Sunday, December 31, 2017

Year End 2017

December Journaling

1.      My husband and I went out for dinner, but it ended up being over-priced and not too good.

2.      A rare Saturday at home, then our church Christmas gala. A little too long for me.

3.      Church today. Long nap.

4.      School day on my own.

5.      Home day. Worn out from yesterday. Long nap.

6.      Same as yesterday. Today is the 100th anniversary of Finland’s independence and also the 100th anniversary of the Halifax explosion.

7.      The anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Hot tub. Hoping I don’t belly flop into it like last time.

8.      Chiropractor then seeing my former co-workers because a nurse I’ve worked with for 10 years is retiring so this is her retirement and their work Christmas party too. I haven’t seen them in three years.

9.      Quiet day at home, laundry and reading, nap and MLS final, which TFC won. We’ve been following them since the beginning and manage one live game per year. Hot tub and take out Thai food.

10.   Church then seeing old friends. He was our best man. They live in the same neighbourhood and yet we only manage to see them once a year.

11.   School day with my mom.

12.   Bible study, injections to my face, and rest for two hours. I had a rare burst of energy, and today was a powdery snowfall of about five cm so I did the driveway for the first time in three years. I paid for it with a crash of pain and exhaustion later in the day.

13.   My sister in law’s birthday. Also, I had an appointment with my doctor to fill out forms for a tax credit. I pay so much out of pocket for my health, mostly for supplements and appointments with naturopaths, and for forms like today, $50. Hopefully I’ll be approved.

14.   Scrambling to finish the summary of Hebrews for Tuesday.

15.   My other pain clinic this morning, then babysitting this evening with my husband.

16.   Laundry. Long nap.

17.   Church, flanking a long nap.

18.   Last school day for a few weeks. We’ve only done 14 school days but my grandson has learned so much.

19.   Summary of Hebrews. They seemed to appreciate it. They paid for my lunch at Panera as a thank you.

20.   A quiet day at home, catching up on my Bible reading, napping, and cooking dinner.

21.   Last bit of shopping, to get ingredients for appetizers.

22.   My daughter bought my husband a TFC MLS Champions baseball cap. He’ll love it.

23.   Prepping some food. I’m making crab stuffed mushroom caps with real crab.

24.   My sister hosted dinner for our Finnish Christmas celebration.

25.   My daughter cooked her first turkey and hosted the family. She did a great job. So nice to see the grandkids two days in a row.

26.   We went to my son-in-law’s parents’ house for dinner. They are Egyptian and they own a restaurant so of course the food was delicious. Tired from all the celebrations though and looking forward to a few quiet days at home.

27.   Resting, catching up with my Bible reading.

28.   This year I read through the Bible chronologically with a guide from Through the Bible. I also read all the notes from my MacArthur study Bible and The Evidence Bible by Ray Comfort. Next year I’ll only read the text. It’ll be faster. I also studied Joshua, Judges, Ruth, and Hebrews in depth and wrote summaries of them all. In the New Year, our ladies’ Bible study will begin Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther with Precepts Bible studies.

29.   Another Christmas party this evening. Even with ear plugs, I find it overwhelming to my senses and I am always happy to get home to a quiet house.

30.   I’m thinking of trying out a new treatment/supplement in the new year, called Plexus. It can’t hurt and every little improvement makes life a little less bad.

31.   End of the year. I’m suffering much less than a year ago and definitely much less than three years ago when I stopped working, for which I’m thankful. I’ve been sick for five years now. Life sure has changed.

Sunday, December 3, 2017


November Journaling

1.      Busy week of appointments. My mom came over to bake her famous gingersnaps, but it’s more that she bakes and I watch.

2.      Such a busy morning with appointments, didn’t get back home till 2 p.m. and crashed for an hour and a half before I had to make dinner.

3.      Pain clinic today. Both my facial injections and back injections aren’t holding my pain as well anymore. Sigh. Long nap in the afternoon.

4.      A quiet Saturday. I didn’t go anywhere and I loved it. I had a quiet morning, then had a nap before making tacos for dinner. Then looked over my school plan for Monday.

5.      Church today.

6.      School today. My granddaughter has a fever so she slept more than usual. My daughter took her to the doctor and went to work later and came home earlier. So proud of my grandson who learned the difference between left and right today.

7.      Bible study this morning. Ladies’ planning meeting tonight.

8.      A quiet day.

9.      Massage this morning, then we’re going to a fundraising gala in Hamilton for the Pregnancy Help Centre our daughter works for.

10.   Chiropractor appointment today.

11.   Today is Remembrance Day. I happened to be in Costco buying glasses at the time and they played Taps instead of Last Post, maybe because it’s an American company.

12.   Sunday. It’s International day of the Bible and our Pastor happened to preach on Sola Scriptura. Dropped off a shoe box for Samaritan’s Purse. For a little church, we do pretty well. Had a three hour nap.

13.   School today. Since my daughter was off for the holiday, my mom didn’t come with me. She also got her winter tires on. We did an experiment with capillary action. He seems to like school. I was able to rest more in the afternoon since she was there for the baby.

14.   Bible study, also I dropped off a fellow fibro sufferer at an appointment. Then a long nap.

15.   Had my winter tires put on as well as new wiper blades. Then a long nap.

16.   Home day, catching up on paperwork and rest.

17.   Same as yesterday, also baked for tomorrow morning.

18.   Women’s ministry breakfast. I like doing it but I’m looking forward to the end in sight in May. It’s nice that there are only two year terms. Even with the team helping me, it’s an added burden on me.

19.   Church. He’s going through 1 John in the evening and continuing on the five solas in the morning. He finished the book of Daniel. It was so refreshing to hear a perspective other than pre-millennial dispensationalism.

20.    School today, on my own. For some reason I had a pretty good day. I’ll take it. Could be one of the supplements I started taking again; d-Ribose, which is a sugar known to help with M.E. So proud of my grandson. He learns so fast. He learned his address and is recognizing his upper and lower case letters. He also knows right and left and loves the science experiments we do. He also loves geography.

21.   Bible study. A few more weeks then the summary. In the New Year we’ll start on Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther. Then a nap and school prep.

22.   Home day. We got our furnace serviced. It snowed a bit today.

23.   Home day, baking cookies. Printed my Christmas letter.

24.   Pain clinic; it helps somewhat for my back pain, but not for my other pain, but hey, every bit of relief helps. Dropping off cookies to WINGS, a pro-life charity we support.

25.   Heading to London to celebrate Christmas with the Finnish side. Staying overnight.

26.   Came home after brunch in London.

27.   School today. My mom was with me. But my science experiment spilled in the bag and I got baby oil on all the papers I was planning to use, so we winged it instead. Extra tired today though.

28.   Bible study and a few errands.

29.   My husband took today off so we were able to get a bit of our Christmas shopping done. They caught some men who had been carjacking people in our neighbourhood and forcing them to drive to bank machines. There have been seven incidents in the past month.

30.   Dental appointment.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Interview with my Younger Self

Me Now (MN): You know how people say, “If I could go back in time with the wisdom and insight I have now, I’d tell my younger self a thing or two?” Well, here’s my chance. Hello, Pia.

Younger Me (YM): Oh, so you use that name exclusively now?

MN: Yeah, once I moved to Toronto it was just easier to make a fresh start with a name that’s easier to pronounce. It left any bad memories associated with that name behind. Except it took me forty years to make it official. (See post What's in a Name? under Memoirs)

YM: We move to Toronto?

MN: Oh, yeah, I guess I’ve got to be more careful with what I let slip.

YM: I don’t really get why I’m here. Do I really want to know what’s ahead of me? What if I can’t handle it?

MN: Since I know you better than anyone, I know you need to be told that life won’t always be as good as it is now, and you need to be teachable. As for the future, it’s true it’s best not to know. But you WILL be able to handle what comes, by the grace of God.

YM: That’s good to know that I’ll still have my faith in the future. I sometimes worry I’ll lose my salvation.

MN: I can encourage you in that. You’ll soon learn about the doctrines of grace and you’ll see that you can’t lose your salvation because God chose you before the foundation of the world. It will give you assurance. This assurance in turn puts all other worries in their place.

YM: But what about…?

MN: Trust me. You’ll learn it over a period of a few years and you’ll never doubt it again. Remember, I know your future.

YM: Okay, I’ll take your word for it. But what CAN you tell me about my future? Do I get married, have kids, and live happily ever after?

MN: Yes, yes, and for the most part.

YM: What does that mean?

MN: Life happens. But I can promise you this; God is always faithful.

YM: I guess that’s all I need to know. Although I am curious. What’s my future husband like? Do I already know him?

MN: I guess I can tell you a little now. No, you haven’t met him yet. He’s still out there. Be patient.

YM: That’s surprising to me. I always assumed I’d marry one of the Finnish guys I know now. Is my future husband Finnish?

MN: No, but you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Don’t worry, you choose well.

YM: Please tell me he’s a believer at least?

MN: Yes, he is. Now let’s get back to the reason I wanted to talk to you.

YM: Okay. I guess you’ve told me enough. Most people don’t get that much information. Lay it on me, what’s the serious issue?

MN: It’s about your health.

YM: I don’t like the sound of that. Do I get gravely ill?

MN: No, but in a sense, it’s worse. You will have several chronic illnesses.

YM: Several? Isn’t one enough?

MN: You’d think so. But remember what I said earlier? Life happens, but God is always faithful.

YM: So you’re implying this will be a test of my faith?

MN: Yes, because it’s always easier to deal with short term crises than the discouragement that comes with ongoing suffering.

YM: Suffering? That makes it hard to guess which illnesses you could be talking about. Any hints?

MN: No, because part of the process is dealing with the anxiety of not knowing.

YM: So that’s all you’re giving me? No diagnoses or dates to spare me some anxiety?

MN: No, sorry. But you’ll have many happy years before it hits. Just appreciate them while you have them, try to take care of your health, and remember what I said earlier, Life happens, but God is always faithful. And one quote that will help you then is by Stuart Briscoe, “God allows things to happen to me, so that He can do things in me, so that He can do things through me.”

YM: That’s encouraging and scary at the same time. But if you have those things now, how is it you don’t look sick or disabled?

MN: Not every illness and disability is visible.

YM: Wouldn’t it be easier if it were?

MN: You’re more right than you know. But that’s another part of your journey that you’ll have to navigate; the frustration of suffering while having to feel you have to prove you are suffering.

YM: I don’t really want to deal with that yet. Let me try to boil down what you’ve told me. You said I’d suffer with some invisible chronic illnesses after many happy years with a Christian husband and children. Sounds like a mix of happy and sad.

MN: Yes, it is. Take a deep breath and go into the future, knowing God is already there, and He is faithful to the end.

YM: I guess I don’t have a choice, but I do feel encouraged by much of what you told me, especially about God’s faithfulness in the midst of trials.

MN: Count on it. It’s not your hold on Him that’s the basis of your assurance, it’s His hold on you; much like a child crossing the street with her father. He’ll hold you.

YM: Thanks. It’s also interesting to see what I look like 30 years in the future.

MN: Disappointed?

YM: You, I mean, I still look pretty young considering what are we, 50?

MN: 54.

YM: Yeah, not bad. But the weight gain is a surprise. No offence.

MN: None taken. Is it an excuse to say it’s part of the illness and treatment?

YM: I guess it is what it is. Does that mean that for most of my life I’ll have normal weight?

MN: Yes, fear not. I never realized how shallow I was.

YM: It seems this interview has enlightened both of us.

MN: See you in the future. And remember, rest in the faithfulness of God.
(See my other interviews in the Interviews folder).

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

After Darkness, Light!

October Journaling

1.      Church today. The last day of missions week. We were still tired from yesterday. I napped almost three hours.

2.      Nursery school today. My mom came along and she’s making dinner.

3.      Bible study.

4.      A few errands, but because of the rain I ended up on the couch for the rest of the day, in pain.

5.      Rest.

6.      Woke up to the announcement that my friend’s mom died last night. I didn’t know she was sick again, or I would have contacted her. She was a surrogate mom to me back in my teens during a rough time. I’ll post a pic. So sad. Till we meet again.

7.      Getting some apps purchased/prepped for Thanksgiving.

8.      Our renters are getting married today.

9.      Thanksgiving day. I only needed to bring two apps. Nice to be a guest. I had a bad pain day and was not very engaging at dinner. I overdid with the wedding yesterday.

10.   Rest day. I watched a documentary about M.E. that was debuted at some film festivals. It’s so shocking to see that in some modern countries like Denmark they don’t recognize it as physiological illness. One young girl was forcibly removed from her home and put into a psychiatric facility for three years. I’ve heard Iceland and Finland aren’t much better. So thankful to live in Canada where I am believed, supported, and treated. I also have full disability benefits, so I can concentrate on getting better.

11.   Treatment.

12.   Chiropractor today, otherwise a blah day, no energy, lots of pain. It’s our eldest daughter’s fifth wedding anniversary. I was healthy then but just beginning to have vague symptoms like anxiety.

13.   Pain clinic today, then pretty useless the rest of the day. Seems to be my usual for the past two weeks.

14.   Women’s breakfast meeting. We have one of our missionaries speaking. She and her family are in Taiwan. Then a nap for a few hours to recover.

