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Sjømannskirken i Miami

November 8, 2011 | Florida,Norway

Congratulations to the new Norwegian Seaman’s Church in Miami! It will have its opening ceremony next weekend. HRH Crown Princess Mette-Marit will attend. (The church is named after her.)

We have some good memories of Sjømannskirken i Miami. It’s where our son was baptized by Pastor Synnøve Wiseth during the Christmas Eve service in 2002.

It’s where our daughters were supposed to be baptized by Pastor Lasse Heimdal in September 2004. Because of Hurricane Frances, though, the church had canceled services, and the pastor and his family evacuated to The Norwegian Seaman’s Church in New Orleans. Before leaving Florida, he he baptized the girls in our home on Sept. 3, 2004.

Our coffee table (that we got from Beste Rise) was the altar, covered by a white tablecloth made by Beste Rise. The baptismal font was a Magnor glass bowl from Norway.

Great-great-grandmother Berta (Hestad) Hoem made Beth’s baptism gown (at left) 95 years ago for Ole Hestad, her youngest brother. Many people in the family have worn the gown including the children’s great-grandmother Rise, bestefar Anders and their pappa. Vågøy church in Norway featured the gown for its centennial Sept. 12 with mention of the first baby to wear the gown, Ole Hestad, and the last, our Elisabeth Marie.

Great-grandmother Petra crocheted Katie’s baptism gown (at right) in 1984 for a cousin. It’s the same one Andy wore in 2002.

Four major hurricanes – Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne – hit Florida over six weeks in August and September that year, something that hadn’t happened to one place in 130 years. Charley was a category 4 that hit Aug. 13. Forecasters believed it would come to Tampa, but it hit land just south of us. Frances hit on Sept. 5. We lost power several times for several hours at a time. We lost a large pine tree on one side of our house, even though Frances was “only” a tropical storm by the time it reached Tampa. Forecasters believed Ivan would come to Tampa too, but it stayed in the Gulf and hit Alabama and the Florida Panhandle on Sept. 16. Jeanne hit on Sept. 26. We were without power all day. We were luckier than most and got our power back the same day. We lost an even bigger tree in our back yard.

After that year, one might imagine how truly terrifying it was to see Katrina moving its way up the Gulf. At one point, forecasters put Tampa directly in her path. That was the only time I thought about leaving town even before evacuations started. Turns out, she veered to the west.

We are so glad the Seaman’s Church was there for us — in good weather and bad. We wish them all the best with their new buildings!

Posted by Becky @ 3:34 pm | Comments  

Educated Palate: Panettone

February 15, 2011 | Blogging,Blogland games,Educated Palate: Guiliano & Lael Hazan's blog,Florida,Food,Italy

I entered a giveaway contest in December on my favorite Italian food site, Educated Palate: Giuliano & Lael Hazan’s blog. What makes it a favorite? Beautiful photos. Heartbreakingly delicious food. (And wonderful cookbooks!) They talk about two places I love, Italy and Florida, and two of the things that make life worth living, family and food.

Guess what? I won! I won this beautiful, delicious panettone and a book all about it. Thank you so much, Lael and Giuliano! It was wonderful!

Posted by Becky @ 8:59 am | 1 Comment  

A decade: Are you reelin’ in the years?

January 29, 2010 | Family,Florida,Iowa,Norway,Stuff


London calling, yes, I was there too

I love you, yes I do, well, it says
so in this Book of Love

Buona sera, signor, kiss me

Oo la la la, c’est magnifique!

Oh yes, the world will always
welcome lovers

Your love’s put me at the top of the world

Skal vi gå på ski?


Talk me out of Tampa (no, don’t!)


Beautiful Boy


10 years: Gonna take a ride across the
moon, you and me

Great-Grandma always takes the time

Oldemor & Bestemor: She’s got her special
ways to chase the clouds away


Just a boy and his dog

Rock-a-bye my sweet baby girls

I’m dreamin’ tonight of a place I love


Put them all together they spell Mother

Even more than I usually do

And although I know it’s a long road back


It’s my party, and I’ll cry if I want to

13 years: I need you to love me

I’d be made in the shade

Everyone’s smiling just for me when I go home

These boots are made for walking, and that’s
just what they’ll do, one of these days these
boots are gonna walk all over you.

On top of the world again


I promise you


They say it’s your birthday; it’s my birthday
too, yeah! We’re gonna have a good time!

Just keep swimming

I’m gone to Carolina in my mind

Bus stop, wet day, she’s there, I say, please
share my umbrella

W-a-s-h-i-n-g-t-o-n, baby, D.C.!

It’s not because it is the grand old seat

Of precious freedom and democracy

It’s the bloggers, baby!

I’ll be home for Christmas

You can count on me

Christmas Eve will find me

Where the love light beams


We are family, I got all my cousins with me

Oh, I could write a sonnet about your Easter

I get by with a little help from my friends

A word that means the world to me

Goodbye city life. Green Acres we are there!


Because I’m still in love with you, I wanna see
you dance again

Posted by Becky @ 11:06 am | 3 Comments  

Oh, baby, give me one more chance to show you that I love you; won’t you please let me back in your heart

October 10, 2009 | Florida,Iowa,Winter

Dear Florida,

I’m sorry I left you. I miss you. I need you. I want you back.




Posted by Becky @ 10:35 am | 5 Comments  

Cause you look good in your underwear way out in the country

August 15, 2009 | Family,Florida,Iowa,Stuff

This is what we were doing a year ago. Wow. Time flies.

Posted by Becky @ 6:00 am | Comments  

Books: Duma Key

February 19, 2009 | Books,Florida,Stephen King

I just finished reading Duma Key by Stephen King. Anyone else read it? (Besides my brother. I read his copy.)

Yeah, probably not the best thing to read in the middle of your first brutal Iowa winter when you’re missing the comfort of Tampa. Either that or the perfect thing to read. Maybe si maybe no.

In any case, it made me miss Tampa, The Bone and trying to run into Stephen King at Skipper’s. Sigh. Thanks, Steve.

Posted by Becky @ 4:53 pm | 2 Comments  

Happy Valentine’s Day

February 14, 2009 | Florida,Holidays,Iowa,Valentine's Day

I love azaleas. They should be popping out all over in Tampa soon, sort of like this.

And this.

The ones I got for Valentine’s Day? They’re more “inside” azaleas.

I still love azaleas. And everyone who gave them to me.

Posted by Becky @ 4:25 pm | Comments