Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Jonathan's and Alina's Big Day

Somebody's going to wedding!

The Kilpela clan.

It was a chilly, foggy evening and Jonathan did what a gentlemen should do.

The Ryynanen clan.  Alina is the oldest child and Jonathan is our youngest, so we are almost a generation older than Alina's parents.  This was their first child to marry, our last.

John, Laura, Alina and Jonathan
Mr. Ryynanen Sr, and yours truly.
Let's see, how was that again?  How do you sit up straight?

Lots of cake and fruit.  We didn't run out.
The Jazz band at the Brownstone Hall.
Jonathan and Alina cut some real nice moves on the dance floor.  They set the bar pretty high: it was a hard act to follow.

I don't know how to dance, so I fake it.  I learned that if you spin your partner frequently, people that don't know how to dance think that you do.   If you're willing to make a fool of yourself publicly, dancing is a lot of fun.
Jeremiah, who got Jonathan a complete ranger outfit for one summer's work at the Park Service.
Jonathan and Alina performing the obligatory cake feeding ceremony days after the wedding.  It was apparently omitted during the official reception.

No wedding is finished until the tablecloths are washed.

Getting Ready for a Wedding

Marja making a quilt using my mother's woven panels.  My mother, Toini Kilpela, was a skilled handweaver and had woven dozens of these samplers.  She intended to make quilts for each of her five gransdsons as wedding gifts.  However, by the time Mikael, the first of our sons to get married,  set his wedding date, Alzheimer's had robbed Toini of her ability to sew.  At this juncture  Marja literally picked up the pieces and sewed up the quilt.  Since then she has sewn four others and fulfilled my mother's dream.  This is the final one.  I am sure that Toini is smiling.

Adding the final touches.
Deanna cutting strawberries for the wedding cakes. Jonathan and Alina couldn't wait for our strawberries to ripen, so we had to use store bought ones.

At the post rehearsal cookout.  Chef David grilling kebobs.

Our newest daughter-in-law Alina with her mom Laura and maid of honor Rebecca.

Lots of good food....

...and plenty of good laughs.

You gain so much when your sons marry.  You get beautiful daughters (that you didn't have to raise), grandchildren to spoil, and a whole new extended family.  I feel truly blessed.


Finally, green pastures.  After a winter of eating dry hay, the sheep relish the new tender growth.
A field of dandelions - a child's delight. 

It is a tragic thing that somewhere between childhood and adulthood, many people lose their appreciation of these beautiful spring flowers and begin to assault them with poison.  What causes this?
Soon the pond will be warm enough to swim in.  The best water safety is to teach a child to swim.
Time to take off the winter coats.

This isn't the way real shearers do it, but I'm not a real shearer.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

My Morning Commute

7:00 AM, 45 degrees.  I have my coffee, lunch, clothes and library book in my backpack.
Legwarmers, woolen gloves and a woolen cap ward off the chill.

 I ride 5 miles through the woods along the old railroad grade, then cross the highway and take the bikepath  two miles along the waterfront to campus.  Then a short brisk climb up the hill and into the locker room to shower and get dressed.  A great way to begin the day.  My only regret is that I didn't start doing this years ago.  It takes about 35 minutes to get to campus and 45 minutes to return home, uphill.

Our Grandaughters' Baptisms

As the head of the family should teach it in a simple way to his household


What is Baptism?

Baptism is not just plain water, but it is the water included in God’s command and combined with God’s word.

Which is that word of God?

Christ our Lord says in the last chapter of Matthew: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” (Matt. 28:19)


What benefits does Baptism give?

It works forgiveness of sins, rescues from death and the devil, and gives eternal salvation to all who believe this, as the words and promises of God declare.

Which are these words and promises of God?

Christ our Lord says in the last chapter of Mark: “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.” (Mark 16:16)


How can water do such great things?

Certainly not just water, but the word of God in and with the water does these things, along with the faith which trusts this word of God in the water. For without God’s word the water is plain water and no Baptism. But with the word of God it is a Baptism, that is, a life-giving water, rich in grace, and a washing of the new birth in the Holy Spirit, as St. Paul says in Titus, chapter three: “He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by His grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. This is a trustworthy saying.” (Titus 3:5–8)


What does such baptizing with water indicate?

It indicates that the Old Adam in us should by daily contrition and repentance be drowned and die with all sins and evil desires, and that a new man should daily emerge and arise to live before God in righteousness and purity forever.

Where is this written?

St. Paul writes in Romans chapter six: “We were therefore buried with Him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.” (Rom. 6:4)



Getting old ain't so bad when you get perqs like this.  After raising five sons we now have three granddaughters.
Going for a ride on grandpa's tractor.
Look, I can pull off my socks!
Hey cuz, wake up!

I had the honor of baptizing this little girl.
How do you whistle like that, grandpa?

Life is good.

It really is.