Saturday, May 26, 2012


The green is coming.

A gorgeous song about the Arctic.

There’s a pleasant port where a boy fixed his course
On a lesser-trodden landscape north
And on his journey boreal met one corporeal
One returning journey forth
“What draws you to the barren there,” he said
That land is nothing but dampen dread,
and sour berries, and rotten cherries,
and icy rime and that snowy, snowy pine.
That bleak, bare lawn is woebegone
But carry, carry, carry on”
“Oh no,” he said “You must have misunderstood,
it’s not the land’s comestible goods,
not the berry that I seek
but the way it hangs on the arrow wood
And I am not after that snowy shawl
But the way the faint flakes float and fall
And to me that alabaster milky rime
Is as sweet as sugar and just as fine
And I don’t care one bit that the pines are gone
But I do care what they look like at dawn,
I’m not concerned that their life is drawn
But what happens to the land without their brawn.”
And so his journey goes, though his story’s old
But a tale is not trite if it’s still being told

The Outer Islands: Lovund

We spent a week in the far outer islands.
Wind swept, treeless, North Atlantic, rocky shores.

The Gulbransens lived on Lovund before coming to Nordtun DTS.
They took great delight in showing off their lovely island, to us.

The weather continued to be freakish and gloomy.
Thus, we were confined to the warmth of the church, for most of the week.

Our industrious menfolk worked hard residing the church building. 
Tegan and I filled them with coffee on a regular basis.

Photo: Lýdía Linnéa Pálsdóttir 
Lars obliged us North Americans by teaching us how to make Norwegian waffles.

The First of May Bazaar:
School gym hall. Raffle. Legions of cakes with gallons of coffee to wash them down.

Someone gave us a fruit basket at the end of the evening.
Tegan and I had a good laugh over trying to fit the melons in my backpack.

My poor backpack is always a good source for a laugh.
No matter how much time I devote to careful packing, 
it always ends up lumpy and askew.

Tegan decided that it must be inhabited by two fat, baby-like, hobbits
named Fatty Doerkins and Fatty Boldger.

"I wonder if I can fit this tent inside? I just hate having it look so lumpy!"
"Rachael! Don't hurt Fatty Doerkins and Fatty Boldger, just because society chooses to shun them! 
They HAVE to live in your backpack!"

The rest of the time we:

Made silly songs

Hiked to barbecue shelters and had cozy picnics.

Took sunset walks.

Met fluffy dogs and shaggy sheep.

Discovered golden hour over the water and heather fields to lay in.
Wild goose eggs in their downy nests.

Lovund you were magic.

The Outer Islands: Træna

We spent a week in the far outer islands.
Wind swept, treeless, North Atlantic, rocky shores.

Træna is the island next door to Sanna.
Getting there, however, involved a crossing the raging open ocean.
Everyone's favorite.

We tromped all over before finding our campsite.
As usual, the weather was icy and disagreeable.

On the plus side,
Many hours were spent in the darling Petter Dass Chapel enjoying it's lovely acoustics.

It was full of wild depictions of Vikings and Papa God and monstrous sea creatures.

We hung out with the local youth all Friday night. 
Tegan and I manned the kitchen, cranked out a few dozen pizzas and called it a night.
Snatched a small bit of sleep and headed for our next island.

To be continued on Lovund.

The Outer Islands: Sanna

We spent a week in the far outer islands.
Wind swept, treeless, North Atlantic, rocky shores.

We came to the island, late in the evening. 
Heavy skies and a glassy sea of puffins.
Arrived at our campsite after a series of ferries, a fishing boat, and a brief hike in.

Photo: Michael Moritz
Our campsite included:
Poison hemlock, swampy bogland, and the ice-carved cave, Kirkhelleren.

 Kirkhelleren was nice and mossy. 
 Also, festooned with dead lemmings and Viking graves.

No one lives on Sanna but for holidays.
The houses are old and full of whimsical designs.

Hiked up and down the treeless island. 
Through dark tunnels and lichen covered talus fields.
We laid in the sun, facing the wide ocean.

Photo: Michael Moritz

The entire island resembles a large sleeping lion.
With tufts of golden grasses showing the furry spine.

Photo: Michael Moritz

The wind bit through all our clothes and made us generally miserable.
The mexican rice was burned
But we made a fancy camp.

The evening:
Bonfire. Cave. Bold stories.

 These evenings, the sun stays out late, to play.
Still, Spring surrounds us in snowy storms.

To be continued on Træna

Friday, May 18, 2012


Five day mini-outreach.

Hurtigruten traveling. Brønnøysund arriving. Cozy family lodging. 
Ratatouille baking. Cupcake eating. Story telling. Norwegian comprehending.

Scout meeting. 
Bird house hanging. Pine forest giggling. 
Pølse roasting. Fire warming. Snow falling. Storytelling.

Sun soaking. Long walking. Good conversing. Willow blooming. Old church exploring. 

Youth group hosting. Sharing. Blessing. Taco making. Movie watching. 

Home returning. 

Very much, Norway enjoying.