Archive - Oct 14, 2006


One of the benefits of winter is that the sun rises late enough for me to catch it. This morning the weather is cold and clear, and I am up drinking coffee next to my sunlamp, taking little breaks to go downstairs for more coffee and check out the sunrise. All is quiet but for the ticking of the clocks.

I am speaking in Bemidji later in the morning to a group of Lutheran women. To be specific, I am speaking to "Cluster 4" for the Cluster 4 fall gathering.


Readers Irene and Ruth immediately came to the rescue: Stri (pronounced "stree" with a rolled "r") is a Norwegian word which roughly means "strife."

My grandmother, who was Swedish, used the word to describe chaotic situations. I mixed the meaning of the word up with the English "strewn," as in, "after the tornado, our whole house was strewn about. It was such a stri."

Of course, a tornado would cause strife, so it would also cause "stri," or be a stri. But due to how my grandmother used the word, I will always think it means "mess" more than "strife."


Yesterday, I played piano at the Halstad Living Center. When I was going around before hand greeting the residents, many of them wanted to talk gardening.

One of the ladies overheard the conversation. I don't know how with it she was, but when I got to her and asked how she was doing, she said, "Gardening is just a big stree!"

She pronounced it the Norwegian way, "Stdee."

I hadn't heard that word in a long time, I believe since my grandmother passed away. I recall that she would use the word to mean a situation was chaos. It was a "stree."