Riding Life’s Roller Coaster–Jules’ 2011 Review   Leave a comment

December 26, 2011 (chilling out the day after)
I look back on the year from where I stand right now. The first thing I notice is that the world has changed a lot, our lives have changed a lot and we are changing with them. The biggest change for Pete and I is that our nest is now officially empty. Last year when Luke went off to college, our middle son Karl still lived with us. During the summer Karl got married and moved out so this fall it is just the two of us. Life seems both bigger and smaller in my middle years. With the empty nest echoing around us, I feel small, like sometimes it is just me in the world. It’s weird after a  lifetime of community living to wake up in the morning and only have myself to plan for and with.  And with all the places and people Pete and I are involved with life also feels big. Each day there are so many possibilities for life, for love, joy, creativity, sorrow…the whole spectrum of experience and emotional response to it. When Hans got cancer 12 years ago, it felt like we were thrust on a roller coaster ride, never knowing what would be around each corner, a climb or a drop. Eleven years after Hans’ death, I still find life is a little roller coaster-ish. I still never know what is going to happen next or how it is all going to turn out. I only know that I do not travel alone and that there will always be things to worry about and things to be grateful for.

Posted December 30, 2011 by bondebits in Uncategorized

BLIND SPOTS, APRIL RAIN, & GRACE   Leave a comment

January 19, only two months into driving our brand new Prius, I was hit by a young man as he backed out of his mother’s driveway on my way to choir practice. It was dark and the snow piles were five feet high. The car hit me only seconds after I stopped and turned. To add to the shock of the accident itself, I discovered the young man driving the other car was suing me. On April 4, our court date, I finally laid eyes on him. He could have been my son! Though I had good reason to defeat him in court, I felt it was better for both of us to settle. After a face to face honest talk with him, we agreed on a compromise price and  that was that. I still occasionally have involuntary jolts when I am driving but I will never regret that decision.
Then on April 6, Pete’s dad, Earl died of amyloidosis.  He was 86. He was well loved by all who knew him. 600 people showed up for visitation on April 11. I was blessed and fortunate to know Earl and then to be asked by him to give one of the eulogies at his funeral the next day. This particular week had lots of rain, the kind that runs down your cheek. And there was more!
As the year turned to 2011 last year I was just beginning to understand my struggles with my kidney stones and aches and pains. Along the way I finally got the courage to ask the question, “Is there any connection between my kidney stones and my sore foot?” And actually there was. It turns out I had hyper-parathyroidism. And the solution to this is quite simple actually. So on April 13, the day after Earl’s funeral, I went in to have the offending parathyroid removed. It worked! Immediately, my body stopped producing so much parathormone. This is what regulates the calcium in our body and if there is too much of it, it takes too much calcium out of our bones and puts it into the blood stream; causing kidney stones and other problems.
As of this date, I still have leftover kidney stones but I stopped making new ones. By June 30, I had withstood about as much health hassles as I could and feeling pretty good, I promised myself six months without a doctor. So in the last six months I’ve only been to the chiropractor once. Nice!

Posted December 30, 2011 by bondebits in Uncategorized

JOBS, NON-PROFITS, & FREE TIME   Leave a comment

Pete is the only person I know who after 30 years still has his first job and his first wife!  So yes, he is still hanging in there as an IT project lead at Thrivent Financial. These days he is partly valuable because he is the only one who knows the old languages. We both put in a lot of hours volunteering/helping manage The Dragonfly Project where Pete is on the board. I work part-time as a spiritual director and I am on the board at Christos Center for Spiritual Formation. And I still work part-time in the office at GA Lutheran Church. Pete still finds plenty of time to garden while I spend most of my free time singing in church and in a hospice choir that I help coordinate. And you may have guessed that I love to write and take pictures!

Posted December 30, 2011 by bondebits in Uncategorized

EARL BONDE–1925-2011   Leave a comment

What the Bonde family had to say about Earl Bonde (Pete’s Dad)
A wise man, great dad, “Good enough”
Real butter, Lefty…the correct hand, Always enjoyable to be with, Protector and funny, Ice cream (sweet), “Enough”,
Kind and soft spoken, Great smile, great heart, great dad, Norwegian meatballs, Kindness and peace in the flesh, An inspiration, Chill, The real deal, Fun games, Loving, caring, cheerful, and a great dad and grandpa!
Each wrote on a ribbon and then we tied ’em on the Christmas tree!
WE LOVE YOU EARL!

Posted December 30, 2011 by bondebits in Uncategorized

CHEERING FROM THE CURB   Leave a comment

Charlotte Bonde, Pete’s Mom
Somewhere amidst surgery, funeral and a Nerstrand wedding shower, we all gathered at Nerstrand in April to join in honoring Charlotte Bonde , Pete’s mom (now 80), as one of the community elders. The theme from her life story is “cheering from the curb.” The point is that someone has to watch the parade.
We pray that each of you has both something to cheer for and someone cheering for you!

Have a wonderful 2012!

Posted December 30, 2011 by bondebits in Uncategorized