Tuesday, December 23, 2008


Luke 2

1And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.

2(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)

3And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

4And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)

5To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

6And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

7And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

8And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

9And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

10And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

11For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

12And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

14Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Deilig er Jorden
The longstanding favorite hymn of both Concordia College and the Lutheran church in general is Beautiful Savior. It is set to the tune of a Norwegian Christmas hymn called Deilig er Jorden, or Beautiful is the Earth (or maybe in this family we would say Beautiful is Jordan!). I translated that several years ago (1971) and the translation was printed in the Sons of Norway newspaper.

Deilig er Jorden

Creation’s beauty dower, Image of majestic power

Inspires a hymn, the soul’s deligh;

Through earth’s fair heritage, Our soul’s sweet pilgrimage

Leads to the land of heavenly light.

Seasons of life shall come, Surely as time rolls on

Man in his father’s way hath trod.

Unending heavenly choirs Echol the heart’s desires,

Praising our glorious walk with God.

Heavenly cherubim Sing to the sons of men,

Echoing tidings of joy on high;

God’s peace to all mankind, Gods’ peace be yours and mine;

Salvation unto us draws nigh.


Foreseeable; my birthhome will still be there.
They snow may not yet have come to lay for the winter..

My Mom will still wear an apron, when making a fire or preparing food.
Serina will still end up with the Christmas pig,regardless who finds the almond.

Happy Little Christmas Eve
Tomorrow is The Day in Norway.
We celebrate the Evening by going to church, eating a large dinner and then opening presents.
Christmas Eve morning may be hectic for adults and oh, so slow for the children.
The following story was to be heard on the radio every morning the 24th of December

The history of Silent night/ Glade Jul
Sadly the young assistant pastor strolled through the snow-covered village of Oberndorf, Austria. In a few days it would be Christmas Eve, but Josef Mohr knew there would be no music in his church to herald the great event.

Pausing, Reverend Mohr gazed at the scattered lights in the village. The sight of this peaceful town, wrapped in a blanket of snow, stirred his imagination. Surely it was on such a clear and quiet night as this that the hosts of angels sang out the glorious news that the Saviour had been born.

The young cleric sighed heavily as he thought, "If only we here in Oberndorf could celebrate the birth of Jesus with glorious music like the shepherds heard on that wonderful night!"

Standing there, his mind filled with visions of the first Christmas, Josef Mohr suddenly became aware that the disappointment was fading from his heart; in its place surged a great joy. Vividly, he saw the manger, carved from a mountain side; he saw Mary and Joseph and the Child; he saw the strangers who had been attracted by the light of the great star. The image seemed to shape itself into the words of a poem he had written in 1816 when he was assigned to a pilgrim church in the small Alpine village of Mariapfarr, Austria.

The next day he showed the poem to Franz Gruber, the church organist, who said, "These words should be sung at Christmas, but what could we use for accompaniment? Your guitar?"

The curate replied, "Like Mary and Joseph in the stable, we must be content with what God provides for us."

Franz Gruber studied the poem, then softly strummed the melody that came to him. Next he put the words to the melody and sang them. When he finished, his soul was ablaze with its beauty. Mr. Gruber's beautiful music added the final touch to the poem Mohr had written two years earlier.

On Christmas Eve, 1818, in a small Austrian village, the Oberndorf choir, accompanied only by a guitar, sang for the first time the immortal hymn that begins, "Silent Night.... Holy Night."

This version is sung in Norwegian by the only Norwegian College Choir in the USA, the St. Olav's College.

Sunday, December 21, 2008


Globetrotter, happy birthday, happy celebration.Icelandic family gathering. Gunnar supporting aunt Lilly.

New crocs one year ago!
Ogna beach, heaven on earth.
On the edge.
Aussie hat in Portugal.
The quite afternoon walks we've had, how I appreciate them.
Holding on to the cross which has been standing here for thousand years, showing the right direction.
Moon over Florence.
Didn't we have a lovely time the day we went...on a carousel?
A man of multiple interests and skills. Here; full concentration performing Tai Chi at the beach.
Just how many kilometers of gallery floors we have wandered, I don't know. Here outside National Gallery London.

First picture I made of Gunnar early spring -87.
He has planted his beloved MG in a bed of White Anemones.

I'd say this very much describes the birthday child.
Hubby Gunnar.

