Tuesday, June 11, 2019
Thinking back on coming to America as an immigrant from Iceland 74
years ago today.
Great life - lucky me.
Fourth of July coming up:
My first one is a vivid memory of the American flags everywhere imaginable! Streets lined - mailboxes flying flag of all sizes - flag poles, short and tall - buildings and businesses - you name it; The American flags were beautifully and proudly displayed! I remember being so happy to see that because we, Icelanders, love to display our flag at every opportunity! Sweet memories, how I love them!
Friday, May 31, 2019
THE TRIP TO PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND 1964.
I'ts taking me forever to pack in preparation for moving out of Illinois to Iowa next week... I'm going down memory lane as I find old photos, clippings, memorabilia, greeting cards...have to read everything...then I came across this short writing, I do not recall when I wrote this.
I hadn't seen my Father since I left my country in 1945. Shading my eyes, I anxiously scanned the ocean at the peninsula of Prince Edward Island as did the whole family.
Delbert, I, and our seven children; Del, holding four-year old Tim, Marian, Peggy, Chris, Jonathan, and Myra were standing on the pie in the town of Souris, waiting for grandpa's new trawler, Iceland II.
The picturesque fishing village reminded me of Iceland, even the pier, with the usual assortment of barrels, ropes and net clutter. The air had the same salty, fishy smell. The screaming seagulls and other seabirds were just as greedy and noisy as the ones "back home."
Here I was, almost twenty years later, a mother of eight (Della and Heidi were as yet not born) and getting ready to tell my father that he was now a great-grandpa! We had left home (Illinois) a few days before Lucille - our first-born - was expecting Joel two weeks later, but he decided to come a little early so we were traveling out of the country when we became first-time Grandparents!
"There it is, there it comes!" We all shouted. We watched the ship sail closer and closer. Then we could read the name ICELAND II on its side and saw Father standing at the rail waving his white Captain hat as the kids jumped up and down and waved exuberantly. We saw several of the crew
waving as their families had also gathered on the pier.
After a short tour of the ship (fish had to be unloaded quickly) we waited until Father was free to join us for a supper.
"I'm stooffed" Father groaned as he pushed himself away from the table. The kids thought that was the funniest expression and for years used the same words to indicate that they had enough to eat!
Just eight months previous, January 1964, horrible ice-storm hit Prince Edward Island. The ICELANDI was anchored at the pier in Souris. The crew battled for hours, chipping away eight to ten inches of ice that accumulated on the deck house, cables and rail. But to no avail, the trawler slowly listed to one side under the weight and rolled into the sea. The ship was lost but the crew was safe.
In the summer of that year, Father, "one of the better known Souris skippers" (Charletteown, Souris Newspaper) commanded the new MV ICELAND II, built by Bathurst Marine Industries, Chatham, New Brunswick, Canada.
Three years later, 1967, on New Year Day - Father went to Iceland for the Holidays. While he was there the ICELAND II shipwrecked in another horrendous winter storm, off the coast of Nova Scotia, near the village of Fourchu. All ten men perished.
Father retired after this. He had spent his whole life on the ocean that can be so good to fishermen and at the same time their merciless enemy.
(More can be read in my Memoir - GROWING UP VIKING )
Saturday, April 27, 2019
After a spending winter months with my youngest, Heidi, (Herman#10) in Arizona where I visited antique car shows (still looking for that elusive '25 car for a photo op). I went rodeo's, museums, rock climbing and all around fun until mid-March.
I flew to Oakland' California, where I changed plane for Seattle, Washington, where, two of my kids, Del (Herman#2 and Peggy (Herman # 4) met me. Del then drove across the Canadian border. After a wonderful visit with my family there I had an opportunity to go to Höfn Iceland Harbor Retirement Center, where I spoke on Senior Vitality - first time I've had an Mandarin interpreter - as there were several Chinese seniors in attendance. After a fun ride on a sky train - sea-bus - in Vancouver, dinner with friends from Iceland - always great for me to talk about the various places in my home-land.
A few days later I found myself in Seattle, Washington where I got to visit, and speak at Ballard Senior Center. There I met Rusty, who wanted to know if he sang to me would that count as a "first," toward my goal of reaching 93 "firsts" by my 94th birthday May 21st.
Yep that it would, never had a gentleman sing to me before! Here is the song, I love it!
SOME SAY LOVE, IT IS A RIVER, THAT DROWNS THE TENDER REED.
SOME SAY LOVE, IT IS A RAZOR, THAT LEAVES YOUR SOUL TO BLEED.
SOME SAY IT IS A HUNGER, AN ENDLESS ACHING NEED.
I SAY LOVE, IT IS A FLOWER, AND YOU, ITS ONLY SEED.
IT'S THE HEART AFRAID OF BREAKING, THAT NEVER LEARNS TO DANCE.
IT'S THE DREAM AFRAID OF WAKING, THAT NEVER TAKES THE CHANCE.
IT'S THE ONE WHO WON'T BE TAKING, WHO CANNOT SEEM TO GIVE
AND THE SOUL AFRAID OF DYING, THAT NEVER LEARNS TO LIVE.
WHEN THE NIGHT HAS BEEN TO LONELY AND THE ROAD HAS BEEN TO LONG
AND YOU THINK THAT LOVE IS ONLY FOR THE LUCKY AND THE STRONG
JUST REMEMBER IN THE WINTER, FAR BENEATH THE BITTER SNOWS
LIES THE SEED, THAT WITH THE SUN'S LOVE IN THE SPRING BECOMES THE ROSE.
