Friday, January 19, 2018
In growing up in Iceland I was not known to be one to "play it safe", frankly I think the more scary or daring the adventure was the more I was for doing it - that could perhaps explain why, after meeting Del in 1944 and on a second meeting - it really was not a date, just a dance - a total of eight hours max - when he proposed I said "yes".
If I was to try to explain it would do no good - some things are just meant to be.
That I - a nineteen-year-old naive girl living on an island called ICELAND, a tiny country in the Atlantic just below the Arctic circle - a country virtually unknown to many Americans until WWII happened - would meet a nineteen year old sailor who was brought up in middle of the United States, in a small town called Bloomington, in Illinois.
His brothers enlisted also; one in the marines, one in the army and one in the navy and were sent to the Pacific - Del expected to be there also, instead he found himself sent across "torpedo Junction" to a "God-forsaken place" called Iceland.
When we met at the first dance he had been stationed in the country just a few months and had not learned to speak Icelandic - I spoke very few words in English - I was a waitress at a restaurant in downtown Reykjavik called Hressingaskalinn so I knew words like coca-cola, cigarette, hey you...
Even after 70 years of marriage I am not able to explain---I have no idea what caused me to give up family - country - yes and even language and accept a proposal that I barely understood.
I had no idea who he really was - his family - were they rich? - Were they poor? - Nice? - Mean? Never entered my mind to ask these questions.
What has love got to do with it? Everything! Hmm, possibly also my first sentence at the start of this partly explains ...I'm still not known to "play it safe." As my grandson Andrew, put it "Wonder what daredevil thing (or was it "crazy thing"?) Grandma will do next?"
So far I have enjoyed River-Rafting in Colorado, Paragliding in Utah and Iceland, Zip-Lining in Minnesota, Air Balloon Ride in Texas, indoor Rock-Wall climbing in Illinois. Last year I traveled all the States between the East coast (Vermont, Maine) to the west coast, Seattle Washington, plus a side trip into Canada. Fantastic drive through some of the most beautiful scenery.
At almost 93 I'm a firm believer in "keep it moving!" Stretch - dance - exercise...Oh, by the way talking about exercise here is a Dilly that family members, Dale and Melinda) sent me at Christmas time:
Start by standing on a comfortable surface with plenty of room on each side. Now, with a five-pound potato bag in each hand, extend your arms straight out and hold them there as long as you can. Try to reach a full minute, then relax. Each day you will find you can hold this position for just a bit longer. After couple of weeks move up to 10-pound potato bags. Then eventually get to where you can lift 50-pound potato bag in each hand, hold your arms straight out for more than full minute. (Don't get discouraged. This may take some time.) After you feel confident in that level, put a potato in each bag.
Ieda Jónasdóttir Herman is an author and motivational speaker based out of Illinois. At the age of 88, she wrote and published her first book, a memoir of growing up in Iceland. She has since published two fiction works for children. Following a stroke in 2016, she has dedicated her time to education of stroke awareness and encouraging seniors to become more active in life.
Fall of 1945.
So I was now an American housewife (a few months anyway) and I should know how to make an apple pie. Didn't look to difficult...:-)
My mother-in-law was a whiz...she just threw stuff together, flour-milk-eggs-butter, beat it well with a wooden spoon. Then she divided the dough into two balls and rolled them out into beautiful circles, deftly placed one into a pie -pan. Heaped in all the pealed apple-slices, just a dash of flour, handful of brown sugar, sprinkles of Cinnamon.. Then she cut fancy leafs into the other circle and placed on top. Sealed the edges by fluting the dough with her fingers all around...Beautiful yummy apple-pie!
So, I had made notes on approximate amounts of ingredients, and kind of threw the stuff into the bowl and stirred briskly. Divided my dough in half, didn't look to bad - so far so good. Started rolling out the dough, it didn't want to stay put!!! Every time I had this nice circle the size of a dinner plate and started lifting it up it shrunk to a dessert-plate size :-(
I called my husband - who was now out of the Navy and was outside working on his car - for help. I was sure he'd watched his mother roll out the dough numerous time, maybe even helped! Sure enough, he said put in more liquid...Okay, so now when I rolled the dough out it stuck to the table and the rolling pin!
At this point I used my own devise, I scraped the dough off the table and patted the thing into the pie-pan. Got all my filling in only to see that we had no Cinnamon...Had to walk to the store, that fortunately was nearby...Had to walk back home and ask my dear husband what the word was for Cinnamon as I had forgotten, or, more likely I had not even learned the English word for Kanill. He didn't know what I was asking so I got the empty glass container, he sniffed..Ahh, Cinnamon... Then back to the store I went.
Now to get the top on and make it pretty, easier said than done, this ball of dough stuck just as much as the first batch. I contemplated my dilemma for a moment - then small piece by small piece I picked the dough by my fingers and placed on top just here and there...then did the same for the edges and pinched all around...and put it into the oven. I was on pins and needles, waiting...
Hey it wasn't pretty, a little heavy and doughy, but came out okay, by first American Apple Pie :-)
Sunday, December 31, 2017
"You're going to do what? You're still driving!?" My two sisters exclaimed.
"You're ninety-two, you can't be doing that!" Some in my family were quite concerned.
"Let someone else drive your car." Suggested another.
But I was going to drive my car around while in Texas, so why would I not drive it
south? Besides I had passed my driver's test with compliments from the examiner!
Couple of weeks later we headed south.
Heidi, my youngest child had her car loaded and also my Honda. We were leaving Central Illinois and heading for north Texas where she had rented a house by a huge lake, Texoma, that separates Oklahoma and Texas.We would not be back until March and had to think of all the clothing we would be needing; some for church, some for warm weather and some for a little chilly days, it gets down into the thirties but warms up splendidly during the days.