15.   Church. I couldn’t nap today for some reason. Also more pain because of the rain.

16.   No school today. It was switched to Friday instead because my daughter and her husband are going to Boston for the weekend to celebrate their anniversary.

17.   Bible study this morning, then Costco run, I mean crawl, then a follow-up appointment with a geneticist. Too much. If you need me, I’ll be on the couch the rest of the night, and tomorrow, too.

18.   Rest day.

19.   Rest day before having the grandkids for four days.

20.   Picked up the kids and taught my grandson. Exhausted, but happy to see them. My daughter and her husband were planning to go to Boston but an expired passport changed their plans. They’re staying in Toronto at a friend’s place. Today my mom and sister came over and we took the kids to the park. Then we had a quick bonfire.

21.   Church this morning. There was a bee in the car as we were about to leave which slowed us down. Then my granddaughter cried in the nursery because of all the strangers. My husband is on his annual fishing trip. He chose this date after I had already promised to look after them. Also my other daughter is sick.

22.   Final morning. I taught school this morning, then they left at noon. Wiped out on the couch the rest of the day.

23.   Bible study, then nap and a bank appointment.

24.   Home day.

25.   See my post, a day in the life of me with M.E.

26.   Doctor’s appointment.

27.   My husband is going on a men’s retreat. It follows his annual fishing trip last weekend, so he’d rather stay home, but hey, it’ll be fine.

28.   Our eldest was in a car accident this morning, she was hurt a bit from the air bag deployment but not any worse thankfully. Their old car which they were planning to replace soon anyway was a write off. I went over to help out and they went and leased a new vehicle which will be ready by the end of the week. She was shaken up of course. So thankful she was okay.

29.   Church today. Slept only three hours last night, which is a switch for me, so it threw me off. My husband returned home from a men’s retreat. My mom is coming over for the week since my sister is travelling for work.

30.   School today.

31.   Bible study this morning, then my husband and I drove over to Oakville so my daughter could take our grandson out trick or treating. He went as a firefighter. Today is the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, ending 1,000 years of superstition. The motto was “After darkness, light.” The main doctrines are called the five solas: Sola Scriptura (Scripture alone), Sola Gratia (grace alone), Sola Christos (through Christ alone), Sola Fide (faith alone), and Sola Deo Gloria (for the glory of God alone). If you can worship freely and read your Bible in your own language, thank God for the Reformation.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

A Day in the Life of me with M.E.

What’s a typical day with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS)?

I wake up after sleeping six hours. Two cups of coffee. I keep the tv off all day because I like it quiet. I do my daily Bible study/reading which takes about two hours. If I have no medical appointment I try to stay home and rest. I can’t handle stress anymore.

I eat breakfast and take my morning pills. I go upstairs and dress or bathe (every other day) and rest, then dress. I can’t shower or sauna anymore because they are far too draining to me. I look around at my house that needs to be cleaned and organized and then go downstairs, knowing it’s another day that it won’t get touched.

Last night I dared to vacuum upstairs, something I push myself to do only every three weeks or so. I can’t even clean my own house. My husband does the downstairs floors every week. But because of that exertion, as well as my bath today, I could only do my Bible reading and load the dishwasher, have lunch and more pills, then I rested the rest of the afternoon till my husband came home. I had throbbing pain in my legs the whole time. Then I got up and made a simple dinner, had more pills, and went back to the couch. If it’s a day I have to shop for groceries, I can’t also make dinner, so I’ll buy a roast chicken. My husband doesn’t complain.

This really is a normal day for me. I always hope that the next day I’ll be able to be more productive, but I’m usually disappointed. I’ll watch some tv in the evening, take more pills around nine, drift off around ten, then wake up around eleven with a second wind. I stay up till midnight or one every night, because I can’t sleep longer than six hours because my back hurts. The few times I’ve tried to go to bed around eleven I wake up at four in the morning and it throws my whole day off.

Early on when I was still trying to figure out what was happening to my health, I had a doctor’s appointment four out of five days a week. It was so hard to drag myself to these and try to appear normal for a few hours. Then it would make me crash for 24 hours afterward, but of course, the doctors don’t see that. They see someone who looks healthy. That’s the thing with invisible disabilities and chronic illnesses. They’re invisible. Invisible, but not imaginary.

