It always snows in Minnesota…

This isn’t really true but it also isn’t true that, “it never, ever rains in southern California,” as the hippies sang in the sixties. But twice now I arrived in Minneapolis with better than tolerable weather to be met by a snow storm in only a few short days. Here it was again. The last time I was here for two weeks Minneapolis had the second worst single snow storm in recorded history. This time it wasn’t as bad but it was more unfair since we were met by the promise of springtime weather. Not so! We will spent the next two weeks slogging through snow and slush.

SICK…

AGAIN…

More lately, it seems that I have gotten sick (the unrecoverable kind) every time I have traveled. Jeanne and I arrived in Minneapolis, went out to Matt and Noemi’s house, spent the night and then drove the next day to the Kansas City area to meet the Benedict family (more on this in the next entry). I remember right when it happened. I sneezed four times and wound up sick for the last two weeks.

I DON’T TRUST FLU SHOTS…

I am assured those who sell them (perhaps this is the first clue) that they have nothing to do with contracting everything and anything other than the H1N1. After coaxing by many of my friends and seeing a friend sick with Bird or Swine or some other kind of influenza, I decided to take their advice and over the last few years have been getting these blasted shots at $22.95. It is cheaper than computer virus protection but I have a theory about that as well. I am pretty sure that Norton Virus Protection is in cahoots with the software companies. In the same way, I think the flu virus folks are tied in with the people who make this over the counter stuff like ThermaFlu, Mucinex and the like. It is all a huge conspiracy like the hot dog makers and the hot dog bun makers. It takes three packages of wieners and two packages of buns to finally come up with as many wieners as one has buns. It’s all fraud. You are made to buy more stuff… stuff that you don’t want, won’t work or will quickly be obsolete. Did you notice? You can now buy obsolescence insurance.

Anyhow, all that being said, I was sick the last time I was here in December. I was sick before that with a sinus infection from Slovenia, through Italy, Norway and America. This began exactly on September 27th while on the train from Trieste to Venice. It ended a week before I went to Minneapolis in December and the beginning of my next cold. It is no fun and nigh impossible to teach three hours every morning for two weeks with laryngitis.

Entry 12 / Norway and London?

The Last Night?

 

Gunnar (left) and Roar (right)

First, I went by tram into Oslo with Roar Halderson where we met up with Gunnar. I spent today (Tuesday) walking about Oslo with my friend Gunnar Andaas of Volda on the west coast. He came up to Oslo to spend a couple of days and meet with me regarding our shared interest in Sri Lanka, New Life Literature.

It was nice to run around with my camera and just click at anything that looked potentially paintable or frameable. It is supposed to be the last night in Norway but it appears that I may be here for longer than I had originally planned. The volcanic ash has moved further south and now hovers over England causing planes coming and coming to be grounded or diverted. Tomorrow at 12:50 I was scheduled to be on my way to Gatwick but this may no longer be the case so I am trying to figure out how to stretch my money, how to re-route myself by plane directly to the United States, hitch a ride with a truck driver going in the direction of London or taking the long way around riding trains, buses and so forth through Copenhagen, Brussels and so forth. Unfortunately, this turns out to double my costs so I am now trying to figure out if my Chase credit card offers any travel disruption benefits but every phone line is busy.

 

I am rather out of luck for the time being. I am also trying to surmise how long I can impose upon my gracious hosts without starting to smell like dead fish. They read my blogs so I am hoping they read this one.

Since I am talking about last nights…

The last night at Smyrna Bible Institute was Sunday past and on that evening we had a rather good crowd with a wonderful time of fellowship. I had preached four nights in a row and taught each morning prior to this for about four hours so all of us had a rather long, ministry filled, weekend. I’ll include a few pictures of the church experience so you might get a feel for who these folks are.

Entry 10 / Bethany College of Missions

Sunday

Dedicating Clara Isabel Hedrick

Bethany Church of the Twin Cities

The prayer of dedication

Perhaps it is only fitting that Entry 10 should should feature grandchild number ten. It turns out that our visit to Bloomington, Minnesota coincided with the dedication of Matthew and Noemi’s third child and our tenth grandchild.

Jeanne arrived from Charlotte on Thursday evening and we spent the next three days or so playing with grandchildren, eating and watching the NCAA “March Madness’ on TV and finally seeing my alma  mater and favorite, Kansas University go down in defeat to the untattooed and miniscule North Iowa University. It was a good time with Jeremy and Rachel (our other children) arriving at Matt and Noemi’s on Saturday morning with their two boys. This all meant an exhausting and hectic (frenzied) day of doors opening and banging closed, screeching and screaming.

Prayer for Clara

On Sunday we joined with almost four-hundred others at church where Matt has been the lead pastor for almost seven years. It was wonderful to celebrate perhaps our last of the grandchildren to be born. They all swear that their families have been completed.

Entry 4 / Bethany College of Missions

Wednesday

Time for a grandkid fix…

Leyton with his mommy, Noemi

After a typical morning of three hours on the Book of Acts (or the more precise name: “The Continuing Ministry of Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit and among the Apostles”) I finally reached the martyrdom of Stephen at the end of chapter seven. Tomorrow the students will take the first of two summary essay exams on what we have so far covered before we move on to the next section, beginning with the conversion of Saul. Acts can be handily divided into three sections (Acts 1:8), Jerusalem – Judea, Samaria and the utter most parts of the earth.

The afternoon was spent, as it was yesterday, working on a Mormon power point presentation entitled “So, what’s the difference?” In the fall I hope to be teaching two courses (Mormonism and Jehovah’s Witnesses) on modern religious movements while in Italy. I will also offer these courses in the Charlotte area in late October and November and though I have taught these on numerous occasions, I have a lot of catching up to do. These quiet afternoons provide time for that sort of business.

Matt with his hands full, Adriah and her new baby sister, Clara

At five this evening, I jumped in Pastor Eric Burgdorf’s loaner (Mr. Taurus as it is so called) and ran out to my son, Matt’s house for supper.

Adriah, considered to be the most photographed child in North America

Another one of this cute fella they call Bubba.

 

I managed to see Noemi before she stepped out the door to be with her friends but enjoyed some chicken and rice she brewed up for me beforehand and then hung out and played with the kids, Adriah and Leyton. Later little Clara woke up and I handled her for a while. What a cutie!

Tomorrow, right after class I will grab my things, pick up my grandson, Jesse and head almost straight north of the “Gunflint Trail” for Thunder Bay, Ontario about a seven or more hours up the north shore of Lake Superior. Just take a map, put your finger on Duluth and follow it three and a half hours northward. Once there I will enjoy the weekend with my oldest son, Sky and his wife Angie who work with street people and native youth. They have two (almost grown) children, Justin and Alysha.