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måndag 2 oktober 2017

I'm letting autumn pass - see you in wintertime!

Dear friends on this blog!

I am taking a longer hiatus now, some of you have probably seen it coming, since I haven't been very active as lately. It bothers me, since you are all so nice to me.
So many things happens in my own family, and this blog and my new friends here, have been a safe haven and a place to share thoughts and feelings. Also considering the events going on in the world, it has been a place for good conversation and wise posts from all over and it fills me with joy having all this, all of you to read about and talk to.

I would probably like to write about recent events in the world, my heart is bleeding for the people in Las Vegas, for all those losing their homes in the many hurricanes , for brothers and sisters in South Sudan, for starvation and mindless use of nuclear weapon, but I don't feel up to it.  I do pray, though.
So I will take a break, hopefully returning when and if things are changing for the better in my own life, there seem to be possibilities for it and we keep praying and hoping but even when you recover from a rough period, you can feel drained .
Ahead of me lies the opportunities for brighter days, I never loose faith, but sometimes focus.

Those of you who have my e-mail are welcome to use it, I'd be happy to hear from you.
Here, however, I will stay quiet and be occupied elsewhere.
God Bless you all, I'll be seing you when things look brighter, thank you for all the sharing so far!
You will be in my prayers.
Sometimes this feeling is very strong, but like Jacob, I find good use of it!

måndag 11 september 2017

Autumn is my time

As I am sitting here writing, youngest daughter is getting ready for school.
She is late, everything is on the edge but she is working on it.
I am told to keep out of the way and be quiet, so I am,  and she made it!
I can remember my own schooldays, the fears, the bullying, the comments and the groups of people, belonging for some reason, and others, not belonging, for some other reason.  

In her new school, there is no mention of such, so we can hopefully meet autumn with ease and peace.
Plums are gone, apples are calling!!

So, now what? I have a couple of hours before I'm heading for a meeting. Laundry?
Catching up with the news about the hurricane? I hope to God that you are out of that region and praying for all those who are not!
There is so much to carry in prayer right now, only Father himself can keep track. One does feel very small in front of all these disasters and trust must be built up again. Trust in the good will, the helping hand, the mercy and love. Trust also that we are not alone.

Last week, I had to say a heartbreaking goodbye to one of the young men that came here almost three years ago. He has become a good friend and converted while being here, I baptized him this summer. But Migration turned him down and now he is back in unsafety and fear, on his own.  Swedish migration is turning and tossing, one month giving one answer, the next one another. Most unclear seem to be the situation in Afghanistan. I say the situation is directly lethal for the lonecommers. Sending these young people back, often orphants or with heavily diminished family ties, is sending them in the arms of warfare. 

They are scared off their wits some of them, this is very hard. And we can't help all, more are coming , some are not honest, some have hidden agendas, there are riots and attacks daily, without firm support and a thourough education in rules and social patterns, and lots of time to talk and cry, they go heywire. 15 randomly chosen teenage boys in a house, waiting waiting, sometimes given place in school, sometimes not, it's nothing I complain about, just wishing it could be different. Many of them work hard to fit in, get grades, make friends. Many find their way to church.
But now he is gone, my dear friend and I hope to see him again. Several of our volonteers where there, floods of tears were shed. 

Oliver had many keen visitors, I wonder what they talked about?
And last, what else is typical of this season? Yup, markets!! We went to one in a village some ten miles from here. Its an applecounty, and they also grow barley and brew beer.
We weren't prepared for the thick clay and chose wrong shoes....but here are some pictures.
Along with the market, the local church was of course present, you could watch a childrens performance, some local singing talents, some award being given to a local apple producer, eat spicy pork with fried apples, applepie, chocolate wheel, you name it!! And Oh, the WASPS!!!!!!!

About 150 tents, with everything than be grown, jammed, mustered or made into cheese and sausages. Bread and pastry, knittings, carved knifes and a great amount of baskets.
They still make these....

