Why Finns Love da Yoop (and Vice Versa)

Sitting on the porchAlan was born and bred in da Yoop (translation into English:
“the Upper Peninsula of Michigan”). Sitting on Porch I was a transplant who spent her teen years in Michigan’s gorgeous upper peninsula…long enough to fall in love with both da Yoop and da husband! Yellow buttercups In the spring, buttercups and other flowers popped up here and there, Geraniumsand in the summer, Alan’s mom planted red geraniums in flower boxes. IMG_2502Da Yoop is largely rural and wooded, a place of quiet industry IMG_2546 where they say “people work to live, not live to work.” Out houseIn da Yoop, people love the great outdoors and are content with simplicity. IMG_2497Historically, many Finnish immigrants settled in Michigan’s upper peninsula  because they felt at home with both the climate and the culture.   IMG_2629During my years in da Yoop, I had 2 spiritual moms who were sisters…100% Finnish, 100% beautiful, and 100% devoted to the Lord.  Ancient BooksThey (and their husbands) would be nearly 100 if they were still alive, but they’ve all gone on to be with the Lord. I still miss them…a lot! Bible on nightstandThey taught me (and modeled) so much of what I know about how to be a wife and mom that I always say I have a Finnish heart. Birch Tree Mommu (Mother Anita) loved birches…and by some miracle the Lord allowed a clump of birches to survive in her front yard, even though she lived too far south for paper birches to flourish after she was married. Switches for SaunaShe used to tell about getting all cleaned up in their sauna, using birch switches. IMG_2602I still think of Mommu whenever I see anything made from birch! IMG_2507When we lived in da Yoop, we had a sauna too…and loved getting cleaned up as a family Saturday nights…even rolling in the snow the way Finns do! (Did you know there are 5 million inhabitants and over 3 million saunas in Finland??) Wooden baby shoesI also grew up spiritually at the feet of Mother Linda, who was Mommu’s sister. Shipwreck at seaTheir father’s first wife and children died in a storm at sea trying to cross the Atlantic Ocean, and the two sisters’ own mother (married to their father 10 years later) died in childbirth with twins when Anita was 3 and Linda only 18 months. Cottage by streamTheir father gave the twins to two childless couples but bravely reared the other 5 (the oldest was only 8) on his own. Amazingly, both women remember their childhood as a time of contentment and joy. Beds in wallDespite their humble childhood, both girls worked extremely hard during the depression to achieve excellent educations. Beautiful DenOn top of that, they ended up marrying highly educated men, one an orthopedic surgeon and the other a dentist. Living RoomSo, in their later years, all their hard work made them both amply wealthy. Tea party hostessBoth of these lovely Finnish ladies were wonderful hostesses, IMG_2523and whenever I visited, we would always share tea…and often other treats too. IMG_2524So, it’s no surprise that when Alan and I went to Finland, we delighted in the opportunity of spending an afternoon visiting a Finnish family near Helsinki. IMG_2589That’s right! Helsinki, Finland. But, at their home, Alan and I both felt like we were back home in da Yoop! IMG_2586In fact, don’t these pictures look familiar? This could be our lake! Our Dock on Misty Fall Morning copy(Here’s our lake for real, but all the rest of the pictures were taken in Finland during our spring visit!)IMG_2547No wonder Finns love da Yoop, and Yoopers love Finland! Finnish kitchenI often think that heaven will seem wonderfully comforting when we get there —even though we’ve never been there before—Trophiesbecause of all we’ve experienced here on this earth…the love and lessons passed down to us by our spiritual mentors, the accounts from Scripture about those who’ve gone before us, and the daily opportunities of living.Finnish peopleAre you looking forward to an eternity in heaven? I am, and I hope you are too!

“These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth” (Hebrews 11:13).

6 responses to “Why Finns Love da Yoop (and Vice Versa)

  1. Dear Kathi, Thanks for sharing your heritage and especially your Faith in God. Sincerely, Tom

  2. A wonderful tribute to Mrs. Rudd. She was a wonderful SS teacher and such a godly example. She is my first memory of learning a way to share my faith with strangers.

    • She was precious, wasn’t she? She was always my role model for godliness and a “sweet and quiet spirit!”…and an inspiration for sharing the love of Christ, as you pointed out. She was awesome!!!

  3. Wonderful pictures and nice story. It always amazes me how big and multi-cultural The USA is!

    • We have “a little bit” of the culture from many countries. A lot of Norwegians settled in Minnesota, and one of our dearest friends has taught us a little about their culture (such as sharing Lutefisk for Christmas). That is one of the beauties of America…a true melting pot of cultures and languages. But, we lack some stability that comes from a united cultural heritage, so there are always the positives and negatives. For instance, we have no traditional dress costumes such as you enjoy in Germany.

Please share your thoughts too!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s