In the middle of February I went to Gjøvik and some nearby villages for almost a week. I stayed with former general secretary of Norwegian Lutheran Mission (NLM), Egil Grandhagen, and his wife, and travelled to and from the different meetings.
The Grandhagens have done something unique. Many Norwegians nowadays sell their houses and move into apartments in central places when they get older. Egil and Solveig have done the opposite: they have sold their house in a fairly central place near Oslo and bought a little farm in the countryside about half an hour drive from Gjøvik.
On farms in Norway there is usually one house for the family running the farm and one for the older generation, called kårstue. I stayed in kårstua, did my desk work preparations there, and had breakfast by myself. The other meals I had with Solveig and Egil.
Actually this kårstue has become sort of a retreat place. Whoever wants to stay there can sign up, bring their own sheets, towels and food, and enjoy the quiet countryside. I was told that this house is rearly vacant.
Egil made the camp fire and boiled water for tea and coffee, and grilled the homemade bread filled with bacon.
We sat on reindeer hides. So we really kept warm while sitting on the snow.
The house behind Solveig and Egil was originally the home of the tenant farmer who worked on the farm in the old days. It is called husmannsplass in Norwegian. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tenant_farmer
They have made one of the rooms into a little chapel. The kichen is kept in the oldfashioned way. This little house may be used by anyone.
Except Saturday all meetings were held in the evening. The weather was good all week, so I went for a walk or went skiing for a couple of hours every day.
Randsfjorden – a lake フィオルドが名前に入っているけれども、湖です。
Because of icy conditions on the road, I borrowed spikes that could be fastened on my boots. Relieved from the fear of falling, I could relax and just enjoy the beautiful scenery. ブーツにつけるスパイクは便利がいいです。
Many places there were tracks left by animals in the snow.
Rabbits, foxes and mooses have moved around here, but I did not meet any animals.
While skiing I enjoyed the «white forest».
On Saturday the Grandhagens invited neighbors and friends to a home meeting at noon (12 o’clock). I was asked to demonstrate ikebana (Japanese flower arrangement) in front of everybody. I cut the branches from trees on the farm. I also gave a short message from the Bible and talked about my life and ministry in Japan. And we enjoyed tea, coffee and delicious homemade cakes. Almost 30 people attended.
This was the third time in Norway that I did ikebana with people watching me doing it. I explain what I am doing while doing it. Everybody seems to enjoy this kind of program and take lots of pictures.