Thursday, December 31, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Here are my nephews Anders, Nils and Christan, holding their nephew, Fred, It was great to see them being good uncles! I love the hats.
How lucky I am to have been able to visit with my family this Christmas! Everything was perfect - requisite cold and snow on the ground, plenty of cheer, a baby, Santa Claus, Christmas trees, and tons of presents! I arrived late on the Wednesday, the 23rd, a day the Norwegians call "little Christmas eve". I was met at the airport by my brother and my handsome 15 yr-old nephew, Anders. Once home, Anders and his brother Nils (19) kept me up until after 2 a.m. talking. (Yes, it was all their fault, not mine! ha.) The next day went quickly as more people, family and friends, arrived to celebrate. My sister-in-law took it all in stride, passing out clean sheets and towels, pickled herring and Swedish meatballs with equal aplomb. It was such fun! I had five days of family, lots of talking and good food. A great combination! One highlight was finally meeting Fredrik Gustav, my first great nephew (4 months). Another highlight was hearing my nephews Nils and Daniel play a violin duet in our Sunday church service, with their mom accompanying them on the piano.
Santa popped by for a quick photo op! He just barged right into the living room to our surprise and delight.
My brother read the Christmas story out of the scriptures, and put the rock from Bethlehem on the Christmas dinner table.. maybe it was there when the shepherds heard the angels? Who knows? We observed our traditions, Norwegian, Swedish and American.
I got a chance to renew friendshps and see aunts and cousins.
It was the best vacation I've had in a very long time. I love my family. Merry Christmas to all!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

December 22, 2009 around 3:30 p.m.

My brother just wrote to me saying, "It's snowing like crazy here right now. The roads are getting bad. I've attached a photo (left) I just took out the window [of my office] with my phone. This is what you have to look forward to. :)"
After a moment of comparing the balmy green scene outside my California office window with the Utah one on the left, I say, Bring It On! Bring on the white Christmas!
Despite the fact that I'm stressing over what kind of a feat of applied physics it will take to actually get everything I want to bring with me into my largest suitcase, I'm looking forward to being with my loving family, seeing friends, reconnecting with the Evensen cousins and the cat cousins, and eating a lot.
Yup, I'm shallow. I'm in it for the hugs, the julebord and the chocolate.
So, I'll try not to think of the stresses of traveling and try to focus on the end result.
Have a great holiday and a safe travel to wherever you are going. And if you are staying home, may you find joy and happiness there, too.
God bless us every one.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Last year at this time...

You know those movies where they show the funeral in the lonely west, with the icy wind whipping the few mourners - weathered cowboys and a few women bundled up against the cold and there isn't anything in sight for hundreds of miles in every direction? Well, a-yup-that was Dad's burial in Woodruff, Arizona.

Woodruff is a tiny blip in the highway going to the thriving metropolis of Holbrook, Arizona and not far from Snowflake.

The ride up from Mesa took us through the beautiful Mogollon (say Muggy-on) Rim country that Zane Grey wrote about, after early December winter storms.

The road up to Woodruff, Arizona is a beautiful, but lonely one once you get past the forest country. Then it's open wilderness - high desert.

I'm glad this year will be a happier Christmas celebration.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

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Thursday, December 3, 2009

Trip Down Memory Lane

Here I am with my brother Jay, Kirsti, his wife, and little baby Daniel. This shot was taken 25 years ago. Daniel is now married and has a three-month old child of his own. Time sure flies.