Wintertime its a skiing facility!!

Olivers behind showed his working tools

And so we got home again with a basket full of goodies and a sunny day to remember.

torsdag 31 augusti 2017

Slowly returning to life as we knew it

Small boys are working again
Now we can see that things are beginning to take shape and some shapes we even recognize as normal. Nothing has been normal for the last 14 months or so, we need normal.
On the other hand, what is normal?? I guess I mean a kind of status where life is almost predictable, possible to handle and control, bearable and at peace.
I know that is not possible for many people, Turkey is going heywire with their new policy of keeping western tourists out, Giant baby in North Korea keeps tossing his mortal toys over Japan,  Texas has turned into one gigantic water reservoir making normal life impossible.
IS keep beheading people and filling up the streets with the remains in front of the children, how can life ever get normal again?

Big boys are working again!!
Still, as far as our family goes, we need days where hope is springing so that we can share that feeling with those in greater need than we are.
Daughter began new school, every day is a struggle but there is hope. She is so tired and everything effects her, but she does her very best and wants to go every day.
Grandfathers apartment is ready for the market and the tiresome and sad sortering out and throwing is soon over. Photo albums and souvenirs, china and linen, all in a persons life story. And those before him.

Life will now go on without him, you get used to that, being without people. Some "withouts" hurt more than others. Some remain vivid more than others.  You have to settle with the footprints and impacts a person leaves in your heart and head. The rest is up to the good Lord to handle.

Underneath the pinetree

From next week the election period in our Church of Sweden will take place. Every fourth year , you have to decide on political or non political candidates, church council, deciding together with vicar, another council handling money on local basis, choosing people to represent us in dioces. Last time we voted for king and country there was a major break through for a nationalistic party called Sweden Democrats. They want immigration to stop, Sweden to be swedish, less sharing and more total integration. Many of them constantly get into trouble, behaving badly on internet or outdoors.  Same as every where else in Europe. They have also made their way in to church, and have their own list. So the strong lead they held in the local elections three years ago, will maybe give them a strong position in the church council or so we fear. 
Deserted and unwanted?

Participation is very low, around 20%, the leadership of the local parish or the church is not the most interesting issue.  
Our church rests on Lutheran Evangelical Theology and democratic standards, we all pay taxes to afford keeping churches and other buildings, paying salery to ministers, musicians, pedagogues and gardeners.  Being a member means paying tax to church. You pay according to income,  the elected council decides what to do with the money and where the efforts must land. Mostly, but not always, they are devoted and interested parishioners with a deep and longterm relationship to the church and life in it.  Sometimes they are just politicians wanting to learn something new. 

Per-Anders cut out the names of boats long gone and put them on the light house walls, there are at least 30.
Saturday my husbands starts his BM, birthday month, right Freda?? Celebration takes place in our local harbour, one restaurant is open almost all year long,  table by the window towards the sea is booked. Seaweed is slowly dying away, leaving that strong smell, geese are already starting to practise their journey south, the marina has started to look deserted, ducklings have grown up, fishingboats are heading out again for cod. We will celebrate birthday and pray for normal days for the world, normal meaning being able to breathe and hope. 
Next year the foot that used to recide here will be at least one size bigger.. 
We never get any nuts, birds and squirrels beats us to it!!
Wish you all a blessed and sweetsmelling start of september!!

torsdag 24 augusti 2017

Daring to breathe!!

Late summer greetings to you all!!

Summer evenings are more quiet now, a bit more chilly too.
I know I haven't been really active lately, not here in the blogosphere anyway.  In every other aspect I have kept myself extremly busy.  As you may have noticed I have tried a new thing:

Comment moderation.    I started to get some strange comments and also visitors from a sight I now know have commercial settings, so I thought I'd try this. In this post I will add some nice views of the slowly changing world of late summer, as well as an important message.

