Finding Petronella


In the the middle of a pond on my friend Ami’s gold claim in Lemmenjoki National Park, there is a floating armchair.  The water, which may be warm during the summer, begins to drop down toward freezing come September.  What, you may be asking, could possibly motivate me to sit naked with a local newspaper in my hands in a floating armchair in the middle of a freezing pond?  There is only one thing. She is a… Read More

I was curious to know what would come out of my pen when I wrote my last “Hello Dear Friend, I love today” letter in Oulu.  It was simple, it was everything that felt true, it was this: Hello Dear Friend, I love today.  I love today because it is both an ending and a beginning. It has been a little over a month since I arrived in Finland, and what a… Read More

        A Difficult Beginning… said the monitor at Oslo International, and I cursed in every language I knew and wished I had read that before I missed my flight to Helsinki.  My 7-hour layover had turned into a 12-hour layover and it was mostly my fault.  Lost in an article about Petronella, I had been sitting at the gate with my back to the boarding desk, waiting for an announcement over the… Read More

Exactly one month from today, I land in Helsinki to begin my adventure! I cannot believe that the one month mark has arrived so soon.  It feels like I have been dreaming and learning about this journey for a long time, and yet here I stand, ready or not, with a hard deadline and a date of departure.  With the resting hopes and dreams of those who know me (or know of me)… Read More

Tickets to Finland are booked! Scandinavian Airlines: 16-Jun-14 (Mon) 06:55p depart Newark (EWR) flight change in Oslo 17-Jun-14 (Tue) 06:15pm arrive Helsinki, Finland (HEL) 13-Oct-14 (Mon) 01:55pm depart Helsinki, Finland (HEL) flight change in Copenhagen 14-Oct-14 (Tue) 02:45pm arrive San Francisco (SFO) There are so many exclamation points in my heart right now!!!!!!!!

Excerpt from our first visit in April 2013: “Petronella acknowledges my presence with the slightest of nods.  She sits on a throne of pillows, eating applesauce out of a porcelain teacup.  Her right hand grasps a tiny spoon, and a ray of sunlight catches the sapphire ring on her finger, sending shadows of blue fire dancing across the cream-colored wall of the houseboat.  Slowly, she extends her hand to me, admiring the… Read More