To Iceland and back again

Opinion: Editorials

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By Jackie Schulz

Columnist

Welcome home to Christina Respass and Chris Cashin. Home from Iceland! The land of Fire and Ice. Christina has traveled extensively, but Iceland is the first place she is anxious to visit again. When you go, your first stop will probably be the Blue Lagoon. It's really blue and bigger than most lagoons I've ever seen. Iceland looks like a totally different planet, or a bit like the moon. It's sometimes called "lonely planet." In some ways it looks much like Switzerland, but in many other ways like no other place on earth. 

Iceland is famous for its tomatoes; like no tomatoes anywhere. But they are too perishable to be shipped around for sale in other places. Glaciers are everywhere, geysers in everybody's backyard. No one pays for water, and all heat is free, as is hot water. The puffins are beloved birds, but unfortunately they were migrating when our Forest Park neighbors were there. 

There are sheep and goats everywhere. Big fat wooly sheep whose Icelandic wool sweaters are really, really warm. The sweaters are called "magical wool" sweaters because they are extremely warm and they repel water. Playful dogs are everywhere. They earn their keep by leading the horses around. 

Christina fell while walking across the famous and very beautiful black sand that covers much of the island. Chris rushed to her aid, but this black sand is so very soft it felt like falling on snow. 

It's easy to understand why Iceland is first in travel destinations lately (so I've heard). Rick Steves hasn't even done a show on the place yet.

Let us commemorate the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther's 95 theses being nailed to the door of his church. It was just a simple act, but it started the Reformation and the most significant change in our attitude toward religion. Luther studied the Bible in several languages but he couldn't find any mention of a pope and indulgences, or selling of prayers, among other beliefs. So a deep bowing of the head to our Lutheran friends and a sincere prayer of gratitude that all religions seem to be shaking hands and respecting each other. 

Rich Schauer is seen these Halloween days in front of his store welcoming customers and friends. His head is down, but if he looks up, you may notice his bright brown eyes are even brighter since he underwent eye surgery. He can watch us even more closely as we wend our ways around the hardware store.

Belated happy birthday to Mark Ross, Oct. 23. This week Austin and Terry D'Souza had an anniversary. John Schmidt had a birthday along with Connie Caruso, Lisa Walsh, Theresa McComb, Josie Becker, Anahli Rosell, Kay Duff, Mary Kroger, Chloe Hillis, Charlotte, Lavnick, Annette Stetler, Rich Bisluk, Dan Castelanetta (Homer Simpson), Marjorie Beyer, Ryan Neff, Pat Uphues, Mary Sullivan, Karen Woods, Spencer Brooks, and Pete Gianakopoulis. Happy anniversary also to Joe and Diane Criscone. 

Jackie is a former Chicago and Elmwood Park schoolteacher with an undying love for music, friendly pets and a host of life's other treasures too numerous to list. She was born on the far southwest side of Chicago in a great neighborhood when it was a great time 

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