Last week I had the strangest visitor scale, 47 from South Korea!!! That was really unexpected and very nice also, I've had visitors from Vietnam, Indonesia and Kambodja too. Every time someone new come to visit, I really hope there will be a comment, but mostly there is none. 

Some of you have loads of visitors and loads of comments, but you are on the other hand very very active and good at keeping things up with new, interesting posts almost every day.
In the beginning, I wrote one post every day, after the surgery and while I was at home, mending.  Lately, like the last 6 months or so, more perhaps, I have been slow in writing and slow in visiting and commenting this precious bunch of people I have come across, I am sorry for this, really!!!
I am not sure this will improve much in the months to come, but I will try. I'm extremly tired and the one thing holding is up is the conviction that we are not abandoned and never was, the Lord has kept us safe and shared everything with us.  Good friends have been supportive, although we have been absent socially. I'll try to explain.

This past year and a half has been rather harsh for us. One of our beautiful and lovely girls is autistic and it became more and more obvious that school couldn't support her enough. On top of that, you know how children and teenagers can be, rather mean when someone is different. That goes for adults as well, actually.  Turning teenager and moving up to higher grades and new, much bigger school with less help, was too much.  In short, she stayed home. Since october last year.

I'm not going to say anything about how life has been, but this week she started anew.  New school, new town, new thinking around children with diagnose and a lot of support, space, time and focus in a quiet, lovely setting.  Now she can catch up and go forward. She is an intelligent and creative person, she only needs someone that understand her slightly different way of approaching and understanding things. We hold our breath, pray hard and hope strongly that this school will be right for her. We are grateful that it even exist schools of this kind, Sweden has all too few, better off in both UK and USA . 
I must strongly emphasise this:  People with a diagnose or disorder of some kind, need to be taken seriously. We keep hearing about the lack of money and resources, that we must make do with what we can get. True. The world is starving , people are dying every second, war and terror needs attention. But letting every child fulfill his och her potential can eventually turn this negative rush into something better. Wherever they are born!

Summerguests have left and there is room for a quiet pike fishing tour!!

I believe that a person who is met with respect and love will grow and shine and contribute to family, friends and society. Asking teachers what it takes to give these children the help they need they say that all it takes is knowledge, patience, love and time. And support for the family.

This last sunday the topic was Jesus taking a child as an example. He is not only speaking of children, he is speaking of the focus and loves goal: get strong by allowing weakness, see to the weak first and love will grow stronger than evil.  Gods perspective goes from weak to strong, Jesus does his battle the hard way, and by doing so, there is hope for the small and weak, the sinners, like me, and the outcasts.  The reward that is hidden in doing good sometimes stays hidden for a long time, but it will flourish and the Kingdom will come.  Not always will we see if the good deed payed off, but it always does .  
The world today needs so much love and so much faith, so many tokens of grace and mercy, so many unexpected acts of goodness.  These actions comes from all over, from believers and nonbelievers, people of other religions. What binds this together is Gods will to show what love does to us when we live it, and that love starts from Him and Him alone. But we can reflect it.

So, children like our daughter,  or any person that needs just a little more support than the next, must be given a chance to make a difference too, with the skills and abilities unique for every person. When the big question is based on terror , our answer must be love and faith.
And so I close here, daughter came home and had things to tell us!   God bless you!
Apples are growing, soon they will be ready for harvest!!!!

måndag 14 augusti 2017

Walking the streets of London

This modest little mansion is found in the Old Marylebone area, we could imagine a flat here!
Goodmorning friends out there!

I get new visitors from time to time, and that is very nice!  I do wish you would comment more often, I like comments and I trust in my old friends who always brings me a thought or two, but there is space enough for more....
The author on Millenium Bridge
Lovely neighbourhood, Camden

So, what did we do in London?  We walked.....oh and we used the DLR AND Tube and bus!!!
But, sing Halleluya, every day, I'm walking with the King!! Yes, every day wherever I go!
Last time we had one tiresome and frustrating busexperience, this time we got on the wrong train, had a furious set of platform staff on our hands and now my husbands backpack is statuated in Brighton. Not all were furious though, we had some good help but Brighton was too far off , it's complicated...I hope they find good use for it....

