Notes from Jan

The Gift of a Dull Day

May 25, 2016

Stayed on board today.  Choosing to restore myself rather than revisit my Viking relative’s past in Aalborg, Denmark. The city, 4th largest in Denmark, was founded by the Vikings in the late 900s.

The day began with rain, then settled into the gift of a dull day. No fast paced schedules to follow, deadlines to meet, steps to climb, nor cobblestones to wobble.  Just calm. I relished time for reading, writing and ‘rithmatic, as in taking stock of what’s been spent and what remains to be saved, invested or even squandered for Love and Life.

Tonight, Stan, Judy and I will gather for the Port Talk on Stavanger, Norway, our next port of call.  I’m quite sure they will not have done as I, so will bring along my pen and journal to take notes on them and what they learned trekking around Aalborg and attending lectures I’ve bypassed.

As I write, the ship’s rocking back and forth more than usual and I’m grateful for Finland. Strange? Not when you know they build the stabilizers that help balance ships, like these. Less tippy. Did I just hear Jud laugh?

Yesterday in Copenhagen, I remained on the bus with the driver,Niels, while others left for a 15 minute photo op.   Niels, a grandfather,  told me about growing up playing with Legos (Danish invention), then with his children and now, the grandchildren.  He asked me about my connection to Denmark.  I said, “My maiden name was Jensen.   My father’s roots were in Denmark. I added, “but I’m no relation to Georg Jensen, the famous jeweler.”

Somehow that evolved into my last visit to Denmark in 2007, when my wedding band and other jewelry were stolen in Copenhagen. Niels waited then said, “I’m not sure how to say dis in English but I tink it’s about da memories. Yah, dey matter more. Do you have good memories vit dat ring?”

“Yes, so many. Good ones.”

On this dull day, my mind rewound to the summer of 2007.   We were  sitting in a hotel lobby, when my passport and jewelry were stolen. Negligence on my part. After reporting it to the hotel and police, Jud grabbed hold of my hand, pulling me along as we raced  to the US embassy before closing.  I needed a new passport immediately.  We were flying home the next day.

As we ran, I sobbed about my wedding band.  Jud could’ve been saying understandable things like, “Why did you take it off?  You know to be more aware of your surroundings. What happened?  You’ve traveled before, why were you so careless?”

There was no shaming or blaming.  When we stopped a moment so I could catch my breath, Jud took me in his arms, kissed me and said,”We’ll get a new wedding band.  I never liked what we wrote inside it anyhow. We’ll do better this time.”

And we did.

Who wouldn’t swap a thing for the real deal.




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  • Reply Niff Williamson Dickinson May 25, 2016 at 4:03 pm

    What a sweet story! Brought tears! What a wonderful husband, father and man! I love your blog. Always me makes me smile, no matter what the subject is.

  • Reply Myrna May 25, 2016 at 4:34 pm

    Love that story! What a special man Jud was. I look forward to reading more about your adventures and memories.

  • Reply Mark Taylor May 25, 2016 at 6:50 pm

    Sweet memories. I’m glad you’ve been able totake this trip–and how fun that you could do it with Stan and Judy.

  • Reply Carrie Van Brunt May 25, 2016 at 9:35 pm

    So what was written in the first ring? And what did you have written in the replacement ring? 🙂

  • Reply Dale Lefever May 26, 2016 at 2:09 am

    I still remember one June when Jud and I took about 20 students in a leadership program fishing off Gloucester. Everyone of them was barfing overboard while Jud and I fished and ate ham sandwiches on white bread. He had a sea stomach – they had a sick stomach.

    Blessings, Dale

  • Reply wendy lane May 26, 2016 at 5:19 pm

    Such a wonderful man – I have one like that you know 🙂 I’m curious too what was written in the old and then the new!

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