Bjørg Thorhallsdottir's picture could have been made for us, don't you think??

Night in Florence
King of happy 50 anniversary. Eight years ago.

At the key in the town he loves so well.
Here was his playground as a child.
Cars are one of his main interests. Gunnar therefor bonded easily with my car-focused family.
Father and daughter in many ways are twin souls with their unique form of humor.
Just how many times Gunnar has been chauffeuring me to Sauda I cannot count. The last year my Dad lived I was home every other week. Gunnar would drive me in to my parents, then return to stay with our daughter, and then fetch me again.
He drove twice the 240 narrow kilometers for each time I went one. I am eternally graceful.

There's never been a doubt who Serina is looking like. They a bonding in a wonderful way.

In the hallway playing monkey business.
Serina's portrait hanging over his head in the kitchen.
If enlarged, you can see Gunnar at the alter of what once were the Monastery Church on Halsney.
History is another of Gunnar's main interest as well as university education. We've spent many a happy day on excursions locally and abroad.

Walking in the special alley near the Monastery.
At sea with wind in his hair.

The teacher never and the artist both are strongly alive. Gunnar has inspired both Serina and me, to photography, painting, playing instruments, writing, thinking, seeing, reading.
He even persuaded my Mom taking up piano playing after 70!
Walking, and seeing new places or revisit old. Together
we have had most wonderful summer nights in our neighborhood.

A good meal makes the world a better place.

Jaeren has become a favorite district rallying and roaming.
The churchyard by the sea.
Always awake, always interested, always reflecting.
Oh yes, I have snapped up some ideas from you.
Don't be too serious, Elisabeth says.
Our mutual interests in music generally and Bob Dylan in particular have given us spectacular experiences.
Sola Beach Hotel, where we can really relax.
This summer and autumn have been busy. New outdoor fireplace, new terrace walls, renovating the outlet flat.
Not much complaint about his chronic pains.

June Serina finished school. Father and daughter photoshooting in a mountain village.

Sandycove, Ireland, the Joyce tower.Back on memory lane, accompanied by Gunnar.
Over the hills and far away, crossing The long Mountain Ridge.
A short walk in the summer night. We were out till 01 in the morning. Cameras in use all the time, the birds also are holding the most wonderful concerts at this place between the woods and the trout water. Magic.
I'd probably never dared to touch a computer, where it not for Gunnar challenging, inspiring and helping out under the worst thinkable datamares. How many hours spent helping others. How little space for himself.
Serina needed a car, Gunnar decided. He repaired my Dad's old Fiat and drove for 14 hours to hand it over to her. No wonder she is happy.

More gallery. Gunnar don't spend 20 minutes in a gallery. He's scanning every detail, and makes the visit an experience for life.
Christmas dinner in Sauda.
My Mom stayed with us for four months after she'd had a brain stroke this winter. Were it not for Gunnar , inspiring, training, driving, taking her out for shopping, cafes, sightseeing, I doubt she would have recovered that soon. "I think I'll leave the roller behind, your arm is more supportive,"Mom said.
The dessert is eaten. Who's got the almond??
My dad, my Mom, my uncle, Gunnar's aunties; all trust and hold on to the friendship with Gunnar.
"He's so patient and good at listening," Aunt Lilly says.

Celebrating Iceland's Constitution Day, June 17th.B
Revisiting 100 Club in London.
Heatwave in Rome. I collapsed, Gunnar turned every stone.
The hurricane Inga struck heavily some years ago. Serina called from Bergen. She and a girlfriend had been on a concert, and this oil barrel was given Serina as a souvenir. Gunnar drove for six hours nonstop to rescue this precious gift. A merciful God led them safely home through the raging storm and sinister night.
So tough..home after a shopping tour in the bazaars of Istanbul.

Gunnar is a thoroughbred. He always accomplish everything he sets out to do. Fascinated by the genius of James Joyce he spent months on reading Finnegan's Wake,- and enjoyed every moment.English also was a main subject in his university degree.
Father and daughter inspiring each other. Apple rules.
Serina had never seen this picture of her Dad before today. He was a top gun.

...Love is not love Which alters when it alteration finds, Or Bends with the remover to remove. O, no! It is an ever-fixed mark, That looks on tempests and is never shaken. It is the star to every wandering bark, whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
William Shakespeare.