Hello reader! One last hurrah of our trip to Iceland and timing coincides with the end of summer 2023...at least for the kiddos heading back to school. I do hope that this summer has been a good one for you. Did you get to travel outside your city walls? Or, did you at least make it to the beach with book in hand, drinks in the cooler, SPF, hat with brim and smashing sunglasses as you caught a few rays in that beloved swimsuit? Summer always seems to be the time for lots of relaxation, lazy afternoons, windows wide open (until the humidity kicks in!) and lots of cooking on the bbq. This time of year beacons one to turn it down on projects that require a lot of sweat (and sweating) equity and yet, it often allows one to focus on outdoor projects to beef up the yard with flowers and perennials or put a fresh coat of spray paint on outdoor furniture. This year, for us, started out with those slow, sauntering speed, pontoon cruises around our lake and delivering a fresh layer of mulch to welcome the growing plants around the house. Because of the impending vacation in June, we got our preparations done early to be able to do more relaxation. However, after some serious consideration and contemplation, conversations with level headed thinkers and looking at our future/goals, we made the decision to sell our lake home. It was a very emotional journey that concluded just a week ago and we feel we lost a huge part of the summer being consumed with the process that goes along with selling property. We both are so grateful to have had this trip to Iceland as a wonderful time to look upon as we realized that that trip WAS our summer. As I write this, I am thinking of you and what you may have experienced beyond all the wonderful plans you set up for this summer. Perhaps you had a big fork in the road (or maybe it was more of a pitchfork in the road) that turned the trajectory of your summer and your story is different that what you thought you might be reliving or talking to others about. And, if you sailed (no pun) through this summer with nary a misstep and have lots of memories made, photos to look back on or share, we say "Cheers to YOU". Whatever it was for you, would you agree that those of us in Michigan enjoyed a very mild summer in the weather department? I put it down as one of the most wonderfully warm with only average humidity that made you want to sit in the air conditioning. And, the rain came when needed! I find alot of solice as I consider how our summer morphed and turned. To the weather, I say...High marks!!!
Turning attention up to the photos in the collage, these we shot during the latter part of the trip and are a sampling of the fun and pulling out the stops where and when we could. I wanted to highlight the photo with the ATM sign in the background. I love this one as we were in the last port of call in the small town/village of Heimaey and there was nothing, I mean nothing to see in the little place, and yet we walked through this town and ended up here. I said that we have got to take a photo of this memorable location (for grins and giggles). As we turned to head back, there was but one store that we decided to visit, because after all, this was our only option for bragging rights. There, we did find some nice seasonal clothing and our friend, Kerry, managed to sight a few precious baby items, perfect for our daughter, who is expecting her first baby (due in December). So, sometimes these nondescript places turn up with a surprise or two. As we headed back we found a local pizzeria and made our way inside for a bite to eat. The pizza was delicious and sharing this time with our friends is one of the highlights for me. Often, it is the unexpected and unplanned that gives way for a memorable experience. I give this one as one of those fondly held in the memory bank.
The other photos captured the landscape with someone from our group as a focal point/background kind of a thing. The top middle is one that a lot of cruisers on the ship photographed. It was a big deal to catch this frame as, if you look close, you will see an elephant. This was such a big thing that our ship's cruise director was on loud speaker telling everyone where to look and the captain even turned the ship around so that everybody had an opportunity to see and snap this unusual sight called Elephant Rock.
There are two previous blog posts on this particular trip and for those posts, I wrote of Iceland as a continent. I assumed it was! However, after thinking about the day we crossed over the waters of the Atlantic into the Arctic Ocean, I wondered if I missed something. Sure enough, Iceland is a Nordic island "country" between these two oceans, on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge between North America and Europe. Further, because it straddles both the North American and European continents, Iceland is officially part of Europe! A little lesson for us both, unless you already knew. So, I stand corrected and I will take this as a reminder to check the details/facts.
I love that you showed up today and I have missed the consistency of writing. It surely was a different summer, all in the best ways. Our life is moving forward and we are excited to see what and where God is taking us. I'll be back soon.
Until then, good on you! Jeanine
P.S. My course on sanctuary spaces is still around and available should you be looking for a little self care project.