Tag Archives: summoose tales

Our Norwegian Cruise

11 Jun

The waves were over 15 feet high and the wind was strong as we crossed open sea during the last 13 hours of our cruise. It’s like riding a horse, but with an immensely strong “bucking” motion every 4 or 5 seconds.

Some passengers retired to their bunks at 3 pm, others just after a short stop at a port around 5 pm. I was one of the lucky few who seemed less affected by the rocking of the MS Lofoten way… forward down the back of a wave, and then way… back as we road up the front of the next wave. Then suddenly we would start to roll way… over to starboard, was it going to stop we wondered! Then a slight pause, and we would roll way… over to the port side, impossibly far…, but the good ship righted itself as it had in all-weather and all seas for the past 53 years.

Our family recently returned from a Hurtigruten Cruise up the coast of Norway from Bergen to Kirkenes. All together the Lofoten made 33 stops as we sailed up the magical and rugged western coast of Norway.

We traveled well above the Arctic Circle. At one point we were just 1,250 miles from the North Pole. We sailed above the northern tip of continental Europe and finished up about 15 kilometers from Russia and due north of Cairo, Egypt.

The Lofoten is an older smaller cruise ship, more intimate with less than 90 cabins. You really do get to know all of the crew. By the end of the seven-day sail you get to know, by face, most of the passengers. Several were on a first name basis and start sending us emails before we get home, saying they miss their “cruise family”.

The Lofoten, is a classic cruise ship, still with elegant service and white table cloths at each meal. My favorite waiter spotted me across the dining room each morning, caught my eye and headed over to serve me a long elegant stretched out pour of coffee from a foot away.  Some how the coffee always streamed directly to my coffee cup, regardless of the rock or roll of the ship.  He knew I was good for four, maybe five refills for breakfast. One more, he would ask and I would nod and say thank you.

 

One waitress smiled at the end of dinner one night, “that’s my last meal” (the last course she needed to serve on the second serving).  She was happy because she would get a two or three-hour break ashore at our next stop. She shared, “I will go for a walk, and there is a cafe I like to go to.” Another waitress later appeared on deck. She smiling to herself with her bicycle in both hands, ready to roll it carefully down the gang-plank to the pier, and then go for a ride to relax on shore after a busy day of serving meals.

Before our cruise we took a fascinating train ride from Oslo, the capital of Norway, to Bergen, the second largest city in Norway on the western coast. A bus took us from the train to the MS Lofoten. We checked in our bags and then we got lost looking for the “tourist” harbor. Those stories will be in other blogs.

Our Norwegian Cruise will include a series of blogs, each with photos and commentary:

  • Preamble – Train from Oslo to Bergen
  • Bergen – Getting Lost
  • Ålesund – 418 Steps
  • Trondheim – by Bike
  • Bodø – RIB to the Saltstraumen
  • Tromsø – Hike to the Cable Car via the Bridge
  • Honningsvåg – Hike to the Overlook
  • Kirkenes – Stormy Seas

“Our Norwegian Cruise” is by Bruce Summers, A Personal Historian and Founder of “Summoose Tales“, former Board Member, Regions and Chapters Director, Association of Personal Historians, summersbw@gmail.com

Martin Luther King Jr. Photos and Volunteering

18 Jan

20131110_214517 MLK 4 Full length front

Martin Luther King Jr. died when I was 10 years old. Bobby Kennedy was also killed in 1968 and his brother John F. Kennedy in 1963. I tried to understand what was going on in our country.  Why did these three inspirational leaders have to die?

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As an adult I entered the United States Peace Corps, in part perhaps inspired to volunteer to give back to my fellow man by these three leaders. For many years I worked in and with nonprofits and churches often as an employee, but also often as a volunteer.

20131110_215012 MLK - I have the Audacity to believe

As a nonprofit executive my focus shifted to empowering and engaging volunteers to building community, to strengthening connections, to improving collaboration. As a volunteer with the Association of Personal Historians, I continue to work to empower and engage volunteers to work through chapters and regions to help personal historians strengthen their skills to capture and share life stories, memories, experiences and lessons learned from one generation to succeeding generations.

20131110_205606 MLK - at Lincoln Memorial

Martin Luther King Jr. had a dream, he inspired thousands during his life time. He still inspires me and many millions more after his death. I hope he inspires you to give, to serve, and to volunteer.

20131110_205551 cropped Lincoln Memorial - MLK speech

Integrated in this article are a few photos I took at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial and the Lincoln Memorial, I hope you have a chance to travel and visit these sites and that you are equally inspired by Dr. King and his legacy.

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Bruce Summers is a Personal Historian with Summoose Tales and serves on the Board of the Association of Personal Historians and as their volunteer director for Chapters & Regions, summersbw@gmail.com

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