Dealing with the transitions of aging parents is one of those inevitables of life that is neither enjoyable nor easy. This past weekend my siblings and I joined hands and moved my confused mother to an apartment with greater assistance. Though her body is as strong as an ox, her mind is weak, and she has become a threat to others as well as herself. Her new home will provide her with increasing care as she slips slowly away. It is a pathetic reality that loved ones must helplessly stand by and watch. There are some comforts that accompany this condition. The simple things of life bring great pleasure: a peppermint candy or a ride in the country bring raving accolades – “I love this” or “I am so thankful.” Mom is also quite vocal about her faith and reports visits from Jesus. Her devotional, always turned to the correct date, must be read dozens of times a day, each time a fresh experience. Though the weekend was difficult, it was enjoyable to spend time with both of our families as well as Calvin. Esther had the unexpected opportunity to get together with her high school friends.
You can't be around Norwegians too long before the subject of lutefisk comes up. For all the talk and fuss, you would think it was a weekly event. Instead, it is an annual ritual, usually in the late fall or December. The proud Scandinavians don their Norwegian sweaters, gather in halls and gymnasiums around the country, and pig out on traditional foods, all the while swapping stories of recipes and family history. Saturday afternoon, Esther and I joined the newlyweds, Frank and Sherri Carlson for the annual pilgrimage at First Lutheran in Poulsbo. Sherri was introduced to the delicacy for the first time, with negative results. By now I have acquired a tolerable enjoyment of the fish jello, as long as there is plenty of melted butter and cream sauce on it. The famous dish is supplemented with potatoes, meatballs, lefsa, salad, krumkake and lots of coffee. Esther and Frank were in their glory of course, while Sherri and I acquiesced to the hoopla. We brought our happy spouses back to the Carlson big screen where we watched the Husky game and allowed Dennis Erickson and the sun devils to put a damper on our evening.
Calvin came home from Trinity Western this weekend since it is Canadian Thanksgiving. He is having a great time, busy with friends and enjoying his studies. He admitted that he missed us, though. We went to Seattle this afternoon to meet with Markus and go to his church: Quest Church. Pastor Eugene Cho is a passionate and articulate speaker, and we enjoy his sermons very much. The collegian brothers enjoyed sharing their academic joys and challenges.
Rather than an overnighter this year, Esther and I made a quick day trip over to Leavenworth. Our late reservation habit ensured no vacancy at an acceptable BandB. (a small hazard for the spontaneous) The day was beautiful with plenty of sunshine and mild temperature. The autumn colors were only just beginning to reveal themselves. We spent several hours shopping and eating in town and then took a drive and walk up Icicle Creek canyon. On our way home we hit a serious traffic back up between Index and Gold Bar, waiting an hour for things to finally start moving again after Sultan. We met up with Markus for a late evening snack as we passed through Seattle.