Many people have commented on my activities and adventures for someone of my chronologically-gifted status. I started this blog to share and inspire others to live life to the fullest and never say no. If I can provide that inspiration or some helpful hints on living an active lifestyle after 70, I am pleased you have found me! View my website at http://www.vikingamma.com
What a great time I had in Iceland. Met many family members , some I had not met before. Also Alma Ómarsdóttir, Viktoría Hermannsdóttir and Jón Thór Helgason from RÚV, who were instrumental in getting my story out.
Met many Face-book friends that had cheered for me to get my Icelandic citizenship back - I had lost it in '56 when I became a American citizen - I received it by e-mail while in Iceland, and the "kennitalan" which I needed to get my Icelandic passport. As soon as I got that number, my daughter, Heidi, and I headed for the passport office to apply for it. In just a few hours everything was taken care of and I got another notice; Congratulations your passport has been mailed to your address in the United States! How cool is that!
This was way to short of a trip! I had a bit of a jet-lag...couple of days later we went out for dinner at Perkins restaurant, as we got out of our booth I was feeling all around my waist to unbuckle my seat belt !!!!
Hey! In the car -out of the car...in the airplane out of the airplane...back in a car out of.a car....
I'll put it down for "Senior moment" no such thing as to much travel!!!
While the microwave ticks
let's not sit and wait...
let's get up and do some hop.
Or we could dance and prance
whatever it takes...
Just do not stop
Let's clap our hands and shout
Hey! Hey!these old bones can move, and sway
for another chronological day!
Thinking back on coming to America as an immigrant from Iceland 74
years ago today.
Many changes from just married to an American Navy man - that lasted seventy years - to being a mother of ten, best of the best! Grandmother of eighteen, great-grandmother of nineteen and great-great grandmother of six! 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!
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 )
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!