Saturday, September 5, 2015

The Grandsons Come to Visit!

It's always fun when the grandkids come to visit!
On this visit, we also "celebrated" their birthdays
with a "party of four."

Drew will be 7 on October 3.

And Dylan was 4 on August 29.

We made birthday "cakes" out of Rice Krispie Bars.
Each cake had their name on it and a candle.

Rock star Dylan with no shirt.
 But it really was a HOT, HUMID day!!

I asked Drew if he would like to be a piano player,
but he said he waned to be a hockey player.

The boys were going to play a "duet" -
 But in order to do that, they said they had
to divide the piano.  Drew got the low
notes and Dylan got the high notes.
Note the little divider they put in place!

Play-Doh keeps them busy for awhile!
They gave me specific instruction to keep their
projects and dry them out so they can get them
the next time they come up.  I checked today,
and if this humidity keeps up, it will take a LONG time!

Sunday, August 2, 2015

The Dead Church?

Someone recently told me "our church is dead!"  I asked what she meant, and the reply was that we don't shout "Amen!"  "We don't dance around in the pews," plus a few other illustrations.  My first response was, "Well, we are Scandinavians and we are Lutherans, after all!"    [I made a feeble attempt at a little humor in my response. ]    At least she didn't say we were a bunch of non-believers!

But I started thinking about this, wondering what I should have said.   An "Amen" at worship service is certainly not "wrong,"  and it is certain that our joy in the Lord should be outwardly obvious to others.   But are we wrong if we don't shout out an "Amen?" Are we wrong if we don't dance in the pews?    Are there not many ways to worship?   God looks at our heart - while we often look at outward appearances.

When we were growing up, Sunday worship was very reverent - and more structured than the Sunday worship today.   The altar area was a place of confession, communion, marriage and baptism.  You arrived at worship, sat quietly in the pews (it was a time of meditation) until the service began )and and then you sat quietly, too. )  I'm sure grandpa & grandma would have been mortified if someone had started "dancing for joy" in the pews!    As a rule, Norwegian/Lutheran parishioners would not want to call attention to themselves in God's house.

Some churches have bands; they have loud, fast music; some hymns songs can barely be differentiated from rock music.    Is this wrong?    I don't think it is  "wrong" if it is done with sincere worship of God.   But it is not the only way to worship.  Congregations and denominations differ in their preference of worship structure.    But sometimes I wonder if  worship  is becoming more about "me" than about God?    Are we there to be entertained?   Are we there to entertain?   Are people staying home because they don't find it fun?    Worship should be enjoyed, it should be happy, but I am pretty sure it is not about me, but rather about God and Me!

However we chose to worship, remember the One we are there to worship; give Him the glory, quietly...or not.  

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Wedding and Vacation Rolled up in One!

Lee & Hae Eun were married in San Francisco on May 29.   Not only did I get to go to the wedding, but I also saw some fun things in San Francisco!   Thanks to Lee & Hae Eun and Amy & Nick for a great time!
The Golden Gate Bridge - we were under it, by it and on it!

 Bodega - This is the same schoolhouse that was in the
movie, "The Birds"

Amy & Nick at Bodega Bay

The ocean

I even "met" Alfred Hitchcock"

 We visited a Vineyard in Napa Valley

San Francisco
The "green" building on the right is where the
wedding took place.

Wedding in San Francisco

May 29, 2015
Very happy to announce that:

Lee & Hae Eun got married in San Francisco!

Hae Eun & her Dad

It's Official!  

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Selma's Diaries

I never knew my Aunt Selma.
She was my mother's sister.
Selma died at the age of 31, leaving 
her husband and two little girls.

I have in my possession some diaries that Selma kept.
One of them was written in 1928, when she
was a parochial school teach at Ten Mile Lake Church near Dalton.

I'm sure Selma never thought that someone would be
reading her diaries 80 years after her death.
I am sure had she not died to young, they might not have even been kept!

Her diaries tell of  the behavior of the children, 
who was absent, who was naughty.
There are entries of those were went home sick,
or those who had headaches.

May 11, 1928 she wrote:
"Russell and Irville went for water at recess and
they evidently forgot there was such as thing as school, 
as they came a half an hour late!  And they came in
laughing, having fun - so unconcerned!"

