It's that time of year. The summing up and contemplating season. Don't look back, Bob Dylan said. “Life must be lived forward, but understood backwards”, was Soren Kierkegaard's device..
I tend to agree with the latter.
The ones closest to my heart; Serina and Gunnar are still growing nearer and dearer day by day. Love doesn't fade as years go by, it's burning clearer as wisdom grows and more bonds are tied. My mother and my brother are also doing better and that is nothing less than a wonder. God is great!(and they are stubborn fighters)
Aunt Lilly went home to celebrate with Jesus as Terry puts it, December 21st.Her daughter, Gunnar's dear cousin Doris, said in the funeral;" Be not sorry she is gone, Be happy she was here.Other highlights: Concert with cousin Bjorn and his mrs. listening to Jonas Field performing Bjorn's song "The Two Elderly."
That song was published in our local newspaper as a memory to my father. The chorus was written while cousin Bjorn waked over his own dad the week he lay in hospital, dying.
Cousin Arne, named after my father, visited us for a few days this autumn. I don't remember how long he had hiked, but he sure is a trooper with lots and lots of smiles and stories.
Meeting with cousin Sig and his mrs. coming all the way from Montana was huge. Of course cousin Margunn was the hospitable hostess to this great gathering. She's one of a kind. I so appreciate what she's doing.
Ruby girl is finishing her third year on Writtle college north of London.She has performed wonders both in studies and self development. A beautiful and strong Dandelion, even trusted to care for Bengal tigers.
The holy clover from 30 years back are still sticking together, celebrating birthdays, doing some wining and dining, sharing laughs and tears like we always have done.
Hiker girls, also a group of basically four fantastic, enthusiastic, adventurous and loyal 60+, are gathering every Tuesday, come sun come rain. best thing is, they don't give up on me, even though I unwillingly have to spend some Tuesday in bed.
This last autumn I've also made a new friend; lovely Cecilie who is following us to late Friday afternoon bathing.
In May we had a 40 years jubilee of students from nursing school. Amazing how little people had changed and how we still enjoyed being together. The happy and enthusiastic 69ers still had much of their spirit intact. We decided not to wait more than 5 years till next gathering.
Terry has become a central link in my blog-world. She's always there, with smiles, encouragements, prayers and laughter. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Scarf has broadened my horizon socially and spiritually. I thank God for my new sisters and hope we get to travel together for a long time. Teach Mary has challenged me to go new roads when it comes to photographing as well as watching my surroundings. How I love being busy being born.
John Cowart, an author one of his kind, also challenges me with new ways of thinking and understanding God & life. I am so thankful.
I have taken up a low scale face booking. It is a good way of maintaining contact with the ones I already care about.
Not many, not long, but inspirational and cope-able. Oslo once, Bergen 2 times, Stavanger 3 times, Jaeren 2 times and Sauda about once a month. The faithful Rover is ferrying us around in the local scenery as well. Gunnar is an expert finding interesting off road sites. We are indeed pathfinders and also all the time looking for traces back to the past.
Likewise the hiker ladies are also looking out for new goals and new experiences. We've been sailing out to the islands out in the North Sea, trotting out to remote lighthouses, walking windblown sandy beaches, exploring old uranium mines high up in the mountains and conquering a few hilltops as well.
6 Art experiences
I don't know how to rank them. The Oslo concert with Bob Dylan, Dubliners singing here by the quays one beautiful summer afternoon, Norwegian world class pianist Leif Ove Andsnes playing Mussorgsky one week before Christmas, Metropolitan soloists performing in Beethoven's 9th in Bergen, the local chamber music ensemble playing in the remote off,off road old church, folksinger, poet and violinist Sondre and Annbjorg forever influencing our minds and hearts on our pilgrims travels, the Russian balalaika orchestra playing along with two local choirs making the Church of Our Savior boil with joy, or standing on a bench in a tent in Skudesnes with Serina singing out of a full heart along with Kaizers Orchestra "Ompa till you die" (and no, Lina Kristine neither of us had tasted a single drop of alcohol!)
