Notes from Jan

Second Hand Joy

May 17, 2016

Awoke to brilliant sunshine in Helsinki, Finland this morning.  No, I wasn’t dreaming. I’m on a cruise with Stan and Judy Gaede. This was a dream trip that Jud and I were to take with our friends. And then there were three…

For the past two days we were in Stockholm, Sweden.  So good to be in the part of the world from which Jud’s and my ancestors fled happily to the United States “vit tankful hearts”, high hopes and low money.

We continue to live well off “high hopes” and  “tankful hearts.”

Yesterday as I sat on a park bench in Stockholm, I found myself smiling at the sight of couples.  Felt like the world paraded before me as twosomes.  They came two by two whether children, old and young lovers or friends.

A thought came to me.  When I told Stan and Judy “a thought came to me” as we sat sharing dinner together last night, Stan piped up with, “that’s dangerous.” He’s right.

One hears warnings about second hand smoke.  It is dangerous and can kill.

Yesterday I took in joy. Second hand joy as I watched couples stroll by, or ride by on bicycles.  Love goes on. Friendships grow.  I was left feeling blessed, not bereft.

So, today I’m grateful for joy whether first or second hand.

It’s still joy.



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  • Reply Dale Lefever May 17, 2016 at 2:09 pm

    Amen! However, I do want to remind you to check the weather reports where your friends live to see if they are prepared to receive, second hand, your joy.

    Travel well sister Jan,


  • Reply Anna May 17, 2016 at 3:26 pm

    Bless you Jan, So many would go down another track!!Thank you for a beautiful example! I love the Lord in you!!!!!
    Have a wonderful trip!!!Wish I could see pictures!!!

  • Reply susan May 17, 2016 at 3:27 pm

    Joy to you, you deserve it! xoxo

  • Reply Sue Andringa May 17, 2016 at 3:30 pm

    Beautiful, Jan … your second hand joy gave me a “tankful” heart for you and Jud and great memories! Please greet Stan and Judy for me .
    What a glorious trip with dear friends!
    Love, Sue

  • Reply Margaret A. Hunt May 17, 2016 at 3:34 pm

    Dear Jan,
    I feel joy every time I get your blog wherever in the world you are.
    You always seem to remind me of happy memories as well as a few others that are part of life.
    Enjoy these times while you are able.

    Are you still thinking of BBV?
    Love , Margaret

  • Reply Sharon Eaton May 17, 2016 at 5:28 pm

    Dear dear Jan,
    I am thrilled to learn that you are on the trip that you & Jud & the Gaedes had long planned to take!! And I am so thankful (though not surprised) to hear that you are experiencing a “tankful heart” even with second hand joy!
    May God richly bless you all in this time!
    With hugs & love to all of you!

  • Reply Bridget Hunt May 17, 2016 at 7:27 pm

    You’re a beautiful writer, and woman. Thanks for sharing this with us, Jan.

  • Reply Jo Buccigrosso May 17, 2016 at 7:32 pm

    And JOY fills our “tankful hearts” as we can SEE you in the Motherland! OK almost…we had a similar trip to Finland planned too but the Lord had us on another track as well. His WAY is often the high road, my sister. But FIRST, WE HAVE COFFEE! (Wondered where the Gaedes were this Pentecost!) Safe and happy trails!

  • Reply Wendy Lane May 17, 2016 at 8:24 pm

    Awww so fun to hear from you on your adventure – and to hear you are joy-filled! Can you post pictures?!!! Love and hugs!

  • Reply Kari May 18, 2016 at 7:33 pm

    Jan, what a wonderful trip you could take with your “besties”. Thank you for sharing this lovely alternate perspective with me. It is so like you to bless others as you grieve the loss of your sweet Jud. You are loved!

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