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.