Song writer: Amanda McBroom.
I had a chance in Seattle to speak to Seniors encouraging all just to keep moving, stir up the vitality that lies within! I told them of seeing the old Model T, abandoned and rusting in a field, then driving on just a few miles and coming by an Antique car show, there was another old model T, but this one was bright red, shiny chrome on all wheels and moving!
What a great lesson to me to just KEEP MOVING!!!
Friday, March 1, 2019
Wow! It took a long time to get the med - that caused the uncontrollable coughing - out of my system...Coughing night and day since mid-January until now. My body was tired and keeping up my exercising was difficult and quite challenging - push -ups - squats - planks but I huffed and I puffed in determination of getting through this, hey, I am a stubborn Icelander after all and I am finally getting almost back to my "normal" self....As I was told numerous times in growing up "One of these days your going to break your foolhardy neck!" But oh the freedom of enjoying life!!!
We all realize that life is not for the dead but for the living, so I enjoy it to the best of my ability. Raising ten kids meant we didn't have the luxury of riches - money :-) but going to the lake was free, running and playing at the school and parks playground was free, jumping rope and juggling balls was free, running after my kids-exercise was free!
Over the years I have had one habit that has not changed: On a gloomy day -actual or emotional - I go through my clothes and pick out the gaudiest, most colorful top that I can find put on make-up as if I was going on a date! Worked every time, partly because after awhile my husband caught on, and we'd have a date of sorts...Now I sit here, remembering, with a smile on my face like the proverbial Cheshire cat :-)
As I journey through this life I remember "A journey keeps going, a destination is the end." Therefor I will keep going, and moving till the end ...But then I'll just fly away. Hello!
It only takes a small change in the word "impossible"..."I'm possible..." don't remember who said this but I think it's worth repeating :-)
In "Over 50 and Fabulous with Purpose" recently posted "An elderly woman loses 120 pounds walking in her one- bedroom apartment." There you are - where there is a will there is a way!"
This is the day the Lord has made, I WILL rejoice and be glad in it!
Monday, February 18, 2019
Last week my F/B friend, Inetta Tucker-Graham posted this question; Those of you that have been married 5-10 years do you still require roses and candy for Valentines Day?
There were several answers, all very good - there are some really good guys out there:-) That made me want to share:
My husband of 70 years marriage never missed celebrating Valentines Day, even at the very beginning before I knew there was such a day in America. Over time we had some ups and downs and not much money - we became parents of ten children and Del felt called to the ministry, starting new churches in particular. In those lean times we made candy and shared heart-shaped cookies that he helped the kids to decorate...I was served my coffee in style!
As time went by and things got easier (our children growing up and getting jobs) we started going out for dinner to celebrate, at first just anywhere, but then Del realized that my favorite food was shrimp and we started going to the Red Lobster for our Valentines celebration. Later, he found a local men's quartet and had them sing during our supper. Sweet memories!
February 14 of 2015 Del was in the hospital on Valentines Day, in secret he arranged for one of our daughters, Marian, and three of his nurses to surprise me with the biggest celebration yet! The large sheet-cake was shared by many on his floor. The room was loaded with balloons, flowers, teddy bear and a card with his very shaky handwriting, totally precious.
He went to his Heavenly home two weeks later, February 26, 2015.
What a guy :-) "I love you more."
Friday, February 8, 2019
So now what?
When I had the stroke - November 1, 2016 - I was put on a blood-pressure medication. I do not tolerate medications well and I have been very fortunate in not needing but one, needless to say my expenses in that regard are minimal.
As many of you know I have traveled quite a bit and was in Iceland last June where I went Paragliding - Zip-lining and tried ice-cave climbing. That was my first indication that I was not as strong as I thought I was, I expected hacking into the ice would be a piece of cake! But I was breathing a little hard for what seemed to me a fairly short trek across the tundra to the opening of the Katla cave.
All through 2017 I traveled as usual, enjoying life to the fullest, hiking in Colorado - Moab, Utah .
Visited in Minnesota, Florida, Arizona, Texas...Then I began to hear "are you wheezing, Mom?"
"you are breathing hard,Mom" ....Fast forward to the first week of the new year; Had a checkup and found out that the medication for the blood-pressure had resulted in C.O.P.D. That was changed to another med. which lasted one day. I wasn't able to tolerate that one!
Okay, let's try another one...this is BAD! Three days later I got this horrible cough that so far is still keeping me up at night hacking away! And now other drug for the cough!
Tried the usual water and vinegar...honey...honey and water...still hacking away! "Cough-drops don't help as this is in your blood and will go away in time " :(
This has not kept me from hopping -moving-jumping...
So now what? I went and got me a pretty, new jump-rope as my old one is in my car in Minnesota!
You should have seen the face of the young man when he found out the rope was for me!!! He said "I want to visit your Iceland!" I really cracked up LOL.
With perky steps this chronologically gifted woman got into her daughter's elderly Cadillac and sped out of the shopping center huge grin on her face!
I have every intention of keeping on enjoying life. It really is wonderful!
My daughter had a great idea for my breathing exercise: Start playing my harmonica again!!!
Friday, December 28, 2018
Growing up in Vopnafjörður, Iceland, Grandpa always said "Viking kids don't cry," One day I said "I'm not a Viking, what I have heard they were mean people!"
Grandpa looked at me and said: "Vik, in Icelandic means a bay, inlet or a fjord.
So anyone who lives by a fjord could be called Viking or Vikingur which means "One who comes from the fjords."