06 October 2008

Family Photos in the Email


I had treats in the email this morning -- my double-second-cousin Melinda sent photos that she'd gotten from her mother. Taken around 1955 (probably on Long Island), they include this picture of my great-grandmother, Berthe Eskelund Lindtveit. Things I know about her: 1) Her famous fiskeboller actually came out of a can; 2) MANY of us have "her" krumkage iron, cause she would buy them, use them, and then give them away to daughters and grand-daughters; 3) she remembered the primroses on the fjords in the spring; 4) she told my mother that she left Norway because she had "the wanderlust."
Maybe that was true, at least in part. Whenever I go to Norway, I wonder again how anybody could ever leave it. It's got to be the most gorgeous place on the planet. Also, the food is tasty (see fiskeboller and krumkake, above; also lefse, strawberry cream cake, lingonberry jam, and salmon. Lots of salmon). Also, the humans are cheerful and sane.
But time and economics doth happen to us all. Only Ireland lost a higher proportion of her people to America, over the middle of the 19th century and into the first part of the 20th. When the hard times come, you do what you have to. You remember the primroses. You get your brother the sea captain to bring more fiskeboller.
Thanks, Melinda! Nice to start the week with treats. And some excellent perspective.

4 comments:

CarlBrannen said...

I've heard the "wanderlust" story before, but not about the multiple krumkage irons or the fiskeboller. Using the iron for a while and then giving it away is such a practical way to make a special gift. I will remember this.

Thanks for the history lesson on the Norwegians. It's a rough planet. I would bet that the Iroquois Federation (among others) would differ about which country contributed the highest percentage of its population to the US.

Pandora said...

True and true -- I meant in immigration, of course, but didn't specify.

Hadn't you heard about the krumkake irons? Mom's got one. Mine was bought by Mom, so no story attached. Alas.

You and Jim have to decide who ends up with Berthe's.

Reya Mellicker said...

What a treasure! Wow. The ancestors are clustering around, just as they should, now that the light is fading and Halloween is right around the corner.

She's beautiful - like you. How cool!

anne hill said...

The resemblance is rather startling, don't you think? Did you ever know her? I remember my great-grandmother from Harrisburg, still sharp as a tack and downing chocolate-covered cherries at 100 years old.