Jealous of this schedule? Don’t be. I’d rather be a productive member of society with energy to do life. This illness has taken so much from me. But in spite of it, although I do get discouraged, I’m not depressed. I know I have it better than most with this illness worldwide. So many places they are not believed, or worse, are put into psychiatric facilities. I can’t believe it. Also I have disability benefits through work and the government and a private plan, so at least I don’t have financial stress on top of health concerns. My husband reminds me that my job right now is looking after my health. He really is an amazing man. I’m so thankful for him.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Nursery school

September Journaling

1.      A final day at sea as we head to Miami. As nice as vacations are, it’s nice to go home to my routines and more rest.

2.      A long day of travel. Customs is automated on the Canadian side now, but they’re still working out the bugs.

3.      Back home late last night. Got to go back to our own church today. Then we had guests over (the Hudsons) and I got a nice long nap today. That’s what it’s all about.

4.      Labour Day. The last day of my husband’s two week vacation. He gets six weeks a year total.

5.      Grocery shopping with my husband.

6.      A new treatment today. It was amazing! My cognitive impairment has been so bad. I haven’t been able to do even simple math like addition and subtraction for three years. But I could suddenly balance my chequebook again. The numbers made sense again. It’s the little things that are the big things.

7.      Dental appointment.

8.      A rare day at home in the next two weeks. So many medical appointments, it’s like the old days.

9.      Church picnic. It was too much for me so I slept in the car for two hours.

10.   Church today flanking a long nap.

11.   I will teach my grandson nursery school every Monday. My mom is coming with me because it would be too much for me on my own. It helps my daughter out and he loves to learn. It’s mostly play since he’s still a toddler (2-1/2).

12.   Women’s Bible study started up again. Then a treatment, dinner and then a Women’s ministry planning meeting. Too much for one day.

13.   Doctor’s appointment to fill out insurance forms. Stressful, plus a two hour wait.

14.   Chiropractor and massage. Sent insurance forms off.

15.   Pain clinic today.

16.   My husband and I went to visit the grandchildren today.

17.   Church today.

18.   The Women’s Ministry is showing the movie, The Case for Christ, at church tonight. My mother in law is coming. We switched Benny’s school day to Friday this week.

19.   Women’s Bible study, then my mom visited.

20.   Treatment.

21.   A rare day of rest.

22.   School day. My mom came with me. My grandson loves school.

23.   A quiet day with a long nap.

24.   Church today, with an international luncheon for Missions Week. My husband made jerked chicken for Jamaica and I made a buttermilk spice cake to represent Finland. I’ll also wear the t-shirt my mom brought me from Finland that has my hometown on it.

25.   School day. On my own. Too hard.

26.   Bible study, lunch, then injections to my face. Uggh.

27.   Treatment. My mom is staying over for a few nights. There was a snake in her apartment last week. It went out under the door and into someone else’s apartment. They haven’t found it yet which is a little creepy.

28.   Heard about some long overdue money coming from the government. So thankful.

29.   I feel bad that my elderly mother is here cleaning my fridge and bathrooms and cooking dinner. All those things I used to take for granted are hard for me now, but I do appreciate her help.

30.   A church historian spoke at our church to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. Then I napped a few hours. Also I sat at the back with my feet up.

Sunday, September 3, 2017


August Journaling

1.      My daughter passed her Bar exams! Now a year of articling, then she gets called to the Bar. She was so stressed out waiting for the result. So proud of her.

2.      Went to the beach with my daughter today. Nice but draining.

3.      Last yoga for the summer. Happy for the break.

4.      Shopped for a few clothes today, but the changing exhausted me.

5.      Daughter is coming over with the grandkids today.

6.      Driving up to Port Carling to visit my husband’s brother and his wife. The grandkids and our daughter are coming too.

7.      Went to the church that my brother in law is preaching in. His preaching style is similar to my husband’s.

8.      The Civic holiday. My husband made jerked chicken. Delish. The basement is all emptied as much as possible, and cleaned in preparation for our renters who are coming next week.

9.      Today is my daughter’s first day in her articling position with the Ontario government. She didn’t sleep well last night because she’s a little nervous, but I know she’ll do well. I’m without a car, and forgot that I wanted to get my hair cut. Oh well, maybe Friday.

10.   Our eldest daughter and family are coming over today. Her husband is on vacation this week and she’s in her final month of maternity leave since she’s going to start back to work earlier, next month in a new job.

11.   Haircut today. It’s been a bad few weeks for pain.

12.   Final preparations for our renter, who is moving in on Monday.

13.   Church today, and a nice nap.

14.   Our renter moved in today. Also, our eldest came with her kids for three nights, since her babysitter is on vacation. Also I had a chiropractic appointment.

