Our prayer as we celebrate this holy season is for Peace at this time of saber rattling, Joy in the birth of the tiny baby Savior, Love for all Godís children around the world, and Hope that Godís goodness will finally prevail. We greet you all in the name of our precious Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
This year has not been as hectic as last year, but it has been busy, nevertheless, full of travel. We waited until Spring, but then at the end of April, Kris had a Wise Traditions conference in Washington, D.C., so we visited her cousin in Virginia at that time, and then went to Atlanta to visit our good friends, Jim & Maxine Christ. In the middle of May, the National Genealogical Society had its annual Meeting in the States in Milwaukee, and that occasioned an opportunity for Bill to visit the Vesterheim Genealogical Center in Madison on that trip. The end of May saw us at our Northwestern Ohio Synod Assembly in Bowling Green, Ohio (just a short trip).
Come summer, the middle of June saw Bill off to Tanzania for a couple of weeks to attend the Assembly of the Dodoma Diocese, along with Dennis Maurer, one of the assistants to the bishop of our Synod. We met at Aya Secondary School, which our synod supports, I visited the Isanga congregation in Dodoma, which is Willistonís Companion congregation in the Dodoma Diocese, and managed to get in a day of sightseeing in Ngorongoro Crater. July had Kris off to the Triennial Convention of the Women of the ELCA in Philadelphia as delegate, and I joined her on the weekend, with our daughter Dorothy, to travel to my sisterís in Rhode Island. It was brother-in-law Johnís birthday.
In September, Kris went to Tanzania, for two weeks, with a group of women of the Northwestern Ohio Synod, to be at the convention of the women of the Dodoma Diocese. Follow this link to read a report of that visit on the womenís website.
I (Bill) went to GŲteborg, Sweden, rented a car, and went to revisit some of the old family places, and a few that I had not gotten to two years ago. Next was a visit to Hidra, Norway, near Flekkefjord, where my motherís father came from. It was interesting to visit the old farmstead (but not the old house, which was gone), and come away with some pictures, some good stories and a few old family pictures, some of them yet to be identified, and one of them a picture of my grandfatherís store in Brooklyn. I met Kris at the Oslo airport, and after visiting with some old friends near Oslo, Erik and Tove Bye, we headed to Bergen. Our biggest adventure on that part of the trip was having our credit cards mysteriously cancelled, which made for a couple of very anxious days. (Blame it on government paranoia about P.O. Boxes! We were sure glad we had a cell phone that worked in Norway, as it took $100 worth of calls to get the problem fixed.) From Bergen, we went south to FÝrde, the old home of the Lyders, and then back to Hidra, then to Lyngdal, home of my great-grandmother, and finally to our friends in Oslo. Kris got the plane back to Detroit from there, and I went back to GŲteborg and then home on 17 October.
Since then we havenít done much traveling, except to Cleveland to visit Mark and Jeanne and the grandchildren, but things have remained busy, anyway. There are always countless projects to be taken care of, and Kris has had the final gardening chores to tend to before winter. Speaking of winter we have already had more snow than we had last winter, and some very cold weather. We will see what the rest of the winter brings.
In family news: Pete and Caryn are still in the final stages of building their house (we said that last year). The builder had said that it would be done by Christmas, but it wonít be. Peteís practice seems to be growing, and he seems to thrive on it. The grandchildren, Will (5) and Emily (8), are still growing and developing. Both of them are now taking violin lessons, and Mark and Jeanne keep very busy with work, church, and family. Dorothy, in Lansing, is working for the accountant and also for a contractor, and taking a business course. She is hoping to find a way to put the contractor in the black using the skills learned in her course. We have been keeping her cat most of the time, except while we were gone, as he loves sitting in laps and Dot isnít home enough for that.
Kris adds: My post retirement reading has led me in entirely new directions in nutrition. We have changed our eating considerably and enjoy sustainably produced foods from our garden and from the Phoenix Earth Food Co-op. I have become increasingly disenchanted with the direction modern medicine and commercial agriculture have taken, which I feel are contributing to the epidemic of health problems we have in this country. Please visit our Web site and check out Krisís Thoughts on these issues. God blessed us with healthy bodies and a beautiful world. We need to learn to care for our bodies and that world in a way pleasing to God.
Peace, Hope, Love, and Joy in 2003!