Gayle is on a roll with photo challenges. Here is our contribution to Jennifer’s One-Word Photo Challenge. As in the previous blogged photo challenge, Gayle immediately thought of Norway, but this time the very creative encasing of a ruined medieval cathedral in a new steel and glass structure to protect it from the elements. In 2012 she toured the Cathedral in Hamar, Norway guided by her son-in-law Jørgen and accompanied by her then-13-month-old grandson, Gustav Sebastian.
The cathedral was originally built 1152-1200, demolished in 1567 through a siege by a Swedish Army and subsequent fire during the Northern Seven Years’ War and centuries later was enclosed in this modern protective structure designed by architect, Kjell Lund, completed in 1998. Besides being part of the very impressive Hamar Museum on the shores of Lake Mjösa, the structure now provides excellent acoustics for special religious services and for concerts.
Below are a few more photos we took during our tour of the cathedral, including that of a drawing of the cathedral before it was destroyed.
Thanks to Cee’s Fun Photo Challenge -Nature Animals, Gayle is posting her favourite photo taken two summers ago when she was visiting her daughter who lives with her husband and children in Norway in the midst of a mountainous forest surrounded by sheep farms.
Gwynne had been telling of the local practice to put sheep out into the forest each summer to give the lambs a start in life, grazing on the lush foliage, enjoying the fresh air and following their mothers as they wandered and lived among the trees. Some of the sheep would be killed by wolves during their wandering time; however, most of them would survive and indeed flourish. All the neighbours would then participate in a roundup in the autumn to gather up the sheep and bring them back to their pens for the winter. The adult sheep could be found by listening for the tinkling sound of the bells around their necks as they moved around. The half grown lambs would stay close to their mothers.
One lovely afternoon Gayle and her daughter Gwynne drove further up into the forest hoping to “hunt” sheep with a camera. Gayle was disappointed that they didn’t see any sheep as they drove along the narrow forest roads, but Gwynne urged her to be patient. Soon she pulled over to the side of the road and told her mother to listen. Gayle and her camera were out in a flash, plunging into the moss-covered ground and following the sound of bells. She soon captured the curious ewe pictured above, peeking out from the green woods, just like a model posing for her first photo op. As soon as the photo was snapped, the ewe disappeared. Gayle figured that would be her one and only glimpse until she heard a steady tinkling of bells and a lot of scrambling sounds. The ewe returned and again posed in a clearing, this time with two sweet lambs in tow. What a fantastic opportunity to fulfill a photo challenge!
As Mother’s Day approaches I’m enjoying so many uplifting and poignant messages on Facebook regarding motherhood, as well as savouring the sight and smell of flowers that were just delivered to me from my daughter who lives with her husband and children in Norway. I’m also anxiously awaiting a call from my son who lives in California and hearing from my step-daughters in Manitoba. Yes, they are all too far away from our British Columbia home, but I guess that is a common situation in present-day life. Thank God for the modern convenience of Facetime so that we can regularly communicate and even see each other on my ipad and their iphones. (My son and I regularly go for a “walk” in the garden he maintains for the house he lives in and down to the nearby beach to check out the sand and surf.) Since Ian and I live in a popular retirement spot, many of our friends here also have children and grandchildren who are residing in other corners of the earth. Through Skype, Facetime and the like, they also manage to communicate and keep up with distant family members with the occasional long-distance flight to touch base in person.
I’m sharing a Pic Collage photo I compiled on my ipad to commemorate our great-grandchildren and two youngest grandchildren – the youngsters (or “wee’uns,” as Ian would call them in his Scottish vernacular) – the children in our lives who live far away from us (in Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Norway) for whom we are Grandpa and Grandma and to whom we will be dedicating our children’s chapter book, “Jake, Little Jimmy and Big Louie,” for which I am presently doing the layout. Here they are: going around clockwise from the top center: Leland, 13 (our age-appropriate consultant for the book); Hannah, 8 (who did the drawings for the book); then Logan, 4; Brayden, 2; Lexi,2; Eva, 9 months; Gustav, 3; Caleigh, 6; and Madison, 4. (We also are expecting two more great-grandchildren later this summer. The two photos in the center show Grandpa Ian at his 80th birthday party in Winnipeg with six of the great-grandchildren and one grandson (Calan) whose daughter wouldn’t pose without him; plus the bottom photo of Ian and me on our 7th wedding anniversary at home in Vernon, September 7, 2010 (on the day he had his heart attack, mind you!)
My husband Ian (the author) just turned 82 last week and is presently in a local care home for a 2-6 week “short stay convalescent care program” to help him regain some strength, balance and walking ability after over five years of serious illness and lots of medications which have saved or bettered his life but also are essentially poisonous and have lots of nasty side-effects, the worst of which has been neuropathy in the feet. I’m happy to say that a set of new orthotics plus the exercises, physio- and occupational therapy he is receiving daily is helping. I’ve seen a lot of progress in just a few days that he has been there.
In the meantime I’m enjoying some time alone at home with only the dog to take me away from gardening and layout duties. Misty supervises me as I plant flowers in boxes and pots on our front porch, prune the shrubs in our front and back xeroscaped gardens, get the gazebo canopy and curtains set up and hire a worker to come in and clean out our pond and waterfall. I did the latter for the first time last year and could hardly stand the sight and stench of an about-two-inch layer of rain worms that had crawled into and died in the pond at the end of last autumn, during part of our mild winter and then so far this spring. I realize they are also God’s creatures, but they are ones I’d just as soon not encounter. I’ve also included some photos of our back yard from last year to share some of the beauty of our surroundings. The first photo is of my “Benjamin memorial” to remember my infant grandson who died in 2011 in Norway at 13 days old, the day after I had arrived there. The other photos show our xeroscaping, gazebo, pond and waterfall. Hopefully, Ian will be home soon to enjoy it all as well.
We also wish to remember and honour our own mothers who passed away in 1995 at the ages of 86 (Ian’s) and 96 (mine) in 2001. Their birthdates were within a day of each other but a few years apart: Chrissie’s on June 15 (1909) and Mil’s on June 16 (1905).
Ian’s mother, Christina Morrans Moorhead, known as “Wee Chrissie” and to her grand- daughters as “Campbeltown Gran.”
Gayle’s mother, Mildred Nelson Moore at ages 20 and 90, known as “Mil” and to her grandchildren as “Grandma Mil.”
Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers on your special day on Sunday, May 11th. After church, my friend Jean (whose children are also far away) and I plan to drive up to our neighbouring Davison’s Orchard Farm, have Mother’s Day luncheon at Auntie May’s Cafe and enjoy a walk through the blossoming apple, pear and peach trees before our dog, Misty, and I go to visit Ian. Sounds like a fun day!