So, the "No elevator hotel" was rather cozy , staff lovely, breakfast good, room steaming but we went out walking. Even taking the tube means walking walking and climbing endless stairs...but I love the system, it really is swift. 
Archades on our way to Picadilly, we saw some more along Bond Street. Nice, but expensive.........
So, yes, there was shopping....on our part as well, and enduring the girl's running from makeup disk to clothe rack to make up to clothes, to stuff and stuff....or soap.....
Remember the tv-series Soap? Here it is - Soap!!

Us?  We perchased dvd's.....HMV is our second home, almost.  I bought a new phone last week and wanted a cover for it, but oh, Iphone this and that and Samsung hi and ho, but mine?? No... It's still in oldest daughters too large old cover, stuck with sticky pads...

Found some nice films!!
Otherwise, you know buildings , architecture, is my cup of tea. The heart of a city, as long as it's there. In our parts, all over Sweden, the malls are spreading like funghi, slowly suffocating the central parts of every town.  Ok for small Malls and arcades, but these huge , hangar like temples of Mammon....no thank you!!
Splendour in it's best, even an odd pub can be beautiful!!!
New architecture by the Banks, we have similar in my hometown but these look better!!
We ventured a continued crossing of the Thames by several bridges, quite a nice way to spend a sunny evening, we thought!!

The Globe, the Globe!!!!!1
On our way to the Globe we pass this small alley
Walking down Regent Street on your way to Picadilly you will find that wonderful row of theatres, bringing you oldies and goldies and brand new performances. I do envy that possibility that you have, but I suppose there are theatres all over the country!!!

Last time we were here there was a large number of street musicians and this time we hardly noticed anyone.
I can wonder why.
We also noticed an increasing number of tourists from Asia, we see that a lot in Sweden too.
Asia, all parts but North Korea, is very interesting to young travellers today, they go to Vietnam, Japan, Kambodja , South Korea. 
Next time we go to GB if mrs May let us in, we will spend but a couple of days in London and then onward,  so many places to see....
This is the very important City, I expect this is the dwelling place of bankers, investors, managing directors and stockbrokers. I would firstly get lost and secondly create a minor turmoil if I even tried to enter one of these houses.....oh woe and agony!!
Bridge after bridge after bridge...lovely sight, isn't it?

Still, we rushed past all the stores in Bond Street and peeked in at F&M feeling very plain and awkvard, but enjoyed the streets, the houses, people, noices, a mere visit, we wouldn't want to live in the middle of it but found plenty of wonderful little towns when we got on the trains....Like Bromley on Bow... just the taste of the name!!!!!

And plenty to eat.....
Pie at Mabels, Spitfire gravy....

Roast duck from China In
Pizza at Zophias

Roast chicken with several sides

This is not the chicken, this is Buckbeak, the Hippogriff.

And, and this is very important, so many pleasant and helpful people....we ...know what it's like to endure tourists so the patience, the patience.....
Yes, we went back to Watford and Harry Potter, it is really an amazing place with several new things to discover. The museum is an old aircraft hangar from WW2, plenty of..... Spitfires perhaps, were manufactured here.   Watford is a very pleasant little town actually. 

The girls really longed for this months on end- Summer in the city 2017, a Youtube event out at Excel London. We took the tube out to Plaistow and then the bus to the exhibition centre, Plaistow looked very nice, a bit torn perhaps. The actual event swirmed with young people, quite a lot of them walking around with a camera or mobil in front of their faces, talking to themselves..weird world!! Open stage was most fun, all kinds of acts. Apart from that, we really didn't fit in....it was for safety and the care of our youngest that we tagged along.

