norway

Enger Tower, Duluth

Norwegian businessman Bert Enger (1864-1931) left his estate to the city of Duluth, MN and to some charitable organizations. One third of the money was used to build a memorial tower and 330 acre park on Skyline Drive. The tower was dedicated by Olav, Crown Prince of Norway in 1939.

Enger Tower is five stories up with nice wide steps and railings so not a difficult climb. It is 80 feet tall and has an amazing panoramic view from the top. Today the park has a Japanese garden with a Peace Bell you can ring. It was a gift of Duluth’s sister city, Ohara-Isumi.

The Tower

The View

The Japanese Garden

Interesting note on the bell. The original Peace Bell which was in the former Cho-ei Temple, is the oldest remaining bell in Ohara, Japan. Ohara donated the bell to a wartime scrap drive but for some reason it was never destroyed. After WWI, in 1946, sailors on the USS Duluth found the bell and took it to the US giving it to the city of Duluth where it was displayed in City Hall. In 1951, the Dean of Chiba University School of Horticulture was pursuing academic travel in the US. He learned of the bell’s existence, met with the Mayor if Duluth, and asked for its return. Mayor George Johnson along with Professor Peterson of the University of Minnesota and the US Air Force and Navy, returned the bell to Ohara on May 2, 1954.

This bell is a close replica of the original bell and presented to Duluth as the Japan-US Friendship Peace Bell, dedicated on June 5, 1994.

‘Tis the Season – Sweet Inspiration

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‘Tis the season.. Have you seen that snow falling across the pages of WordPress?  Thought I was imagining things at first.  Lovely soft falling snow.

It must be that giving season.  I have been given an award not once, not twice, but three times!  What fun!

The Very Inspiring Blogger Award was sent my way by  WIE SAGT MAN…?, A Hausfrau in Deutschland.  An informative blog about two Americans living in Germany.

The Petroleum Wife, TCK and trailing expat spouse, also sent this award my way.

I thank you both.  You inspire me as well.

For once, I am going to follow the rules (more or less).  Seven things about me:

1.  I once had a turtle named Tootsie

2.  I like to watch Doc Martin and work on my needlepoint

3.  I love art museums

4.  I think Roger Daltrey is cute even though he is way too old to go prancing around stage with his shirt off

5.  I want to go to Buenos Aires and learn to Tango and then see the end of the world in Ushuaia

6.  I am convinced chocolate and red wine will cure anything

7.  I love all you nutty bloggers

 

And the Nominees are:

Mumigrants  –  An honest look at being a mum and a migrant.

Expat Since Birth  –  A multicultural family living in the Netherlands

Mirth and Motivation  –  A TCK who believes in positive kismet/fate

American Tai Tai  –  In search of beauty in the mundane

Angelinem’s Blog  –  Traveler, photographer, nurse

 

Congratulations!

 

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My other award comes from  Jumble,  An American woman living in China.  It is the The Super Sweet Blogging Award.  Not sure if I got it because I am so sweet or because of my Food Friday.  I’m sure it was both!  🙂  Thank you, Ms Jumble!!

This one comes with questions:

1) Cookie or cake?   Chocolate chip cookies, of course!

2) Chocolate or vanilla?  Is that a choice?  Chocolate all the way.

3) What is your favorite sweet treat?  Dark chocolate truffles

4) When do you crave sweet things the most?   The holidays!!

5) If you had a sweet nickname what would it be?   Dulcinea

 

And now, drum roll….

This one goes to Maggie at Fly Away Home Book, A New Jersey girl living in Norway.  She is very sweet and currently sitting under a ton of snow.

Happy Holidays everybody!!

 

 

 

A good read

I used to be an avid reader.  I read everything I could get my hands on.  Growing up overseas it was the only real entertainment I had.  Books could be hard to find so I wasn’t all that picky.  I read whatever came my way.  As an adult I always had a book going.  I would usually read before bed just to relax and get my mind off things.  People recommended things or gave me things or I would pick something up at the bookstore or library.

After I had my child I stopped reading.  I just didn’t have the time or the energy anymore.  I could not focus on reading at night.  Several years went by and I only read a handful of books.

When I was ready to start reading again, I noticed a shift.  Either the quality books that were coming out had deteriorated considerably or my tolerance level was way down.  I would start books that I thought looked interesting and after a while I would stop reading them and put them back on the shelf.  I just couldn’t be bothered with a book that didn’t really hold my attention.  And sadly many of them didn’t.

In the past couple of years I have started reading again.  I still have problems with books I just can’t finish but I have found some really good ones.  Last year I read the Dragon Tattoo Trilogy in two weeks.  And those are big books.  I couldn’t put them down.

Maybe there is something in the Scandinavian air but I came across another good one the other day, this time out of Norway.  I am writing a memoir and recently I have been trying to read as many memoirs as I can.  In the past two weeks I have started three.  One I doubt I will finish.  Another is interesting and I will probably finish it eventually but it isn’t gripping.  The third one I read in two evenings.  I started it in the evening after work and read until midnight.  I toyed with the idea of taking it to work with me next day since it was on my iPad but decided against it.  I finished it when I got home.

It is a story teller’s story.  Remember The Princess Bride?  My all time favorite movie.  The grandfather comes into the sick boy’s room and starts to read and the boy doesn’t ever want  him to stop.  There are no giants or pirates or six handed men in this book.  But there is love, adventure, confusion, hope, disappointment, challenge, sorrow, contentment, and joy.  All the elements of a good story.  It is about living a life and I am sure most people will find they can personally identify with at least some of the things that happen in Maggies’ life.  I know I could.

Fly Away Home by Maggie Myklebust is a good read.  Put it on your list!