Christmas…… I have these dreams of cozy family time, roaring fires, love for all, peace on Earth, home cooked meals etc. Am sure you get what I mean…
Instead, I find myself still on another business trip at the end of this year, wondering how I will manage all I want to accomplish before I fly home to spend a couple weeks in the UK. I have not bought any Christmas presents, although my emails are bombarded with ads, promises of cheap and cheerful presents. I have not decorated my apartment, other than the below Christmas trees in the window. No roaring fire, I don’t even have a fire place! Today in the news I saw a New York bomb attack, California wild fires.. peace on Earth is still far away.
What is Christmas really about? Why is there so much pressure on this season? Should we not be celebrating the fact that Jesus came to this Earth as a little babe, to reconcile us with our Heavenly Father? Would it not be sufficient to just be grateful for that, and let the rest pass by?
Maybe that’s what I will do this year.. just be… a little Mary, sitting at His feet, rather that Martha..always busy… I still have a couple weeks to ponder that some more…. what about you?
Doing a road trip in America is a strange experience for a European. You can drive for days and not leave the country! Quite different from where I come from… a state is like a country.
In some states more time was spent than in others: Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin and back in the Home state Minnesota.
What was the highlight of my trip? Spending time with family, especially those not often seen. It makes you realize how important connections are, and how special family time is!
The holiday is over, life returns to a sense of normality… the next event to look forward to is Thanksgiving. A moment of reflection on all the things and moments of the past year we can be thankful for. And after that Christmas, thanking God that He came to this world to show us how much He wants us to be with Him. And I get to spend the holiday with my own little family in England. Yay!
This has been some rollercoaster week. The road trip did not end in Memphis (previous post) but went on to Chattanooga.
My wider family is spread across the world. My grandpa used to say that the sun was never setting over the Knopper family. One uncle with all kids in Australia and one uncle with both kids in America. The result of that was that our own family never really saw or had much physical contact with this part of the family. After all, letter writing was never our strong side and phone calls and visits were very sporadic.
Being in America does give the opportunity to reconnect with family here. Not so easy, as I am in Minnesota and the family is now also spread over America. However this road trip was all about connecting with my uncle, who lives near Chattanooga. And that is where my story started…
Unfortunately my uncle is not well, and his son (my oldest cousin) was planning to visit, which happened to coincide with us being there also. I picked him up from the airport, after he graciously sent me a picture of what a grown up cousin looks like… after all, it was more than 40 years ago and I was only a 3 year old when I saw him last…I have some vague memories, but mostly fed by the pictures I stil have from that time. However, it felt like I had just seen him last week! I certainly felt I could talk for hours more, trying to catch up on so many years of life history. I certainly feel sorry for his ears!
The week has flown by, seeing all the places my uncle works at, or spends time at. Tennessee truly is a beautiful area, and seeing Southern University was an experience.
It was also very moving to see the Desmond Doss grave site once more, and be reminded of what it means to stand up for your believes, no matter the cost. At the memorial side is a slogan ‘freedom is not free’ which is so true. There is a cost to everything.
Spending time with family is very special. Treasure it. Time given to us can be very short. Choose wisely, and don’t thread carelessly.
It’s Friday evening, time to sleep and relive some of this weeks memories.
Today was just a very long drive from Missouri, through Arkansas, Tennessee to Mississippi where we are now camped for a couple nights. We sure are a long way from home, as the temperature and even season changed! We left with snowfall in Minnesota and bare trees, to full autumn colours, with here and there a bare tree.
I love autumn colours! I already wrote a whole blog post about that, but lengthening autumn with another week is just fine by me!
Tomorrow…. Graceland/Elvis! Weird how you can be so excited about someone making music so long ago, in a style that’s not even exactly mine… but truth be told, he was the King of Rock and Roll and it’s exciting to go see where he lived and recorded his music!
And so we are on our way… as soon as I knew my parents were coming I had booked up the road trip to visit my dads brother. A long way away, in Chattanooga.
We set off about 3 Friday afternoon with destination a hotel in Independence Missouri. About an hour south of St Paul we saw a massive Cabellas. If you have never been inside you probably don’t know what pulling power that store has for Europeans, who never really see shops where you can buy positively everything to kill and cook animals. My mother had seen a coat in that shop, and our mission was to check if they had her seize on a good colour.
We were admiring the stuffed animals, when my dad realised he was naked…. no phone!!!! I don’t know about you, but without phone these days we feel lost, drowning in a feeling of emptiness without something to hold in your hands… so back we went to retrieve it…
We arrived in Missouri at 1.30am… a little later than anticipated… but on our way!!!! Today the destination is Memphis..therefore… to be continued….
Today was my birthday…I always pretend I don’t really care about birthdays, but deep down I do… after all, who does not appreciate the fact some one thinks of them specifically on this day,..
When I woke up, my daughter had already wished me a happy birthday…. it warmed my heart.. however, my husband was quiet… maybe he forgot? He called me in quick succession just as I was getting ready to go to work, so I called them back from my car… such great invention… FaceTime… it truly makes the world smaller. They sang for me… yep… feeling like a birthday girl alright! Shame you are no longer home, my husband said… your present is under your bed…. nooooooo…. now I had to wait till the end of the day!!
Finally I got home, and quickly checked under the bed…. a bag!! My husband had visited me in the US some weeks before and has managed to surprise me! From my favourite Store!! Lovely cards and a lovely sweater…. and my daughter bought me a gnome… those Norwegian ones I love so much….
I am far away from home… but I feel very special indeed!
Don’t you think sometimes that certain days should be relived like Groundhog Day… redo until it’s perfect.
Today certainly is one of those days. Coupled with the fact it’s Friday the 13th, it would almost make you superstitious.
Am looking forward to a day of Sabbath rest. You?
As I sit outside at Caribou, it’s hard to imagine we are already in October. Time is certainly flying by!
However, one thing has changed…(besides that Mel is in the UK for a couple weeks, to ensure Geert does not get lonely, and the cats don’t forget about her)… autumn is here!
I don’t know what it is about that season. I am more of a summer, beach kind of person. But something about this period in the year grabs me. Maybe it’s the last swan song of nature, showing their abundance of colour. Maybe it’s the promise of Christmas being around the corner, and all the coziness that goes with that.
Or maybe it’s just that this season each time reminds me of Gods promise to us. No matter how rotten we feel, there will be new life.
For many this season brings despair, loneliness, falling leaves, depression. I sometimes get caught up in that too. I am a true worrier, and this season of the year I worry more.
A day like today however, blue sky, too warm for jogging pants, beautiful autumn colours… I think I want to keep the Godly reminder in the forefront of my mind!
What about you?