The last night                                                                                                                May 26, 2016

Today was our last full day of this amazing trip.  Last night when we went to bed, we figured that we were getting to bed early for a change since it was still light out.  When I looked at my watch, it was almost 12:30am.  In Real Estate they speak of location, location. location, the same goes for the time of sunset.  At this time of year, there are very few hours of the darkness in Iceland.  Right now as I am writing this blog it’s 11:15pm and you would think that it’s around 6pm.

Today we traveled to the southern coast of Iceland to visit the black sand beaches near Vik, Iceland.  The tripScreen Shot 2016-05-28 at 10.51.27 PM took most of the day since there were numerous attractions to see along the way.  It began with visiting a group of Icelandic horse by the roadside.  It was difficult to get my Screen Shot 2016-05-28 at 10.53.04 PMtraveling companion away from these lovable four legged hayburners.  We were told they are friendly and curious, which is exactly what we experienced.

Along the way we also stopped at a number of waterfalls.  Some of them earned a full road side attraction, while others fell insignificantly from high cliffs never to reach the ground because of the wind.  By late afternoon we finally reached the southern coast where there were several sea-stacks and the sand is black.  It was here we received news that my sister Patty, after fighting multiple myeloma for the past 4 1/2 years, finally succumbed toScreen Shot 2016-05-28 at 10.54.52 PM this disease.  Kim in her loving and compassionate way had heard via text of Patty’s passing but waited to tell me until she got me to the beach and we sat down to experience the tranquility of the ocean surf.

It was difficult to grasp the news, but know that because of her strong faith in the Lord, she is well taken care of.  One of their  family’s favorite places was The Tollivana Inn at Cannon Beach.  This past fall Ken and Patty were able to visit there, along with spending some time at our house.  It is a memory Kim and I will always treasure.  There are times in life that we just can’t explain or understand “why”, however it is at those time we remember God is loving and sovereign.  We may not like the courses of life that we are taken through, but we can reflect on the times when He has shown up in our lives.  I guess this all comes back to the direction of our sabbatical,  remembering the spiritual markers in our life.  Those times when God’s unmistakable presence has been with us.  Patty was loving, caring, grateful and had all the other great characteristics that made her endearing to all who knew her.  Kim and I will miss her dearly.  We pray for our brother-in-law Ken and their entire family (Jen, Charlies, Jason, Ryan, Sunni, Ben, & Evie) who have been an amazing support throughout her illness, as they work through this new transition in life.