The Messina Family

The Messina Family
Barcelona 2010

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Sledding in Sirdal

After buying tickets to Michigan, we took off in the RAV4 and headed 2 hours inland and upwards to Sirdal to go sledding. It had snowed for the last two days and there was about 3 feet of powder there. Perfect for having fun. We even brought Cheyenne with us. Our old pup (who just turned 10) was having the time of her life out there in the snow. It wasn't too awfully wind and the sun was shining with not a cloud in the sky. Perfect weather.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Another Angel in Heaven

From time to time I have mentioned my grandmother, my last living grandparent, on this blog. She turned 85 last month and I tried to write to her often over the last 9 months after she was diagnosed and treated for breast cancer. A radical mastectomy, 6 months of chemo and 33 radiation treatments were thrust upon her but she took everything in stride and grace as she went through this past snowy, Michigan winter. This morning I found out that she had died early Friday morning, peacefully in her sleep.
When I look back on the times at her house where I would go through her scrapbooks (we share this passion for family pictures), I remember never being able to look through the scrapbook pages dedicated to the death of her husband, my grandpa. My grandma had the tiniest, tight cursive handwriting (Rich always had me read her letters out loud because it hurt his head to try and read it). Off to the side on those scrapbook pages are the words that have never left me..." On (date), the light of my life went out." That was over two decades ago...probably closer to three now. I was 10 when my Grandpa died but I remember everything about it. All those years and she never remarried, although she was a young widow and had a lot to offer. She was a WAV during WWII....a Navy pilot's wife....a mother of five....grandmother and great-grandmother. She was a farmer's wife after Grandpa got out of the Navy. She was scolded by her relatives for doing crazy things like climbing into her apple trees to get the best apples for the church apple pie events. (this was well into her late 70's and early '80's). She was a very independent woman and I really did admire her greatly.
I will be leaving to fly to Michigan for her funeral tomorrow (Easter). I hope that God will understand why I won't be at Easter services for the first time in my 37 years. I am happy I will be there to be with my family as we celebrate her life. Although I am selfishly very sad that she is no longer here, I am rest assured that she is in heaven soaring with the angels.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Good Friday in Norway

It is Good Friday and we are into the three holy days leading up to Easter. Yay! I love Easter. We have had a lot of sunshine here lately, which has made me almost giddy with my Vitamin D - starved body. The weather is cold though...we have been out and about hiking or on long walks on every sunny day. It snowed all day yesterday...the biggest flakes I have ever seen. Not one stitch of it stuck. Today was dreary and cold but no active precipitation, so we went on a short hike near the coastline not far from here. We brought a tankard of hot chocolate with us as we knew the sea wind would be bone-chilling today!
The big metal sculpture that looks like two chainlinks is a monumnent to those that have lost their lives on the off-shore oil industry.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Budding Nature Photographer....

I have tried to plant the seed in Joe's mind that he should be a kindergarten teacher. He would be fabulous at it as he is just an overgrown kid himself. His deepest desire is to be a nature photographer. I wanted to share some pictures that he took while walking in the sun at Stokke lake this past Sunday.

It must skip a generation.....

My grandmother (my dad's mom) is a wonderful quilter. She loves to quilt and makes them for her family for special occasions. I have two of her quilts and my children each have a baby quilt from her.
My mom has taken up quilting in recent years and she is also just phenomenal. It must skip a generation because I am just not the sewing type. I have no skills in the sewing department. Maybe I am just not old enough. :o)
Anyhow, my mom has made us lovely quilts. She just finished one for Joe's bed recently and I wanted to show it off to everyone. Joe absolutely loves it. He says it is warm and he loves the colors.
I also wanted to add a few pictures of another project she did for Lily right after we adopted her. I was included in a group of people from all over the globe in a 100 good wishes quilt. People sent everyone on the list an 8 inch by 8 inch piece of fabric for the quilt. Then they sent a card with a smaller swatch of the fabric and a good wish to your adopted child and their family from their family. I made a scrapbook from those cards for Lily. I sent my mom the patches for the quilt and you can see what she did with it. She mailed the top to me in Japan to write all the names of the people and where they were from under each square. I mailed it back and she finished it. It was truly a labor of love and Lily will treasure it someday.

More pictures from Sola Beach

I wanted to share some pictures from our walk to Solastranden on Monday. Rich had to work but it is spring break for the boys. They weren't happy about walking that far, but we had a blast on the beach. Unfortunately, it was very very windy and the sand blowing was amazing. We actually crawled into an old WWII bunker to get out of the wind and clear the sand from our eyes. The picture of the three kids is inside the bunker. It is not the same one pictured from the ouside. There are several on the beach as the Nazis took over this area and were fanatic that the Allies would be coming to get them in Norway.
I have gone red for the sister sent me some haircoloring (it's $30 a box here and they mostly have platinum blonde....imagine that!) and I took the plunge this week. It came out more strawberry blonde than red...which is good for transition I guess. When I saw it wet, I thought it was pink, so I consider myself lucky....strawberry blonde was a step up from that! I hope to get a real haircut for the first time in over 3 years (Rich cuts my hair) when I get to the U.S. I hope to have it long enough to donate it to Locks of Love for wigs for cancer patients. Yes, I am getting a short bob....Rich finds that easier to cut. My hair is too long now, my shoulders seem to get in the way of an even haircut. (that's his story) :o)