The Light Turns On

The sensation was like when you see a mouse crawling along a floorboard. Your eye catches it and your brain goes blank for a moment before your game plan eventually … Continue Reading →


Lake Lodge

The Place of My Dreams

The sound of my wing tips tapping against the cabin floor annoyed me. They, along with my black suit pants were so out of place there. I considered walking back … Continue Reading →

Forest cottage deck and chairs

Upon Reflection

I crawled into bed next to a sleeping Donna. It was hard to believe this trip was almost over. Our last night in Finland felt like the last night of … Continue Reading →


Taking the Plunge

The iron-chef style cooking show Jukka was hoping for never took place, I just wanted to cook alongside my Finnish buddies without competing. Out on the deck Jukka fired up … Continue Reading →


Tug Boat Party

We pulled into a hilltop parking lot above a small harbor. An old steam ship was moored at the dock. It looked out of place in this modern little seaside … Continue Reading →

Summer cottage

It’s a Murkee Style of Life

“Welcome to the Murkee style of life”. Jukka said, sticking his head inside our car window. He pointed to a parking spot along the side of a giant log house . We … Continue Reading →

Sunset in foggy forest

Midnight Light Shines

The house was silent except for the boys gently snoring. My head lay sideways on my pillow. I stared out the window at a silvery line making its way across … Continue Reading →

Red Pushpin on Map of Finland

Entering Donna’s Past

After three days in Helsinki, we loaded up Tuula’s van and headed to her mother’s house in Mikkeli – the place where Donna’s exchange student experience started. I thought of … Continue Reading →

Suomenlinna (Sveaborg) fortress in Helsinki, Finland

A Finnish 4th of July

Tuula decorated their dining table with a blue table cloth and served us hot dogs and macaroni on red paper plates as Risto plunked out patriotic American songs on their … Continue Reading →

Helsinki view with cathedral

One Month To Go

Our ship cruised into the Gulf of Finland. Watching land appear on a horizon was nothing new to me, but this felt different – like waking up and realizing it’s … Continue Reading →