1 Oct 2016 Spot’s PTSD, Rumors in the press, Chapel in the Hills (Rapid City SD) and Pink Skies in the morning

Hello, it’s about 7:26 am on this Saturday as I start to write to you.  I didn’t sleep much last night nor did Kyle but no unexpected visitors in the middle of the night – so that’s good lol.

I got up around 1:30 am or so to check on Spot.  We had let her stay out on the recliner couch to avoid moving her and causing her discomfort.  I was able to get her outside and she seemed much better and also coaxed her into drinking some water.   We know she got a bruise on the side of her chest from Thursday night’s episode with the phantom intruder.  This hurt her but we think part of her almost overreacting to everything is the trauma she experienced prior to Kyle’s parents and then our adopting her.   Spot was a stray that Kyle’s parents picked up from the Cleburne Animal Shelter in 2011.  Shortly after they brought her home, she got deathly ill and would have died had his parents not taken care of her like they did.  She has a bump on her side which we think, haven’t had it x-rayed, is a dislocated rib.  There is no telling how long she was out on her own before she got rescued or what she experienced but I don’t think it was good.  It’s taken a lot of love, time and patience to get her to trust people.  Sadly, we think what happened Thursday may have triggered memories of the trauma…..doggy PTSD.   Since we are incapable of doing Vulcan mind melds with our pets and other creatures to find out what they have been through, we are having to just let her work it out and avoid making it worse.  We are grateful she’s getting back to her old self this morning and hopefully she can stay that way!

There is a rumor in the press I saw yesterday and shared on my Facebook that a special couple may have been married in secret and are now expecting their first child.  One of my Facebook friends mentioned that no official statement has been released from the couple so it may not be true.  This particular couple’s fan base is extremely vigilant and protective and you better not fuck it up when you start saying things about them!  It could just be the press making fairy tales again but I would love for it to be true!  If there is some truth in the fiction, I am delighted for them and hope for their very best.  Nothing but love for them!  I’ll leave it there for when and if there is an official happy word!

I got a letter from my Mom and Dad yesterday.  They have been spending time in the Black Hills, one of their favorite vacation spots and understandably so, it’s gorgeous there!  Mom mentioned a site they visited and wondered if I remembered it, The Chapel in the Hills.  I didn’t remember it but as soon as I looked it up and saw it I thought it was amazing and wanted to share it with you too!

A memory comes to me when I think of this and the Lutheran aspect, but it’s not visiting this particular church.  The memory is of being with my Grandma and Grandpa Schmidt, my Dad’s parents, in one of the Lutheran churches they attended when I was a really little girl and remembering the little glasses of wine lol!  My Dad tells me that in the genealogy he has done, our family left Austria because they wanted to be Lutherans instead of Catholics…they even got begged to come back so the story goes lol.  I don’t know why that would happen but it is an interesting story!

Anyhew….as I’ve expressed I’m an “outdoor” church girl and do not fly under any organized, official religions flag anymore BUT I do love to visit old churches, temples and cathedrals…just love the architecture and old world craftsmanship!  This comes from my parents as they make a point to visit these places wherever they travel as I also did when I was in Europe.  I like the Churches AND the cemeteries.  I’ve been a cemetery walker since I was very young  as my parents can tell you.  I think we visited a civil war cemetery on one of our last summer vacations together, (Missouri may be?) and they had to drag me out of it lol!  I get so absorbed because there is so much history and so many stories!

This Chapel is a fine example of old word architecture and I will be sure to visit it the next time Kyle and I get to the Black Hills!

Source Internet - Chapel in the Hills Rapid City SD

Source Internet – Chapel in the Hills Rapid City SD


History of the Chapel in the Hills

How did it come about that there is a stave church in the Black Hills of South Dakota, thousands of miles from the lands where this type of architecture and construction originated? It is the result of a dream of one man and the generous support of another…

In the 1960’s, the originator and preacher of the Lutheran Vespers radio hour, Dr. Harry R. Gregerson, was looking to expand the scope of his popular radio ministry. As his dream took shape, Dr. Gregerson realized there was the perfect location for his facility right in his own state of South Dakota: the Black Hills. The Black Hills are a vaction destination for people from all over the world. The Chapel was to draw people to it and the Hills was the perfect setting to accomplish this goal.

The next question was, “What kind of a building shall the chapel be?” Since many of the original settlers of the Dakotas and surrounding states were Norwegian Lutherans, the idea was suggested that the chapel be built in the style of an original stave church (in Norwegian, “stavkirke”). This would honor the radio program’s many listeners’ heritage and establish the chapel with strong cultural roots. The chapel is an exact replica of the famous Borgund stavkirke, of Laerdal, Norway. The Borgund stavkirke was built around the year 1150 and is considered the most completely preserved stave church still standing in Norway.

The Norwegian Department of Antiquities graciously provided a set of blueprints of the Borgund church to be used in the construction of the Chapel in the Hills. All the general construction was done by a local construction company and other contractors. The woodcarvings are the result of a combined effort by Mr. Erik Fridstrom, one of Norway’s best woodcarvers, and a local Rapid City resident, Mr. Helge Christiansen. Also, to serve as a visitor center and offices for Lutheran Vespers, an authentic grass-roofed “stabbur,” or store house, was built in Norway, shipped to Rapid City, and reassembled on the grounds. In addition to the chapel and stabbur, two residences were constructed on the grounds, a parsonage and caretaker’s cabin.

