I’m one of those European mutts. (I think there are a bunch of those in America if I’m not mistaken) Still, parts of my bloodline are more dominant than others and Norwegian is definitely the largest percent of my heritage.
I grew up surrounded by Scandinavian traditions that were both subtly blended into the fabric of our family life and also paraded around as a BIG deal. the most obvious was the Norwegian prayer we said at dinner time on a regular basis. The less obvious practices were making lefse, celebrating our version of St. Lucia day in December, and saying hello in Norwegian when answering the phone.
In the last year I have returned to those roots with renewed interest. In November my Mom and I took a rosemaling class together. My Mother to brush up on her skills, me to begin learning the art form for the first time. It is a challenging art form to pick up but the results are very rewarding.
The piece pictured above is a very rare 1800s piece that I had the privilege of photographing at the last quarterly meeting of the rosemaling group at Pacific Lutheran University.
“I wanted a perfect ending…
Now, I’ve learned the hard way that some poems
don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear
beginning, middle and end. Life is about not knowing,
having to change, taking the moment and
making the best of it,
without knowing what’s going to happen next.
Gilda Radner, 1946-1989
These days one season tends to blend into another. I find myself mulling over hopes, dreams, aspirations, callings, feelings without ever arriving at that moment of stark revelation when, with a sharp intake of breathe, the world seems to pause for a moment, doff it’s hat at you for discovering some great, true meaning and leave you stunned and elated. I remember experiencing moments like that in high school and college and perhaps there are some still in my future but for now, it feels more like I am gently floating on a wide river where the rhythm of the water changes and there are still storms but everything is continual, nothing too abrupt.
Perhaps I am simply waxing sentimental as my last quarter of full time classes at Portland State wraps up and I prepare to move into a new stage. I am not, however, being launched but simply placing one foot in front of the other until I find myself someplace that I was meant to go, without even knowing it.
So here’s to a summer of possibilities, a new season of hope and restoration, and the chance to chase a few more dreams.
This morning during a writing class we practiced what happened when you write with your non-dominate hand. The topic was, Childhood Home, and here’s what I came up with.
There are so many memories associated with living in the Mohave Dessert.
Cool tile floor under bare feet in the morning
Sunburnt afternoons in the sand pits of constructed forts
Hours spent swinging from tree branches in the sultry weather of an early spring day
The waning summer captured in an evening of piano tinkling, my long hair trailing over the keys, candlelight flickering in the distance. The vision of my parents waltzing gently in the background as the stars began to poke their heads out of the giant velvet blanket of the sky.
Check out what I’m reading here:
God is growing Bryan and I. Just when we thought it was time to hunker down and wallow beneath a pile of “to-dos” a mile long, God seems to be building us up and preparing us for future responsibilities. Amazingly enough, I don’t feel overwhelmed. I have come to fully believe that God really does only give us as much as we can handle.
My job has been particularly stressful lately and we had started discussing alternatives that would free up some of my time. Just when I though I couldn’t handle it any more, I have been given a few weeks reprieve and will be telecommuting for the most part. On the same note, I haven’t been getting exercise lately and it has affected my sleep and thus my health but now that pockets of time have opened up I can actually make it to the gym.
Another big breakthrough this week may seem insignificant to most of you but was a major hurdle for me. I wrote a paper on Monday that wasn’t due until Thursday. I am the world’s greatest procrastinator. My mind catalogs everything constantly so I don’t take many notes and I have trouble spitting out all those thoughts until hours before the paper is due. However, I am trying to break that habit, or at least not rely on it so much, and my reward is more time with my husband and the chance to get ahead in my readings. Hooray!