I got inspired to be a missionary someday. But again, the social part of camp wasn’t the best because nobody else from our church went.

2. How about camping out? Dream vacation, nightmare, or somewhere in between?

Our family never camped out when I was a kid, but I remember trying to sleep out in my friend’s backyard, and it was so scary. But my husband and I and our kids have camped out in various US Forest Service campgrounds, State parks, and especially in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness a number of times. We've camped at Yellowstone, Grand Tetons, Glacier, and Olympia national park way back in BC (before children,) but also at the Grand Tetons with the whole family. These are great memories. Since we’ve been (somewhat) empty-nesters, my husband and I have been visiting Minnesota State Parks and camping in a tent or sleeping in the back of our van. I’m no longer thrilled about having to crawl out of a tent to attend to the call of nature.

3. Have you ever worked as a camp counselor, or been to a camp for your denomination for either work or pleasure?

I thought about being a camp counselor, but I realized that I don’t have the right chipper personality for that. I was on the personal committee for Camp Vermilion for five years before it merged and became Voyageurs Lutheran Ministry. As an adult, I’ve attended numerous retreats at Camp Vermilion, but mostly for a non-faith-connected group.

My kids all went to Bible Camp and loved it. One went 4 years, one 5 years, and one 6 years. The oldest has been a camp counselor at two camps and met her husband there. She has lived at three camps since she has been married.

4. Most dramatic memory of camp, or camping out?

Two interesting memories: 1) Camping on Knife Lake with our family when the wind was so strong that we stayed put for an extra day. The only canoes on the lake were only going in one direction because of the wind. Then the next day, we heard and saw numerous fire-fighting planes (tankers) flying overhead on their way to fight a forest fire. 2) On Emerald Lake in Canada, the kids shouted for us to come see something in the water. There was a seagull swimming that was literally snatched whole by a large fish, which we didn’t see. There was a bit of a struggle, some bubbles, and no more seagull.

5. What is your favorite camp song or songs? Bonus points if you link to a recording or video.

Too many to think about; too slow internet to find links.

What Recession?

Evidence from the field: Three adult children, one daughter-in-law-to-be: currently unemployed. Only one by choice. All three of my children expensively educated, honors, etc. One with two grad school degrees and "awaiting" a call. But then, what do I know?

Saturday, July 12, 2008

The Church was going to give away a gun....????

As a way of encouraging young people to attend a conference, the church was going to give away an $800 gun. At least I think that I've read this article correctly.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Wild Strawberries!

From my yard, in my hand. Yummy.
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Vengence is a Chain

On the Today show, July 10, 2008: interview by Ann Curry of Madame Ingrid Betancourt, recently rescued from Columbia. Ann Curry asked, "Why not vengeance?" Madame Betancourt replied, "Vengeance is a chain. I don't want to be chained."

Tuesday, July 08, 2008


Nancy drew her readers to this article about the G8 summit in Japan and the the extravent meal that was served to the leaders.

Worried Sick

Sunday evening I went to bed with a headache. And I couldn't sleep. I could just feel the worry chemicals going through my body. I was worried about my son. He had gone out fishing in our canoe with a friend, and I was worried about their safety. They are both good kids, actually, young adults, in their early 20's. But I was worried because I thought that maybe they would be in a macho mood and not take good safety measures into consideration.

My husband wasn't entirely without worry, but as he was about to doze off he said, "Well, there's nothing we can do about it anyway." That is the truth about most worries: We are wasting time and energy worrying because our worrying doesn't ever affect the outcome of a situation.

But there I was, awake and uncomfortable. I found myself so stressed that I couldn't even pray for the Peace that Passes Understanding. And I needed that peace.

Son came in about 2:00 am. I don't know how long he was on the lake and how many fish were thrown back or cleaned afterwards. After that I slept. For awhile.

We could hear a noise outside which sounded like someone trying to blow their nose without a tissue. This noise repeated itself many times. Soon my son came into the bedroom, "MOM, what is that noise?" "Its a deer snorting." "Oh."

In the morning we found that he had been so worried about the noise, wondering if it was a burglar, that he had locked all the doors. Worry is a funny and irrational thing, isn't it?

Monday I woke up sick. It would be easy to blame this on the worry, but I have the same symptoms, including extreme tiredness, that my husband had a week ago, so I guess it is a flu that takes about 8 days to incubate. Yesterday I spent many hours sleeping, and I still slept through the night. Today should be a better day, although I still feel like I need a nap.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Fourth of July, Independence Day, described!

Please see the Quote of the Day over at Dr. John's Fortress (July 4, 2008 edition) for a good description of our national holiday.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

McCain agreed with me

After 9-11, the President made an effort to fight terrorism (or War on Terror, an odd phrase) in various parts of the world. There is plenty to debate about the way we did that, the places, the resources we put into it, and the effects, both good and bad, on peace loving people around the world, as well how "successful" we have been in this effort. The point of this post is NOT that debate. And the point of this post is not to state my voting preference.

After 9-11 the President wanted us to go on with our daily lives so that the terrorists wouldn't win the psychological battle. He had a point. Were we to curl up and die, the terrorists would have won, even if all of them had died in the airplanes. At that time, however, I thought and said that I would have more respect for the President's efforts if he had also asked the American people to sacrifice. If this war on terror is so important, then let's sacrifice, let's pay more taxes now, for example. Instead, our "boys" (and young women) are sacrificing. We have been, at least until recently, living high on the hog, with the rich getting even richer, and meanwhile, we've been running up a considerable national debt. Let our grandchildren pay this debt, is the true message.

Yesterday I heard a sound bit of Sen. McCain saying, "I think after 9/11 we made a mistake," McCain said. "I think after 9/11, instead of telling Americans to take a trip or go shopping, I think we had an opportunity to call Americans to serve."

Link to article about both candidates on service.