15.   Kids are exhausting, but at least my daughter is here to help me out.

16.   My daughter went for a hair appointment.

17.   I have a massage this morning.

18.   Pain clinic today, for back injections. There was a terrorist attack in Finland today. Sad.

19.   Going to the Carey conference just for the weekend to catch up with friends. Next year we’ll go for the whole week. We will stay in the motel onsite this year. Hopefully next year we can get our trailer back.

20.   Sunday at the Carey conference.

21.   Stopping in London to see my recently bereaved aunt on our way home from the Carey conference.

22.   Beginning to pack and prepare for our trip.

23.   Visiting the grandkids one last time before we head off.

24.   Final medical appointment with a naturopath who helped me a lot. Also finishing our packing and leaving the house in order.

25.   Flying to Miami the evening before the cruise so we don’t miss the boat tomorrow.

26.   Heading off. Bon voyage to us! Travelling with 16 people from our church. We’ve never done a cruise with a group before. Also our youngest daughter’s 25th birthday. If she accomplished this much in 25 years, what will the next 50 years hold? We are in an inside stateroom which is fine, since you don’t spend much time in the room, so we don’t need a window. However, this one was on the first floor, just above the crew and the bowels of the ship. Unfortunately, it seemed to be over the main holding tank for sewage, because every few hours our room would shake with a loud flushing sound. Yeah, won’t do that again.

27.   A fun day at sea. Relaxing in the shade. Our group eats dinner together but mostly we do our own thing. The shows in the evening are great. I need to wear my ear plugs at all times, and pace myself with several naps a day, but it’s nice to have someone else cook for me and clean my bathroom and make my bed.

28.   Our first stop; Grand Cayman. We had to take a tender (boat) into shore. Then we did a beach day for a few hours. The absolute best beach ever, coral sand, crystal clear water and perfect temperature of air and water. We bought lunch on the beach and then the tour guide swung through town to give us an overview of the island. Apparently the guy named Dart who invented Styrofoam cups (that’s the name on the bottom of them) is a gazillionaire, and he also owns 1/3 of SOLO cups as well. The other claim to fame in Grand Cayman is their offshore banking, which attracts unscrupulous people who want to hide their money from taxes in their home countries.

29.   Today we went to Roatan, Honduras which is an island off the mainland, and this area was built by Carnival specifically for Carnival guests. We got a ride on a ski-lift type of thing over to the beach, then we had a clam shell covering our beach chairs for shade and two floaters for the water. It wasn’t the best beach but it was fun anyway. Also we had jerk chicken for lunch. Afterwards, a shower and a nap before dinner.

30.   Today we went to Belize. We didn’t book anything and so we just took the tender ashore to buy some souvenirs and take some pictures. We had to say we touched the shore in Central America.

31.   Today was supposed to be the highlight of our trip. We were going to go on an Atlantis submarine. I had been on one in St Thomas a few years back, but my camera didn’t work and I was on alone so I had no proof of my adventure. This time I had convinced my claustrophobic husband to go with me, but because of hurricane Harvey in Texas, it was pouring in Cozumel, Mexico and there was lightning striking the water so it was cancelled for safety’s sake. In its place we did a bus tour of the island, going to a Mayan chocolate factory, which was interesting to learn the history of chocolate, a beach stop just to look, and a tequila factory. I didn’t know where we were going before we took it, but it was interesting to learn about it. I tried tequila once before and hated it, but this was real because it was made with 100% agave nectar aged seven years and it was very smooth. Disappointed about the submarine, so we’ll have to do it next time.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Memories of my uncle, Jarmo

This is my mom's younger brother, Jarmo. He died on July 27, 2017 at the age of 71.
Five things stand out in my memories of Jarmo,

When we were little girls, back when Sanna was still a baby, he used to take me, Sirpa, and Sari to see the car races in the Soo. That was fun. I guess he got used to the idea that he’d be surrounded by girls.

He stood in place of my dad to walk me up the aisle when we got married.

He and Sirkka were amazing dancers. They were a joy to watch, both in ballroom dancing and Finnish folk dancing. They also taught dance classes.

He always remembered everyone’s milestones; birthdays and anniversaries and would send cards written in his excellent handwriting, or later, emails.

Speaking of emails, he was late in life getting into technology, but then he seemed to enjoy using it. He would send birthday emails and say things like, “Happy Birthday from London. Well, not everyone in London, just us.” And because English wasn’t his first language he’d sign it, Ankle Jarmo.