At home? Jazzfestival began thursday , the parade on friday and ended yesterday with the traditional Jazz service in the chapel with minister Yours truelly holding sermon and singing  Swing Low and In the sweet by and by....The Lord be blessed for these moments of joy and gospel to be shared with busy jazzlovers. 

In our village life is slowly quieting down, boats are drawn up, caravans are moving away, school starts tomorrow, end of most markets and fairs. 
I like this - the pace goes down and things are back to normal. Did I write this last year too?? Probably.

God bless you!

tisdag 8 augusti 2017

Come back home!

So we are back home!

We had a busy week in London, leaving space for recovery, since our youngest can't keep up otherwise. We stayed at a typical english hotel, located in a row of exactly similar houses with "Upstairs Downstairs" feeling, the tv-series from the 1970's. It was a new experience, even if we are used to hostels and camper cabins. Our room was on third floor, no elevator, very good for your legs and physical condition, and no aircondition, pew.  It was immensely hot even with windows open. Our view was a park with tennis courts and a newbuilt block on the other side. This is Camden, we like it here, Euston road is close but our site is quiet. Well, apart from the constant sound of sirens. Poor londoners, things happend all the time! 

The tenniscourts , some players interested our girls more than some....


The quiet, lovely neighbourhood in Camden
We have noticed that London is not one large city, it's several smaller ones put together!!
That is why it feels smaller and less overwhelming than expected.  What strikes you is the constant smell of garbage and exhaust from the non stop moving vehicles.  How on earth can anyone dare to ride a bike in the middle of this chaos??? But they do....sometimes with facemask. 
Along the pavements and outside tubestations and malls you find the beggers, some are probably illegal immigrants, we saw young boys in a state of heartbreaking decay, we spoke to older woman from Eastern Europe, we passed young, dirty men sleeping on cardboard with a sleepingbag and some plastic bags around them. Some had notes and signs speaking of truth, care and a place to sleep.  What kind of social welfare system can allow people to live like this?
We are fighting this in Sweden, churches and social organisations together. But politically.....
Still, we also saw people stopping, taking their time to give a coin, ask some questions. 

All of these people are not immigrants or illegal aliens, some are locals that had bad luck, can happend to anyone. But all of them are people, humans, sisters and brothers, someones child, someones parent, our neighbours. Our youngest had us leave every spare coin and the remains of our supper. We bought bread, cheese, juice , fruit and yoghurt with us to the room every night.  
Well, this particular post will show you some of the sanctuaries we noticed this time, in a city like this people need the Even Song and the daily Mass.  Next post will focus on activities.

Well, St Pancras was a boy in the 5th century, giving his life for Jesus. This is the parish church in St Pancras...they rebuilt it in greek style, the old church was medieval, I believe. Not so inviting but they had a proper bellringer!!
Around the church of St James's there was a market going on and we visited both the market and the church. The sign speaks for itself, here is a heart for the homeless. Many of the other smaller churches had similar projects going.
You never see these in Sweden, the street sanctuaries. In the middle of everything, for a second of prayer and peace.

And next door you'll find the amazing dome of St Pauls.  We were told that the swedish congregation in London have been invited to sing Lucia here this year. 

Normally, this is a rather tall man....

As it should be in a swedish church there is a statue of Luther, this one is....blue! 
Church of Sweden, Harcourt Street. Been here for more than 100 years now, some 100.000 swedes live in the UK,  many of them, in London.
The final picture is from St Marks at Old Marylebone road.
We visited more churches but didn't take pictures of them all. Most of them were open, not always the case in Sweden actually, especially not in the countryside.

What am I doing up this late? No idea, not easy to settle down again when you have been away. This evening we spent with our oldest daughter, watching a Japanese film:
"Howls moving castle."  It's about love against the odds, wartime,  good and evil, sacrifices and lot's of that very special japanese anime drawings and sense of humour.

Good night now, and God bless you!