Thursday, July 28, 2011

Northwoods Entertainment

  We found this guy at the Heartwood House where we will be spending the greater part of our weeks for the next few months.  He provided us with some chuckles when we discovered he could be such a ham.  Ah! nothing like a reason to smile while getting used to a different home.

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Monday, July 25, 2011

2011 Camping With Friends

Camping where the men cook...always!

Where couples can go out for a canoe ride anytime.

Watching the non-stop ladder golf.

Camping, where it's okay to ride the chainsaw.

Camping where the canoes are always loaded and always on the water.

This looks a little over the top, but it wasn't really.  The boats were too loaded and  not moving very fast at ended up being mostly funny watching all those young men make waves for each other.

Like I cooking.

Camping... where babies are allowed to get as dirty as they wish.

A place to watch the action.

Lawn Chair Bouquet

A juicy caterpillar.

Gideon is fairly mesmerized by Benny's devotion.

This is only part of the crowd of campers this year.

Someone supplied a little blue paddle boat and the smiles tell you what they thought of it

More boys playing in the water....I don't know what they're doing.

She played beautifully.

Sitting and visiting.

And playing games.

This is what happens by Sunday afternoon.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

What Is A House To You?

    This is the house my dad grew up in.  We went back the other day just to see it again. Right now we have reason to think about houses and what they mean.  Living in two houses at the same time makes you do that.  So I don't know what this house meant to my dad, really; but I know what our house here at home means to us these days. 
    The house we're to be living in over at the job is a new, nice enough house.  But it is full of others' things and it isn't ours.  So we're going to be grateful for a place to call home those few days every week and we're NOT going to complain.  Got that?
    I just feel a little displaced right now, even though we have the stone house, the cabin, and now a job house.  It's kind of messing with my mind, I guess.  The stranger and pilgrim concept is growing on us by leaps and bounds.  That song I Need No Mansion Here Below keeps running through my head. 
   It isn't the houses we live in, but who we ARE in Christ that matters.  Any chair and table in the early morning hour should be sufficient for a place to have quiet time and coffee, right?  Any kitchen to make a good meal, any dining place to sit as a family around the supper table, any sitting room we can still have family time, right?  

Thursday, July 21, 2011


In spite of grumbling yesterday; the tide has turned.  We have a house on the job now, and the weather has returned to near normal temperatures.  It's amazing how the head clears when the air does both in the weather and in that we get to live together as a family again.   Cheers!!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Just Ramblings

    First about being in limbo: Elv is working an hour from home and staying there in a the "Tamarack Residence" at Heartwood this week.  The room is a little duplex with lots of bunks, a very modern fireplace, a teeny kitchen, a massive, many partitioned rest/shower room, and tile floors.  We thought about going over there and being with him in the evenings at least, but thought better of it, too. 
    The boss is still working on renting a house near the job.  Meanwhile we are separated most of each week. Family devotions, supper time, and morning coffee are not much fun without Elv at home.  I looked up that word limbo and here's what I found: in a state of uncertainty, neglected, up in the air, in abeyance, ... That describes our life exactly right now.  
    When limbo is over, we shall then enjoy family life more than ever.  That's a good thing, I guess.
    Then there is this hot weather that we are enduring not so well. I have lived in Wisconsin all my life. I don't care what the statistics claim...this is new for us.  I feel claustrophobic and it's getting to me, knowing that the only way to exist is to stay downstairs in the basement sitting room where our only AC is located.  One day of 95 degrees is kind of a novelty, especially if it is nicely followed by a relieving thunder storm. But now the novelty is over.  Let patience have her perfect work! 
    Now, a happy thing. The girls cleaned the pantry under the stairs yesterday. Now instead of a jumble there are tidy rows of jars and pantry things. Beautiful. Thank you, girls. 


Saturday, July 16, 2011

Another Post About Visiting Northern Minnesota With The Aunties

    Dad, did I tell you how we lost and found the Graceton Depot? The Aunties and Trenda and I decided to go driving around to see the old places.  When we drove into Graceton and crossed the tracks the old depot was missing. The Aunties noticed immediately and set up a howl of protest.  Oh well, so it was old and it's gone was my thinking and what could be the big deal?!  But we found the house where you lived as a boy and the old cemetery where the Grandparents and Uncles are buried.   
   We continued our search of old places and stories and by and by we headed back to Aunt Enorans house by Lake of the Woods where we were staying.  Somewhere several miles from Graceton we found our lost depot in a garden.  As you can see the depot is a treasure to more than just The Aunties.  A little creek (krik) runs through the yard from under the front stairs there.  I suppose the creek is a man-made affair but it looks really quaint and the depot looks happy and proud nestled there in the garden. You will have to ask Carol whose yard this is. I'm sure she will know.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Good Taste Matters

Amy posted about choices and finding joy and contentment wherever we are today. Read it here. She did a grand job of saying it well.  
The quote at the top of her post set me back just a little.    A proud man is seldom a grateful man, for he never thinks he gets as much as he deserves." -Henry Ward Beecher- 
Now I don't really have a pick with the quote itself, but this week our family had to reconsider the connection between pride and being deserving. 