She tells about the flowers Pearl brought her:
"a beautiful bouquet of cowslips."

At the end of the 6 weeks, she related that she got a dime from Selma B.
and 50 cents from Bernice & Lester, and lots of dandelions from Vernon.
She noted that Mr. & Mrs. Ed Larson paid her.

The next entries of the diary are from later that same year,
when she went to Edinburg, North Dakota to teach
parochial school.   It was at Edinburg that she met
Clarence Christopherson, a parochial teacher in another
church there.   She does mention the Christopherson
family often, but there are no entries of their dating!

They were married on January 30, 1930 and lived
in Edinburg, where Clarence was a farmer.
Selma died in 1934 when her little girls were only 1 and 3 years old.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Remembering Christmases Past

When I think back to Christmases of my childhood, there is none that stands out more than the others -  Our Christmas celebrations were family oriented and traditional, yet very special.
Christmas celebrations were centered around church, home, community and school.  (yes, school!)

We got our Christmas tree right in Dalton at Rorvig's Store.  It was trimmed with
big colored lights, glass balls and tinsel.    I remember a lighted angel on the top of
the tree which I thought was beautiful.  I also remember a "tin foil" star on the
top on at least one occasion.

I remember going upstairs on Christmas Eve and looking out the east window,
hoping to see the star that the wisemen followed.  And when I saw a star that
I deemed bright enough to be the star, Christmas had arrived.

When I was very young, I remember going to my Grandma's for Christmas Eve.
The house was bustling with activity as the women prepared the meal.  There was not room for everyone to sit at the table, so one group would eat their meal at the table, and when they were done, another group would eat.   I am not sure how many meal rotations there were!

I remember going home from grandma's and it was late (or seemed late to me).
Because I thought it must be close to midnight, whenever I hear the song, 
"It Came Upon a Midnight Clear" I am reminded of my grandma.
When we got home,  we would open our gifts.
Before opening our gifts, we would say our "pieces" (recitations) from the Sunday School Christmas program.     Sometimes we would do a little program - we did not forget the meaning of Christmas.
I remember after all the presents had been opened, Dad would go down the basement
and bring a big box of red Delicious apples up to share.  

I remember our Sunday School Christmas programs.  There were no microphones, and 
we were told to speak LOUDLY when we said our recitations.
We sang "Jeg er sa Glad" nearly every year.    The teachers reminded us how much
the older people would like to hear us sing one verse in Norwegian.
I remember getting a little cup with the table prayer from my teacher (still have that cup).
I remember feeling happy and relieved that the program was over and we all did so well, 
according to our teachers.

I remember celebrating Christmas in  school - a public school.
We sang Christmas songs, exchanged Christmas gifts
and even had a Christmas program. 
Here we not only sang "Jingle Bells" but we often closed the program
with "Silent Night"

I remember Santa Claus Day in Dalton, but I don't remember every believing
there was a Santa Claus.    We children enjoyed waiting for him to
arrive and give us little brown paper bags with peanuts, hard candy,
and one chocolate cream-filled mound.   There was a free movie shown in
the town hall for the children.

How great to have these Christmas memories!   Those days were indeed simpler,
and I think that it is not only because we were young.
As I started writing this - and it got way longer than I thought it would - I started
remembering many more things about Christmases past.
I hope we are making good memories for our family today, too.
Merry Christmas!
Uncle Carl, Aunt Palma, Esther, Grandma

Dodie, Me, Jim

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Who Said There was Nothing to do in Dalton??

Dalton has a population of probably 250 or so, but since the restoration of the
Dalton Opera House, we have been enjoying many fun events (including
my daughter's wedding reception, but that's another post on this blog!)

Last week, Kai Robert Johanssen from Sarpsborg, Norway
presented a concert.   He has visited Dalton yearly for
the past 11 years and says he would like to come back!
He is a great trumpet player!!

(He brought with him a group from a special school
in Norway, but the pictures I took were not clear,
either due to the lighting or the photographer.)

Cassie & the Bobs entertained to a sold out crowd
this afternoon.   The concert featured the music
of Patsy Cline.    Cassie was a very authentic-sounding
Patsy Cline, much to the delight of the concert-goers.

So glad the Dalton Opera House is back in running order!!