Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Gloom and gratitude.

A week full of fragility.

Sarah, my best mate, is in the hospital, 
after a serious car accident on Saturday,
suffering from fractures in her neck, ribs, and pelvis.

At the moment, I despise living an ocean away.

This evening, I went out walking through the low tide, 
in search of crabs, sea stars or beauty.

Sea lice, broken bottles, and barnacle encrusted sheep skulls were all I discovered.

Walking home, my ipod self-destructed and the beloved Alaskan boots sprung a leak.

Plans keep shifting. I long for structure and normality.
Decisions and dreaming and a million muddled choices.

Ah, the limbo of the last weeks.

Grandma always reminds me to thankfully embrace everything.
All those sharp, nasty experiences are there to teach us how to be more lovely.

More gracious.

In my Bible, I keep two lists. 
They are frequently consulted on dreary days.


While in Spain, suffering a bout of post-Christmas homesickness,
I started compiling a prayer list of all the lovely people I know.

Dear friends in Bellingham. Lettered Streets. Plain.
Washington. Oregon. California. Montana. Arizona.
East Coast. West Coast.
USA. Canada.

So many treasured folks. 

Whenever I feel overwhelmed with self pity or loneliness,
I take it out and I'm reminded of what a gift it is
to walk through life with them.


Gratitude and all the things that bless, comfort and astound.
Gratitude turns everything into enough.

Regardless of whatever corner of the world I happen to be in, this list stays pretty constant.
When I shuffle through them, I want the pages of my life to be riddled with thanksgiving.

For today I appreciate:

Leaves on willow branches. Wild geese. Spinach omelette sharing with Tegan. 
Spices from home. Bonfire in a mexican blanket. Belly laughing. Lavender tea.
Grace. Long daylight hours and a fiery sunset over the fjord.
Truth and savoury metaphors. Intimate conversations. Sunshine yellow mittens. 
 Low maintenance hair and sleeping in. Long explorations of the wild sea. Quiet space.
Free phone calls to home and my mother's humor. Understanding. Being loved. 
Stark, snowy mountains. Hot water over ice cold fingers.


Honestly, a year from now,
none of this current mess will be of any consequence, really.

"It's all good, even when it's not good"-Jim Donath

Everything will unfold, delightfully.

Saturday, April 7, 2012


We went snow caving the last week of Winter.

4 days. Skis. Snowshoes. Cozy contests. Frozen toes. Forts. Fairytales.

The Camp:

The Cave:


Thursday, April 5, 2012

How the day sounds.

 Our house woke up to softly falling snow at the start of Easter vacation.
The morning also brought in a catch of fresh fish from the fjord. 
Compliments of our Swedish friends.
Cod. Sol. Wolfish. Starfish. Crab.

We've been doing a good job at keeping ourselves entertained, this winter. 
Keeping away that cabin fever

My roommate burst in to our room today while I was experimenting with my dance style.
Community living is awkward.

Sometimes, I unintentionally exasperate the Scandinavians.
But they are usually too polite to tell me. 

Thankful that I live with gracious folk.

I cut my hair into a pixie cut with a pair of right handed scissors (I'm a lefty)
They kept getting loose and I had to retighten the screws several times during the process.

I'm loving Alexi Murdoch lately. 

I walked through the fresh, sunny world to the store in my big furry boots to send letters back home.

The days are getting long but our arctic world is still swathed in white and silver. 
Not a green leaf in sight.

Spring is making me fall even more in love with this cold, quiet place. 
Driving rain has it's own beauty, after all.
Quite honestly, I wish that I could stay.
But since I made myself buy a ticket to Seattle, I'll be meeting the unknown, again, in America.
Which looks far more daunting than coming here, to Norway, ever did.

So, I'm resting in Papa's promises, unfailing love
and of course, my adventurous Knudson intuition.
"I would rather walk with God in the dark, than walk alone in the light"
Journey on!

Holiday Recap: Norwegian St. Patrick's Day

St. Patrick's Day in Norway

I've been in a different country for every holiday since I moved overseas.
Thanksgiving in Denmark. Christmas in Spain. NYE in Ireland. 
Valentines in Nepal. St. Patrick's in Norway. 

Sarah and I have tickets for a birthday in Switzerland.
We expect to be home in time for Independence Day in the USA.

Nordtun woke up to snow on St. Patties,
 so Tegan and I exchanged our running shoes for cross country skis.

*I left my camera, but snatched some shots on Mirjam's*

As usual, the Norwegians are sickeningly graceful on skis,
while the rest of us look something akin to a flock of disorientated crustaceans.

But it was good fun.

 Lars. Tegan. Henning. Mirjam. Per Henrik. 
Good conversations. Giggling. Nepali granola bars. Tea thermos. Sunbreak. Sparkling sea.

The Norwegians don't typically celebrate St. Patrick's Day,
 so sadly, there was no beer. 

However, that morning, Henning, brought me fresh cup of Tully's coffee, 
as I sat reading by the fire.

That far-off taste of home was lovelier than any brew. 

Holiday Recap: Nepali Valentines

Nepali Valentines 

I've been in a different country for every holiday since I moved overseas.
Thanksgiving in Denmark. Christmas in Spain. NYE in Ireland. 
Valentines in Nepal. St. Patrick's in Norway. 

Sarah and I have tickets for a birthday in Switzerland.
We expect to be home in time for Independence Day in the USA.

Valentine's Day found me dusty and sweaty in Southwest Nepal.

Gargare, our most stretching week.
Complete with swarms of mosquitoes and overflowing toilets.

My Swedish friend, Jon, was having a massive craving for American flapjacks,
a few weeks prior, so one afternoon I tracked down all the necessary ingredients, 
but it was three weeks between kitchens.

So I lugged three kilos worth of flour, baking powder, butter, and sugar 
around in my backpack, all over Nepal.

It ended up being Valentines Day before I could make them.

Tegan and I tried rather hard to make our pancakes heart-shaped.
Highly difficult when your Nepali friends are running through the room screaming,
and you can't regulate the heat of the pan and soybean oil is spattering all over the place.

It took several hours to make enough for thirteen of us.

Our hostess insisted that we were making Roti (Nepali flatbread)

"No! These are pancakes."
"Hahaha! No! Looooove-roti!"


Previous years, I've always made dinner, for friends, on February 14th.
With all of them squeezing into my tiny living room, over pans of enchiladas and lasagne.

So, naturally, this year followed similarly.

Valentines 2010:

Valentines 2011:

Valentines 2012: 

Friends. Feast. Candles. Living room floor.

As usual.