February 25, 2008

Peace and blessings on your day.

A beautiful winter day today. I do like the warming weather. It’s hard to figure out how it can be minus 20 degrees and then five days later it’s 35 degrees above zero. Spring is coming!

Last Tuesday evening I attended the Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours event at Camp Ripley. It was an opportunity to visit with members of the Norwegian Home Guard. This was the 35th annual Norwegian Reciprocal Troop Exchange. While in Minnesota, the approximately 115 Norwegian Home Guard members participated in field training exercises focusing their training on civil disturbance and reacting to threats as well as learning from the experiences of Minnesota soldiers who have been to Iraq. At the same time as the Home Guard troops were in Minnesota, there was a group of the Minnesota National Guards soldiers and airmen in Norway. Yesterday was the farewell dinner for the Norwegians and today they are heading back to Norway. Tomorrow our National Guard service people will be returning to Minnesota.

While at Camp Ripley we had a meal of delicious foods from Norway. We had shrimp prepared in two ways, herring in mustard sauce, herring in a tomato sauce, and just plain herring. All were delicious.

We had reindeer in a white sauce. (No it wasn’t Rudolph!) Also served were two kinds of salmon, smoked lamb, and several kinds of breads, other foods and of course lefsa. They also brought Norwegian beer—17 oz cans! We visited with a young woman soldier who answered many of our questions.

The Associate Office sponsored a Lenten Day of Prayer on Saturday. Our Sister Elise Saggua was the speaker. For the first time, I really understood how the Penetents fit into our Franciscan history. I am glad I could participate in the day.

Recently, I took a quick look at the work being done on the walls in our Chapel. The rafters, windows and lights have been dusted and shined up. Some of the scaffolding has come down. It is looking good.

In the body of my text please add: I hope you had opporturnity to observe the Eclipse of the Moon the other night. The cold, clear night made for good viewing. Such a marvel of nature. I watched from the back door until the moon was covered with the earth’s shadow.

Pax et Bonum.
Sister Mary Lou

PS: May your "Leap Day" on the 29th be special. Do something extraordinary to celebrate this extra day in February.

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