The question of funding was answered by a generous gift by Mr. Arndt E. Dahl, of Rapid City. The land, all the original structures, and landscaping were made possible through Mr. Dahl’s generosity. All he asked in return was to dedicate the chapel to the glory of God, in memory of his parents. His father, the Rev. Anton A. Dahl, was himself a pioneering Lutheran pastor in the Upper Midwest.

The Chapel in the Hills was dedicated on July 6, 1969, and it served as the home of Lutheran Vespers until 1975 when the radio program was moved to Minneapolis home of the American Lutheran Church at the time. At that time a non-profit corporation took over operation of the Chapel in the Hills and operates it to this day.

A number of pastors were called to the Chapel, and a resident pastor served the Chapel until 2004. At that time it was decided to hire a manager and use local pastors serving Lutheran churches in the Rapid City area to preside over the evening worship services and weddings. Through all these changes the visitors have still remained, so the chapel remains, ministering to all those who seek a quiet place of contemplation, meditation, and prayer. Today the Chapel sees 20,000 to 25,000 visitors a year and hosts numerous weddings and vow renewals, along with other special services. You are welcome to visit the Chapel too!

Rev. Harry R Gregerson and his Wife

Arndt E. Dahl and his wife

Stave Church Architecture & The Stave Churches of Norway

Norway became a Christian nation during the tenth and eleventh centuries, following the age of the Vikings. No sooner had the new religion taken hold than a period of church building began which lasted for several centuries

The Borgund Stavkirke is believed to have been built about 1150 AD outside of what is now Lærdal, Norway at the end of the longest fjord (Sogn fjord) in the country. It is one of the oldest and best preserved Stavkirkes in Norway.

Built by the same people that built Viking longboats many of the construction techniques are similar. Norway has a long history of wood construction, probably due to large forests and rough terain. It was one of a few countries that refused to build their early churches out of stone and instead chose wood to build places of worship.

The stave churches were built of a special type of fir called “malmfuru”; (no longer available) which was very hard, with great size and straight trunks. The closest approximation to this favored fir in North America is the Douglas fir of the Pacific Northwest. It is of Douglas fir the Chapel in the Hills is constructed.

Although simple in appearance the techniques used to build the church are intricate and a marvel of engineering. The name Stavkirke comes from the use of staves (the large pillers) used to support the church structure. The church was built on a foundation of flat stones used to elevate the foundation beams from the ground and moisture. The walls were made from vertical planks topped with four more beams to support the roof.

The first churches would have had simple peaked roofs.The typical stave church became taller and taller, with a series of roofs, each one offset and becoming smaller as the church reached toward the sky. To support all this, an intricate system of beams and additional staves became necessary. In addition to the main body of the church, very often there was built a covered passageway, or “ambulatory”, entirely around the outside of the structure. This provided additional protection to the foundation from the harsh weather found in the region.

The only metal used was on the ornate door furnishings and locks. Instead of nails, they used wooden dowel pins. This may very well be one of the reasons why some stave churches have stood for over eight hundred years. The wooden dowels allow the building to expand and contract with the changes in temperature and humidity, instead of being rigidly held in place with iron hardware.

Another characteristic of the stave church is the woodcarving which abounds in much of the architecture of Norway. Woodcarving was a prominent part of building traditions before churches were built. The Vikings brought their woodcarving skills along with their construction techniques to the building of the Stav Churches. As more and more stave churches were built and dedicated to the worship of God, a rich symbolism grew up, with elaborate explanations of the spiritual meaning of the various carvings and parts of the building.

To view and study this wonderful and unique church architecture you may travel to Norway to visit the Borgund church or visit Chapel in the Hills in Rapid City, South Dakota

Borgund Church, Norway

With that…..this morning skies reflected my spirit, pink spirit and it was glorious!  Much love to you today wherever and whenever you are….Love and be Loved!







6 comments on “1 Oct 2016 Spot’s PTSD, Rumors in the press, Chapel in the Hills (Rapid City SD) and Pink Skies in the morning

  1. Hugs to spot… sometimes all the bad things from the past come back and haunt us… we hope she can lock this memories in the deepest dungeon and it never comes back…
    Your family story is very interesting… it is not easy to be the only one lutheran/protestant/etc. in an catholic area. I grew up in a protestant village a rarity in catholic bavaria … today we go along but as my grampy was a teen, every saturday ended with a free for all ….

    • Spot raises her paw across the waters to you in thanks for the love. She’s doing much better but it’s so hard for me to see her like this as she’s always been a fragile being. Who knew you would have lived the life my ancestors fled? I remember Sundays when I lived in Fliessem Germany and it was mostly Catholic. My favorite thing to see in Germany on Sundays was spatzerengehen (spelling?) how the families would go for walks together and just enjoy the day. We used to go to the Walkplatz and have kaffe and kuchen – that was about all was open on Sunday in Germany when I was there. Don’t know if it’s the same….hope so. People need rest with their families! Love to you my friend. We have so much in common lol! Like family.

    • Thank you M – we are blessed to have each other! She is such a sensitive and emotional creature – I’ve always thought she’s one bark away from a word lol. Love to you!

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