Fort Snelling

My apartment is now almost empty, just the cleaning left to do. 3 more days and I am moving out. My year in America has come to an end. However, yesterday was my Sabbath day, so no cleaning involved. Instead I visited a local state treasure and historical side. It was open for the weekend, before it opens for the season in 2 weeks.

Fort Snelling is a fort build at the crossing between the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers. A strategic point to be able to see what’s coming from both sides. In these days a pretty idillic spot, from days gone by. It was not always perceived like that though, as it’s also an area where the Native Americans were driven from their lands and send to another state. It’s Dakota land, and for some reason it resonates with me.

Maybe it’s because I am adopted and know very little about my birth family and sometimes feel myself like I am driven off my land. Or maybe it’s because I have felt a little lonely this past year, away from my family and friends. Or maybe it’s just the historical movies talking… over the last couple years my family and I have visited various of these historical areas, learning about the Dakota and other tribes ways of lives.

In today’s day and age, where everything is fast, often changing and hard to keep up with, their lives looked to have a simpler purpose. Gather food, gather families and enjoy the spiritual.

Back to Fort Snelling, a kind of open air museum, with few re-enactments scattered through the day. I had visited before, on an equally hot day, but still enjoyed seeing the living quarters, hearing about the story of Scott Dredd and seeing where they were gathering their foods, enjoying their lives. A fort is a military place, so learned that the soldiers came through this place till just after the Second World War. More recent than I would have thought.

Below a few snaps.

Now am looking forward to coming back to England, where the age of my house would be visited like a relic here in the US…

Another Friday Rivercruise

About a year ago, Melody and I took a cruise down a part of the St Croix river, from Taylors Falls. A beautiful trip, I blogged about it previously and posted pictures.

I wanted to recreate that feeling of peace I had then, after busy days of preparing for the movers arrival next Monday. So I booked a river cruise on another part of the St Croix river. This time from Stillwater.

The weather forecast was showing rain, but when I arrived there were very little clouds in the sky and it was beautifully sunny. I could pick my spot as I was early… top deck near the front. I missed my chatterbox daughter… but the instant peace of being on the water was there…

There is nothing more calming to me than the sound of the water, with beautiful birds up in the sky. Especially my favourite in this part of the world… the bald eagle. Such majestic soaring over the waters…

It always reminds me of the sermon Geert preaches often.. the song of Moses in Deuteronomy, where he compares the father Eagle to our Heavenly Father. Soaring, watching, feeding, and there to catch us when we fall. Seeing these eagles puts things in perspective. He is in control…

‘When the oceans rise and thunders roar, I will soar with You above the Storm. Father you are King over the flood, I will be still and know You are God…’

Enjoy the weekend, my soul is calm.

Crochet

Yep, my favourite past time… crocheting takes my mind of lots of things. Anyone who knows me knows I can’t sit still.. I need to have something to do, something to not only keep my hands occupied, but something to take my mind of things. So hands race over the wool…

With my soon return to England, a lot of things need to be arranged.. simple things, like changing my phone plan, to more complex things like arranging the movers and applying for customs exemption…. my mind is racing, and so are my hands… I like straight forward patterns for this… something I do not need to keep my mind on… no complex patterns (unlike my daughter Melody does)… just straight forward and fast… counting till 7.

Blanket after blanket, with a scarf or two in between are getting finished… if you happen to receive one from me, yep… crocheted with a busy cluttered mind… if you did not receive one… it’s not personal… my stress period is not over yet… hahaha

“Crocheting keeps me from unraveling”

Am curious to know what your way is of stopping the mind from ‘unraveling’. Everyone copes in their own ways..there are no good or bad ways… but curious I am!

Happy Friday!

Team Building

The last couple days have all been marked with special experiences…. I went to see the play ‘guess who’s coming to dinner’ in the Guthrie theatre in Minneapolis. That play reminds me once again how prejudiced we can be to those that are different. An old movie with a very relevant theme. It’s hard to accept those that are different to us, whether it’s because of culture, beliefs or skin colour. I know I don’t see different skin tones, but I can’t say I never feel prejudiced towards others with different customs and believes!

Tonight was our work team building event. Not everyone was able to make it..but for those that could…we went axe throwing… not something I would choose to do, and of course I suck at it big time… but it taught me something… I don’t need to be good at something in order for me to enjoy it. Quite a different thought for me…as my husband reminded me, I can be rather competitive…. today I could rejoice in the fact that everyone was achieving well, except for me.. and that’s ok! The teams were fun, friendly banter…and an opportunity to see colleagues away from the seriousness and business of work.

Sometimes we don’t take the time to stop and have fun with those whom we spend so much time with. Life is more than hitting deadlines and achieving at work… also this was an opportunity to let go of preconceived ideas and prejudices about colleagues… see them in a different way. As I hope they will see me in a different way also.