We have enjoyed our local art gallery over and over again. Some pearls are always nice to revisit, like dear friends. Young art sometimes also make us moved, especially at Haa old vicarage. They have a taste for values down south. In Bergen the costly galleries are stringed up like pearls on a row. Never a dull moment. Most impressive? The vast Chinese collection. There's still so much to see. We don't buy much. Gunnar bought me some beautiful photos picturing the "Leaving of Sauda" this autumn. I treasure them highly, sentimental reasons, maybe. Most youths growing up in my birth town have to seek education and work elsewhere.
The leaving is both an adventure, but to most also a final goodbye to one part of life.
One new hobby developing from all the recent concert; Visiting "new" and interesting churches both in the neighborhood and when we are out of town. Great architecture, great histories, great congregations a well.
Our garden is where I gain power and my main source of recreation. I set the last bulbs in February and started outdoor living in March.
The herb garden can be harvested from April till November. Though rather chilly it also was a good year for the roses. (meaning all kinds of flowers from April till early November)I managed to set 200 new bulbs in October. Now I just have 80 more to be planted this February. We are getting older and more tired though. This year we'll have to rent help to cut the hedges. Even though I kind of like it, our garden is looking more or less like that of Thornrose.
8 New wisdom
Being chronically ill doesn't mean stop developing. On the contrary. To survive one has to look for new solutions and ways to go.
Meeting with my Feldenkrais physiotherapist has been a major turn for the better this year. I have sessions once a week and it' amazing what wonders she has worked to my old and broken limbs. I both move, walk, sit and sleep better than in decades. Best thing is bringing new hope and enthusiasm for my future.
When things are turning for the better one also get inspired to seek further. Gunnar brought this book about the Silva method forth. I thought I might give it a go. I have not reached further than to exercise two, but that too is working out just miraculously for me. Imagine, me!
Mrs. Mac is an inspiration to develop new ways of domestic working and thinking, so is my friend Turid and Gunnar's cousin Doris.
This is why I have taken up bread baking, filling the freezer with herbs mixes, berries and black currant juice.
What a pleasure. Even my mom is impressed.
We definitely are readers more than watchers. Our home is gradually bursting with all the books we cannot avoid buying. Best read this year? John Coward's Glog, Flogstad's Grense Jakopselv, Falcones' Cathedral of the Sea and the ones I got for my birthday by Cecilia Samartin.
Gunnar just got a heap of art history books, and yes, I mean a heap. The old julenisse is literally buried in books. I have just been browsing so far, but wow, what a gift!
Ups and downs for the whole family. Getting a wash-lady sure was a major help to take off the daily overload,as Paul so wisely puts it.
We have a good doc and have not in anyway given up, so I'll have to claim, we are in a rather optimistic mood.
11 New skills
Serina is half way to a bachelor grade in media and communication. She is doing better and better. In writing moment she's celebrating New Year in London with her two best friends from junior high.
She is indeed having a ball.
Gunnar has developed his skills in Tai Chi. He's
got this strong will, never giving up. I admire him enormously. He's also found new ways of using his limited forces in home decorating.
Always reaching forwards to new goals and never giving in, that's my hubby.
We've both bought new cameras this fall and are further inspired by that. Serina took upon the job both of painting our house and remodeling grandma' garden this summer. She's a girl growing with the challenges. At school she suddenly found herself a technical leader for a film festival,- and guess what; she made it with flying colors.
12 The Lord's prayer
I always have found great strength and comfort in praying. Unloading burdens and seeking help, wisdom and forgiveness-, I don't think I could manage life without it. Neither would I.
He who prays shall get, is the promise. I have been richly blessed, this year too.
The hardest as well as the most rewarding prayer, still i the Lord's Prayer.
I often find myself praying "Help me forgive", cause I know in the bottom of my heart I am struggling doing so. Likewise I pray help me not being evil, cause I know I sometimes am.
And it is relaxing praying "Thy will be done."
Handing over the responsibility to the only force able to protect and love and care for all of us in this world and into the afterlife.
Wishing you all a blessed New Year