Elv's work takes him a hour from home, logging in "blow-down".  I'll skip all the details of the storm and how the woods's bad.  He is expected to put in "marathon" hours on this job since it is a resort/retreat/convention center for an exclusive group of folks...never mind who it is.  Anyway, they were putting him up in this cabin or that motel room where ever they had an open room in the complex and feeding him too, in the dining hall, if he wanted to take the time for it.  The cabin/condo they suggested for us just never materialized due to other reservations.  Which doesn't matter here either, but the upshot of it is that we ended up taking the travel trailer up there and parking it by the warming shack at the back of the property where most of the trees were down way back in the woods.  We lived there for two days and decided that maybe we could be content like that for a few days every week till freeze up anyway.  We'd have family time in the evenings that way and the kids found blueberries to pick and there were acres of woods to explore. 

 As of yesterday word got around, I guess, that the gypsies (I don't know what term they used; but Bob assured them that we were not what they thought), had moved in on the resort till it reached the ears of the big-wig at the top who lives out of state.  Never mind that the gypsies were hired to log on their property to clean up their complex... it was not okay!

I told Elv that I am not homeless, as it happens, and I will not wait around for eviction notices. We moved home this morning.  As soon as the boss finds us a house to live in by the job we'll move back. 

But now I wonder if our contentment with travel trailer living just to keep the family together was taking things a bit too far.  I have a feeling that we should have had more pride than we did , so that we could have avoided the embarrassment we were headed for.  Seems to me that our zeal to get it right by the family over-rode good taste and made us look less deserving than was necessary. 

So I don't think I totally agree with Mr. Beecher, after-all.  Brother Andrew had to learn this lesson too, when someone finally clued him in that God isn't stingy and to have a few nice  clothes is okay, even for missionaries.  I believe that God has a plan for keeping our family together while this particular job gets done and we are ready to do whatever that is without making ourselves look gauche.  

Note:  It's generally considered okay for a logger to pull in a travel trailer and live on the job if he chooses. 

Saturday, July 9, 2011

A Little Old Church

Does any of you recognize this building? Our family, the Skrivseths, do. Too tired tonight to explain...just home from a weekend with "The Aunties" as Trenda and I dubbed them, but till later, here is a teaser.

7/10/11 Okay, I'm back.

   It's the little Mennonite Church in Graceton, Minnesota.  The doors have been closed for  years now and the grass and brush are taking over. Never again will the bees buzz outside the screens and the thunder and whistle of the train be heard during the preaching of the Word. "My Jesus I Love Thee" will never again be sung within those walls.  No more swinging bare feet patiently waiting in the hush of quiet for dismissal. No  children will run about in the sandy parking lot after church while the moms and dads visit. The little church stands alone, slowly receding into the overgrowth.
    It was so sad when the doors closed. It seemed like a failure to those who watched it happen. I remember hearing the talk about it when I was a listening little girl.  Daddy's disappointment was palpable and we didn't even live there.
   Forty years later I realize that the story was not all told. From just one of the families who started out serving the Lord there, are preachers, missionaries, faithful grandchildren and great grandchildren belonging to churches all over the United States, Canada, and even a family or so in Central America.
   So maybe you're in a major church transition for whatever reason.  Maybe it seems to you that the Enemy is  winning right now.  Don't be so sure.  Trust in God who is in control. You never know. Faith is bigger than Failure.

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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Weekend In Pictures, My Version

This is a Canada Anemone

This is the cabin right now.  

Watchers while Elv and I worked on building a usable outhouse. I didn't post a picture of that important edifice.

Then we went down to the shore and enjoyed the lake for an hour.

I combed the beach for fairy tears and found a few, too.  The blue one is my favorite.

Elv worked so hard getting the outhouse ready and then on Tuesday morning couldn't stop improving and tore out a no- longer-necessary wall indoors and presto we had a new dining room space. You'll see that down the line here somewhere.

Elv's mom was with us, too.  She is 85 and young at heart.  She had her feet in the water right along with the rest of us. The water was rather chilly. 

Clark is always playing with his camera and these two are his favorite subjects.

Just a picture of cabin life.  Benny thought it was wonderful.

We enjoy using the oil lamps for lighting after dark. 

Yes, now that it is warm summer we just put the Coleman camp stove on top the cook stove for cooking. 

So we worked hard and played hard.  I didn't show you any pictures of the fireworks evening in town. Lattins took us along with them. The small community of families came out and sat on the large grassy green in front of the library. It was fun small town stuff and Jan Karon woulda had a ball.

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