Team… that rocked… let’s do it again some day (when I can move my arms and shoulders again!)

Weekend

Another weekend is here. Am so glad the snow has finally given in to beautiful sunshine and is nearly gone. The lakes are still frozen but the scent of spring is in the air. Not long now and the trees will start to show their green leaves… hope the flowers start soon to bloom too. All in time for me to experience a last spring while living here in the USA.

Yes, the year in America is coming to an end. 5 weekends left before my home address goes back over the pond again… England, I have missed you!

But first… weekend! Sun, God, me-time..

What are your weekend plans? I hope your weekend will be peaceful with unexpected blessings!!!

Spring

Spring in Minnesota has a different ring to it. Instead of seeing lots of blossoms in the trees, there is another 6 inches of snow on the ground.

Yesterday we wanted to get pancakes in St Paul, which ended up with the car stuck up a hill. The friendly Minnesota nice came out with a random guy behind us helping to push the car up the hill. If it would not have been so inappropriate I would have taken pictures!!!

We made it home safe though and were just watching the winter wonderland from the window.

I guess there will be some more Home days!! Although Geert is now on its way to Washington for a pastor conference.

I am ready for real Spring though!!!

Easter

It’s Easter, today was Good Friday… we associate Easter with new beginnings, Spring, Chocolates, family, holiday etc.

The most important remembrance should be that Jesus came, died and rose again. That’s allows us the promise a new beginning. Something to celebrate for sure…

On Sunday Christians all over will say to each other ‘He is risen’, ‘He is risen indeed’

New beginnings… are you ready for one?

Happy Easter!

Reflections

This has been a weekend of reflection, re-evaluating that which is important during a period of madness. Work has been very busy, a little more than usual. I did not know if I could make it to go away. Although I had scheduled holiday, I could not actually take the time off. However, I really did want to go down to Tennessee where the memorial service of my uncle would be held. Of course my uncle would not know any better if I would turn up or not. After all we believe the dead are sleeping, until the resurrection. But I really wanted to be there for my cousin, whom I just recently reconnected with. Being in the US is a great opportunity to tighten family connections.

But now work commitments were threatening this time I had sat aside. Even though I had wanted to spend as much time as possible, I actually only saw them for the first time during visitation. And as my uncle was well loved, there was high demand on my family’s time. Particularly since they had all lived in Tennessee also and were there to visit.

It became quickly known to me that my desire to spend time was to be put on hold. Mixed with a bout of shyness to intrude and work calling, I only stayed for the service.

Coming back to my hotel room, and having my cousins words ringing through my head ‘don’t disappear’ I realised I really did have to think about what’s important. Sure, I need the job and right now work requires my focus. But being so close to relocating back to the UK, my opportunity to connect with family far away is also very important to me. I had challenged my cousin to a ‘rematch’ of walking/running up a hill in one of the state parks, and the time window was closing!

I ensured to have understanding of my boss that it was ok to skive off on Sunday…. and down the country lanes I went. Shame it was dreary out, no walking to be done. But I was very fortunate to have my cousin and his wife for myself for a couple hours! Catching up on years gone by and reminiscing of shared past time. Meeting up with their kids and grand kids, whom I actually had not met (except their eldest son, who was at Newbold College in England for a year during our time there).

The time to leave cane around way to early. Funny how you can feel so connected to someone in such a shirt time!

With promises to stay in touch I drove back to Atlanta to fly home to Minnesota, glad I did do what’s important to me. Family, no matter how far away, is very important. Time spend is not wasted.

Looking forward to the next opportunities to spend time!

Snow 2

For the last couple days it has been snowing on and off. This morning I woke up to a lovely white world. Not that it was not white before… we have had snow since the end of December. But the snow had turned to ice, not powdery, and more various shades of grey than pure white.

Am not too much a fan of winter. I really do prefer sunshine… I love the sea… but I have to admit… a beautiful serene white world with beautiful blue skies is very pretty indeed.

I looked up a few quotes, wondering what other people make of snow. These are 2 of the most beautiful ones I read:

There’s just something beautiful about walking in snow that nobody else has walked on. It makes you believe you’re special’

‘Snowflakes are one of nature’s most fragile things, but just look what they can do when they stick together’

The Bible is also talking about snow.. it’s not so easy to imagine snow in Israel, although it can be cold in the mountains there (never been, on the bucket list.. but have been told) Yet is the perfect analogy. ‘though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow” (Isa. 1:18)’

We can be white as snow… through the grace of God. His blood will cover our sins… He will wipe them out. We do have to accept it, but it’s a free gift.

Much like snow… a reminder of His grace…

Maybe I do love snow more than I think!

What about you?