Saturday, July 26, 2014

Sunshine and Heavy Rain

Something funny happened a while ago. At 30 degrees Celsius, the sun was scorchingly hot and the sky a clear blue. Hubby was sitting under our patio umbrella. I joined him for a few minutes, sighing over the withered grass that would have been green.  It hadn't rained for quite a time and most vegetation is drying up. As I came back into the house, I uttered sadly, "There's not a drop of water at all". Within a minute after I said those words, strands of rain suddenly started to fall until they multiplied to make a heavy downpour!  The sun kept shining intensely amidst the rain with only a patch of gray clouds hovering in a corner of the sky.

That pleased me enormously since it could at least relieve the ground of its aridity. Isn't rain a blessing?

Have a fantastic weekend!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Next Stop-over: Malmö

(3rd sequel to my summer holiday account; since I have lots of flower photos here, I'm linking this with Today's Flowers)

We headed down to Malmö the morning of 16th through the Vättern coastline highway down to Helsingborg, then to Malmö. This was my second time to be in this country's 3rd largest city located in the southernmost province of the country, Skåne. My first visit is recorded here: Flying South ... to My Dream Fields

on the way to Helsingborg
a fortress in Helsingborg
and a bank

Malmö's twisted building

This was only a two-night stop-over, just to take it easy before launching forth on a formidable drive through the European super highway. Once again, we stayed in the house of hubby's older brother who lives alone in that cute house and therefore was so excited to have us there. This time, though, we didn't go around sightseeing but just stayed home and relaxed. "Relax" for me means walking around the vicinity in search of diverse flowers blooming in every garden and lawn, then preserving their colors and lustre through my camera.

Walking some few meters from my brother-in-law's house, I could see an awesome view of the renowned Öresund bridge which connects Sweden to Denmark.  This bridge has bedazzled me ever since I laid eyes on it, and my fascination with it has never worn off. Intially, I didn't know that it terminates right in the midst of the Öresund Strait leading to nowhere. I personally noticed this while we were up in a plane that was about to touch down, which kept me wondering. I found out later that from that truncated point over the sea, the passage stretches out as an underwater tunnel to Copenhagen. Ok, "mystery" solved! This time again, I stood there, letting the same unspeakable trance wash over my whole being.

Öresundbron, view from Denmark side (photo borrowed from google images)

We did go out one afternoon to an "African safari" park roamed by animals made of cement. Hubby's brother thought we were bored being in his house the whole day (but I was not), so he took us there, dropping by some spots to look at things.

Departure day finally arrived, 18th of June. We travelled down to Trelleborg and boarded a RORO (roll-on/roll off) passenger ferry bound for Sassnitz, Germany. Standing on the deck of the ferry looking  out towards the harbor, I said a silent farewell to Sweden. For a time. Then I watched the waterfront diminish until it faded away.

rolling our car on the ferry

The ferry had over four hours to sail across the Baltic Sea to the German island of Rugen. Four hours to lounge away amidst the torquoise sea.

Coming up: beaches, lighthouses, ambers, etc.

Polish figurines from my brother-in-law's house

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Night of the Supermoon 2014

At first, I wasn't aware of the upcoming supermoon. Somehow, I've missed the news. I just went on with my usual habit of checking out the development of the waxing gibbous. And sure, I took pictures too.

On July 11, I read a blog about it and thought that the moon that night was the supermoon. My, I had taken pictures of it sans knowing that it was the supermoon. Later on, though, I read the official news that the real one would appear on July 12. Good, I still had the chance to view it.

The afternoon of July 12 turned cloudy, which thickened in the evening. As the gray clouds thickened in, my hopes of seeing the supermoon thinned out. As the night went deeper, though, the clouds began to clear away. And then I saw this vertical splash of rainbow which gradually lengthened to form a whole arc across the sky. It was like watching an invisible hand painting this piece of art on a gray canvas of sky. Ah, the hand of the Greatest Artist!

After about an hour, the sapphire sky emerged, revealing a warmly glowing face that smiled beautifully. Finally, the supermoon!

What a marvelous night! Glory and honor to our Creator!

Linking with Skywatch Friday

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Regional Convention 2014

June 11 was the start of my work leave which would last until the 4th of July. That morning, hubby and I began our long journey to the south. The foremost event in this particular "holiday" journey was our annual summer convention held in Västerås, a 7 to 8-hour ride by car from our city.

Västerås' landmark

Exhaustion from the long trip made us stop by a municipality called Hedesunda and passed the night in a camping site where we rented a cottage. I think this is one of the snuggest camping sites we've ever been. It's also close to the lake.

our cottage

lake in the camping area

hiking trail along the lake

moon that night

The following morning, we moved on to our main destination, which was just about an hour away. We checked in to our pre-booked cottage along the lake.

our cottage

lake to the left and our cottage to the right

Our regional convention for this year is entitled Keep Seeking First God's Kingdom, based on Matthew 6:33. The emphasis is on putting the doing of God's will first in  our lives, which involves helping all people to learn about our loving Almighty God and Father and about his wonderful purpose for mankind so that they will have a better life now and in the promised new world. Whatever we do, we must always be mindful to do it for the sake of God's Kingdom. This means living a simple life, being contented with having the basic necessities of life. It's important to note that the Bible verse has an additional assurance: "and all these other things will be added to you." Yes, if we make God's Kingdom foremost in our lives, we will never lack anything, for God himself will see to it that we are well provided with what we need to sustain our present life. The real life is eternity in the future new paradisaic world which awaits those who treasure up spiritual things ahead of the perishable material things in this corroding system of things.

This convention consists of the usual talks, interviews, dramas, dramatic Bible readings, symposiums, new publication releases and demonstrations. New convention features are the several video clips and the Bible drama on screen produced a la stage play.

It's an amazingly historical convention and highly reinvigorating! I wish everyone could attend to experience the kind of joy and enlightenment that the majority of the world have never felt in their lives. After all, this convention is being held all over the world in many languages. Many of these conventions will host international delegates and missionaries from around the globe. This link shows how to find convention locations: Find a Location Near You

At the end of the third day of the convention, we proceeded right away on our trip down south, with Malmö as the target destination. But since it would take another 8 hours or so to get there, we have to stop again at a camping site in Vadstena to spend the night. This was our second time to stay in this place. We hired a cottage this time too since it would take much work to set up the tent that we brought and then dismantle again the following morning.

Vadstena Camping

our rented cottage

dining room in the camping's service building

toilets and baths section

Next episode in this series will cover our stay in Malmö, Skåne. 

Here are a few of the hundreds of pictures I've taken from our camping in Hedesunda, Västerås and Vadstena.

Have a fantastic Sunday!