Archive for the ‘Finland’ Category

The Reality

Monday, September 5th, 2016

I sweat in places I never knew I had! Carrying 15 pounds on your back is uncomfortable and then you add a couple bottles of water. Washing yourself and clothes in the shower and hoping they dry by morning as they are strung all around the room is a test of faith. Chopping all your hair off and forgoing make up eliminates all vanity almost as much as wearing form-fitting wicking clothes and then binding yourself with all the straps giving you a Michellin Man appearance.

Dawn doesn’t come until 7:45 but you’ve been walking for almost two hours with 100 people who want to pass you. You climb a mountain only to turn and see 2 more ahead. You see other pilgrims stop for a break but you push on because you’re slower and there won’t be enough beds at the hostel if you lag. And at first you try to avoid the sheep poop but after doing a jig all over the countryside you just give up. That’s why you leave your boots at the door!

But having conversations with others about faith and their country of origin (Finland and South Africa the farthest so far) gets deep. Talking with Rolph, with terminal cancer, who is trying to get right with God and sharing your faith and cancer travels . Getting your first bedbug bites and considering them your badge of courage. Praying all the time, mostly for those back home and taking time to listen to answers, but also for that cramp or stiff back and waking new every morning.

It’s a trip of gratitude, testing, and like a praying friend said “with perseverance, even the snail made it to the ark!”

And it’s only been a week.


Spain V. Finland

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009

Well, it was Spain 2 – Finland 0 in the UEFA Under 21 Championship here in Swedenfinlandfans

After the first half , Steve thought the Westmont soccer team could play pretty even.  But spain kept getting better and finlands’ forwards never got any support from their midfielders, but their goalie was awesome.  Had good tickets, the finland fans were very boisterous , and we were there 2 hours early to fight the crowds, that never happened.  But Steve was happy.  When he grows up he wants to be like Andy.  Walked home  after 11pm and it was still daylight!

Part III: Memories

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

Just arrived in Goteborg.  Returned the car to Volvo.  Ships out on July 4, and should be in Irvine by your early August. Weather is  fantastic.  At the same hotel we stayed at when we arrived…SAS Radisson.  We Leave Wed. AM.

We have found that familiarity breeds contentment, making a place feel like “Home” seemed to be our comfort zone, while living on the edge was not.  So our many trips to Camp Darby in Pisa, or even the other military bases were even safe zones. Returning to Goteborg and this hotel feels good. But we have done a good job of enjoying everyday as we countdown to take off.  I would not delete a day of it, and we intend to make the most of today and tomorrow (we are headed to the Spain vs Finland soccer game in an hour).

We were to have the car until tomorrow, but the GPS came across some road construction it couldn’t understand.  Our 11 minutes to our hotel was 45+ and we were still lost.  At that point, we knew we could find Volvo, and walking would be a lot less stressful the remainder of our time. They went over the car, we signed some papers, and they taxied us into town with no expense to us. They will pick us up and take us to the airport on Wed (I like being taken care of too).

The car will be fine, safe, cleaned and it will give me some time to deal with the used car lot we currently have at home!  I was sad to leave Montalcino, but I am ready to be home, be of help to Debbie Powell and Aaron’s wedding this weekend, and get my knees looked at  (and get back in shape).

cloudsSo if I always look at something in the future as a challenge, I don’t have to look backward.  Any way , any big event is 3 parts:  planning, happening, and memories.

We are just moving on to part III.