I had Dusty with me, she is a very well behaved Snoodle and good company. Heidi had Dusty's boy, Thor, who is as cute as can be and knows it, but also rambunctious, and would it be harder for me to him still.
Heidi led the way and I followed. It was a good drive, the weather was nice and folks were driving sensibly.
Dusty snoozed on her comfy pillow on the passenger seat. We stopped at rest-stops for the two dogs, and ourselves, to stretch and walk around.
After a few hours of very pleasant drive through the rolling hills of Missouri we stopped in Springfield, MO. for the night. I have to admit to certain sense of satisfaction when next morning I saw the weather report for Illinois; Snow and sub-zero weather on the way... I was getting out just in time :-)
Next morning we got up and after breakfast started driving the last few hours of the - just under 800 miles - to the lake property.
Here I was; looking at the 76 Christmas stockings we had hung on the tree-limbs outside...Sitting in a huge glider "just a swinging away" in 71 degrees and sunshine! I know it will dip down but not minus zero!
I am enjoying this...:-)
Saturday, December 2, 2017
Today I'd like to share with you couple of up-beat quotes from my "Happiness In Living Color" inspirational coloring book for adults:
My Doctor told me I needed more greens in my diet. On the way home I stopped and bought my favorite candy-coated chocolate. Thank goodness there were green ones in there!
Another Doctor told me Muscatine grapes were good for me. So I bought the convenient liquid form.
Who am I to question the doctors?
"We can't live like chicken in a coop and expect to be able to soar like the Seagulls"!
When I was ten-years old and growing up in Iceland I tried to fly like a Seagull by tying a flour-sack on my neck and climbing on top of a shed. An earthquake spoiled that attempt, but when I was 88 I went paragliding in the mountains of Utah and again when 90, I got to paraglide in Iceland...
Dreams do come true!
The thoughts and motivational ideas in my "Happiness in Living Color" are my foundation for a happy life. May they inspire you as well.
I aspire to inspire, before I expire.
Friday, November 24, 2017
Wednesday, November 22, 2017
by the description
I was reading recently an article in the Iceland Grapevine, called the Ástandið (Situation). I didn't see in the story when exactly this "The Situation" was coined, except sometime during WWII.
This got me to thinking about "way back then" ...Oh my goodness I've been blessed!
Del and I started dating in 1944. I have told this many times how we met at a dance and he proposed on our second dance 48 hours later, and I said "yes!" It was meant to be since the marriage lasted 70 years!
I never thought to ask about his family; my father was a fisher-man. What did his father do? Was he alive? Old? Young? Poor? Rich? We were in love, nothing else mattered.
I was not called names whenDel and I walked hand in hand around the Tjörnin in downtown Reykjavík He, in his American Navy uniform... I spoke very little English and he spoke little Icelandic...I tried to teach him, I'd point and say "fuglar" (birds) or "vatn" (water) he couldn't get the pronunciation of those but had no trouble with "elska mín" (my love) which he called me all the years of marriage.
When we got married on the Dómkirkjan the church was overflowing to out on the street at the front door---to be sure most were service men US and Brits and their girlfriends ....If slurs were thrown at the girls who dated "foreigners" - as indicated by the article - I have to assume that it was after I left in '45---
Coming to the U.S. I, again, was very fortunate, most welcomed me and I had the best in-laws They were curious about my country, but really no one seemed have heard of Iceland
I recall couple of women made some comments ... I didn't know enough English to be offended, but my sister-in-law, Doris, was, and she took care of that "situation" :-)
My ten, awesome children were born in the U.S. and did not experience any different treatments than other children, well, maybe Lucille, our first born. - When she started in kindergarten she brought home a note...I was asked to come in for conference to discuss her "speech impediment" took only a few exchange of words of my speaking that we all started laughing. She was picking up my accent :-)
*As a citizen of Iceland I enjoyed the odd beauty of my country; the mountains, the glaciers, and the fjords, yes, even the eruption of awesome volcanoes.
As a citizen of the Beautiful and Amazing United States of America, it's been my pleasure to travel in, and enjoy every state. (* Last page excerpts from my GROWING UP VIKING MEMOIR.)
Yes, I have been and am blessed.
Saturday, November 18, 2017
It was late Fall and snow in the forecast and Indians on a remote reservation in N. Dakota asked their new chief if the coming winter was going to be cold or mild.
Since he was a chief in a modern society, he had never been taught the old secrets. When he looked at the sky he couldn't tell what the winter was going to be like. Nevertheless, to be on the safe side, he told his tribe that the winter was indeed going to be cold and that the members of the village should collect firewood to be prepared. But being a practical leader, after several days he got an idea. He went to a phone booth and called the Weather Service and asked "Is the coming winter going to be cold?"
"It looks like this winter is going to be quite cold." The meteorologist at the weather service responded.
So the chief went back to his people and told them to collect even more firewood in order to be prepared.
A week later, he called the Weather Service again. "Does it look like it's going to be a very cold winter?"
"Yes" the man at the Weather Service replied again. "It's going to be a very cold winter."
The chief again went to his people and ordered them to collect every scrap of firewood they could find. Two weeks later the chief called the Weather Service again. "Are you absolutely sure that the winter is going to be very cold?"
"Absolutely." The man replied."It looks more and more like it's going to be one of the coldest winters we've ever seen."
"How can you be so sure?" The chief asked.
The weatherman replied. "The Indians are collecting firewood like crazy!"
There's a nugget in there somewhere...Can anyone suggest some :-)