Travels

Lessons from Cardinal and Ordinal Numbers

“So teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom, ” prays Moses as recorded in Psalm 90:12. Numbers are teachers. ‘Tis the season of counting, so 2017 seems to be. (By the way, we are home now after a 10 1/2 week trip to the midwest. Note postscript below.)

I’d like to consider the number one, after considering a few other numbers. Five hundred years have passed, as of this October 31, since Martin Luther (1483-1546) posted his 95 Theses (statements or declarations) on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany. This date is usually used as the historical marker for the beginning of the Protestant Reformation, although history reveals birth pangs centuries earlier. For instance, note Peter Waldo and the Waldensians (twelfth century),  John Wycliffe called “the Morning Star of the Reformation” (1329-1384), and John Huss who was burned at the stake (1374-1415).

Via his 95 Theses, Luther intended to announce a public debate, hoping to clarify the University of Wittenberg’s position toward the sale of indulgences.

Have you read through the 95 Theses? Quite interesting. I have my father’s copy, and in this post you’ll find three photos I took of it. Ninety-five is an intimidating number. I’d prefer to examine the number one. You know, the number one can be overwhelming all by itself. One. Alone. Sola. Solo. Solus. Whole number. Not a fraction. Not plural. One. The integer.

What is an integer? You see, counting,  numbers, and specifically, the number one have much to teach us.  Continue reading

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A Taste of Delicious Plenty

My senses and heart have been overloaded these past two months during our Midwest travels and stays. We’ve made the Findlay Family Farm (on my mother’s side) the hub of our adventures. Whether at the farm, or my sister’s home in Indiana, or friends’ homes in Troy, Ohio, or Caesar’s Creek Campground south of Dayton, we find ourselves nestled in God’s diverse expressions of His glory through His creation and creatures.

Perspective is a view. A change of location changes one’s view, which should influence one’s perspective. For years I viewed the Midwest from an insider’s viewpoint. We’ve now lived in Arizona for ten years. From there I’ve acquired an outsider’s view of the Midwest.

Have you lived in various regions of the country or world? How does moving from one place to another impact your understandings of other places and people and even your understanding of yourself? Continue reading

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The Summer’s Flying toward Autumn

The summer is flying toward Autumn. Nearly a month has passed since I last posted and since Paul and I headed eastward in our F150 Lariat pulling our Coachmen Travel Trailer. Our Maiden DistanceVoyage.

The summer’s flying toward Autumn

Days dense with weight fly light as light.

While the summer is flying, we’ve been driving. Driving across country from destination to destination. (Note previous post.) Not only are we now on the backside of my graduation*, we’ve also completed two weeks at “the farm”!

 

Commencement Ceremony on August 5, 2017
                         Trinity Theological Seminary

Dr. Karen Thomas Olsen

Continue reading

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What a Summer! Miles to Drive, Adventures to Greet

Wow! You haven’t heard from me since June 19! What’s been up? I’ll let you know!

First, in my last post (a part of a series addressing my six sailing points on navigating our reading experiences), I addressed points three and four. I drafted a final post on points five and six over a month ago but did not publish it, wanting to revise it more. I think the series has gotten too dense, too heavy. Anyway. . .

Then summer turned into a river of raging rapids, rushing me miles down stream (some hyperbole). Pause, pace.  More roaring rapids are about to carry me away again, but before they do. . .

I’m choosing to postpone the conclusion of my six point series (leaving very few of you in suspense), and I’m going to write about summer. Summer is a time for lightness, for adventure, a time to put aside didactic exposition, a time to storytell! (Lord willing, someday I’ll finish the six point series.)

The summer saga begins. And it begins with the giggles of a three year old fairy. Can you hear her? Flossy blond strands surround blue sky eyes. Sunshine twinkles from her delicate fingers and toes. For six days, she dances with us. Together we laugh.  Continue reading

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Karen’s Smith River Adventure

As I was describing in the last post:  A few days before leaving Crescent City, California in August, I had an adventure. Yes, Paul was with me, but it was my special adventure. We drove the winding road up to the river, the Smith River which cuts through the Redwood covered mountains.

“For thus says the LORD, ‘Behold, I extend peace to her like a river. . . ” (Isaiah 66:12).

img_3364 Our goal was to swim in the clear, cool river,

but this time, we stopped at a spot before Slant Bridge

and walked the trail down to the cool, emerald stream.

We heard the chatter of young voices and their parents.

Reaching the beach we could observe

the slanted bridge above to our left and look across the river to view a high cliff.

 

Continue reading

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Northern California Glory: Good Times

Paul and I returned to our roots as a couple as well as to Paul’s childhood setting this past summer, which I was describing in the previous post. Our trip began in Mount Hermon, Scotts Valley, and Santa Cruz, California  — the genesis of our story decades ago. To continue this mini chronicle, after traveling north on Route 101 for seven beautiful hours, we approached Crescent City, Paul’s home town.

Heading north on 101.

Heading north on Highway 101.

I love this drive where at times I can drink in the the glistening ocean vistas on the west side of the road  while on the east side the stunning Redwood mountain range follows us, that is, we follow the range. I snapped pictures of the view at one point along Highway 101 that you see both in the header of my blog and above this paragraph. In these views the green hills cascade directly into the sea. This is Northern California glory.

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Northern California Glory

Paul and I recently returned home from a two week trip to Northern California. Our roots as a couple spread along this northern coastline.* On Southwest Airlines we flew to San Francisco, then rented a Camry and cruised south, exiting the bay area, finally winding through the Redwood lined Highway 17 in the Santa Cruz Mountain Range, taking us to the little community of Mount Hermon where we met 37 years ago.

A Mount Hermon lane carved within the Redwoods.

A Mount Hermon lane carved within the Redwoods.

Mount Hermon is a Christian Conference center with conference facilities, mountain cabins, and a post office. Besides the conference participants coming and going, over 1,000 people dwell year round in these hills densely populated by towering Redwood trees and ornate foliage.

While in college, Paul lived with three other guys in a three story, brown cabin-like house owned by Mr. and Mrs. Miller nestled precariously on the slope of one such hill in Mount Hermon.  Continue reading

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