Posted by: Kath Usitalo | June 10, 2010

An Abundance Of SISU

Dad's always had SISU. Had to, with 5 kids. Here's a 36-year-old Bob and brood at a Lake Michigan picnic stop along US 2 in the U.P.

Happy 83rd Birthday, Dad!

Today we’ll celebrate my dad’s birthday at the skilled nursing facility where he’s recuperating from not one but two (count ’em two) surgeries to the brain in the last month as a result of a recurring subdural hematoma. His surgeon and other doctors are amazed at how well he’s handled the operations to relieve the blood that had collected on the surface of his brain. I attribute it to his SISU, the Finnish word that equates to strength, determination, perseverance—okay, stubbornness.

It may be grape juice we salute you with today, Dad, but we’ll have the real stuff on your 84th birthday. Cheers!


The couple I mentioned in last week’s A Superior Adventure need SISU to complete their trek around the Big Lake.

So do two women I’m acquainted with through membership in the Society of American Travel Writers. They may not be Finnish, but they are demonstrating all of those SISU qualities (and more) as they venture on amazing journeys this summer.

Gail Mooney and her daughter Erin Kelly are traveling around the world, cameras in hand (and one occasionally strapped on the head) to make a documentary about people making a difference in some wonderful way. They’ve completed their journey in Africa and are heading to Turkey, then Poland. Follow their adventures on their blog, Opening Our Eyes.

Mary Beth Bond, her daughters and Goddaughter are a week into bicycling their way 3,000 miles across America from Pacific to Atlantic to benefit the National Osteoporosis Foundation. Follow their “Biking for Bone Health” progress at their Bond Girls Bike America blog.

Both sites accept donations to aid their efforts.

All of this mother-daughter traveling has me thinking about the road trip Paige and I are planning to check out colleges this summer. I’ll be packing my SISU, too!



  1. Heer’s wishing your Dad a great recovery Kath and many more years of “the real stuff”!

    • Thanks Gary!

  2. Happy, happy day, Kath’s Dad! Blessings and prayers on your recuperation!

Leave a Reply

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

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

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ 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 )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: