Saturday, September 5, 2009

Our "Sol-skin" Danish Summer

There is a song that Mormons love to sing when the sun comes out in Denmark. Here is the English/Danish version of the first line:

"There is solskin (soul-skin) in our souls today..." ("solskin" means sunshine)

Then the cheerful chorus:

" Oh there's sol-skin, blessed sol-skin,
Where the happy, cheerful moments roll,
When Jesus shows his smiling face,
There is sol-skin in the soul."

-- Pictures: Summer on the grass in front of the Hans Christian Andersen Museum
Something happens to Danes in the summer. "Sol-skin" really does get under their skin.
When the sun comes out, they leave all their cares behind and begin a well desrved holiday.

--Pictures: Family night at the Jensen's and Isabella graduates, standing with Michael, her cousin just returned from a mission to England.

Some are so moved by the sun that we probably won't see them until the first snow.

--Picture: wonderful old home in awsome Aasum (oh-some) near our home in Odense.
In our wards (Odense 1 and Odense 2) - some have opened their little cottages by the sea.

--Pictures: Home across from the Odense Chapel, Kaertemine Acquarium, and water near the Little Mermaid in Copenhagen.
Others retreat to their little garden cabins only a few miles from their homes in Odense. These cabins often have no electricity, or phones. This is Etta's strawberry cottage. She rides her bike here almost every day to weed her strawberry garden and pick lovely little fresh strawberries to share with friends. (I have written about her before..she is a very young 85 years old.)

--Pictures: Etta took us to her little cottage. The inside is full of sculptures, drawings and paintings. In the left corner of the picture is a drawing that she made of the cabin. She is quite a lady.

This manicured yellow cottage is across the lane from Etta's cabin. The small rock garden is near the Hans Christian Andersen museum. What would "sol-skin" be without flowers ?

Our young adults have done all kinds of exotic things during the "sol-skin" months.

Julie found a cool retreat in Iceland.

--Picture: Julie and Kiddy Bardardottir

Isabella went to India where she worked in an orphanage and taught young children some reading skills.

JJ (from Greenland) was baptized four months ago and then went on an internship out to sea for three months on the Clementine Maersk. He wants to become a captain of a ship someday.

This summer he traveled to China, South Korea, Malasia, Holland, England, and Germany.
In his spare time he takes missionaries out on the Svendborg Sound not far from Odense.
--Pictures: JJ, Sister Hatton, Elder Clayton, Sister Reed, Elder Barnard, Sister Burton
with Sister Roberts at sunset.
JJ has become our next door neighbor while he continues his education.
What a privilege it is to live next door to such an inspiring young man.
--Picture: Elder Clayton and JJ at the Young Adult Center
Some families enjoyed their "sol-skin" months at home. Bishop Held tore his achilles tendon while playing frisbee with his boys. He has been on crutches all summer.

--Pictures: Mads, Sofie, Lene (Mom), Keith (Bishop), and Emil in front of their great old farmhouse. Emil and Mads at a summer event,Emil and a friend studying at Chef School.
Both Emil and Mads served as "Mini-missionaries" during the summer. They lived and worked with the missionaries for a week. They also attended a youth conference in Denmark. One of their helping hands days was spent cutting down some noxious weeds in the community. This proved to be harmful to the skin as well. It took a while for their rash and cuts to heal.
The summer "Sol-skin days" are full of surprises.
Some of our students and ward members never left Odense- but their minds and hearts took a long vacation from Church. May was "I'm too busy studying" month. June was "I have final exams"month.

July was "I'm on a holiday to recover from exams" month. August was "this is our last chance to relax before school starts" month.
--Pictures: tour boat and ducks along the Odense River that goes down the center of
Summer is over and we have had about a week of September wind and rain. I think that the sol-skin virus is almost over in Odense. I am looking forward to the colorful stormy days of fall...with lots of hot soup and students coming back home to the Young Adult Center.

Picture : Julie riding one of her family's beautiful black horses that sometimes graze in our backyard.

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