Wednesday, June 28, 2017

How did you do it? What was it like?



Recently I was asked to speak at a "Freedom Rally" at a church, the topic was "What was it like to come to the U.S. as a WWII War Bride.

I have to say that the language was the most difficult. Del didn't speak Icelandic - oh, he did learn to say "elska min"...that means "my love" - and I was very limited in my English. Of course there were times when I got homesick....what am I saying! I STILL get homesick for Iceland...I've said this before and I'll dare say it again "you can take me out of Iceland, but you cannot take Iceland out of me!"

Yes, I had a few doubts, but I was twenty and in love...New York was a shock...my mother-in-law didn't speak my language...I had never been on/or seen a train before, we had to get on a troop-train for Illinois. I have written of this before, but I got to thinking about how it must have been for my husband...At age nineteen he was sent to a country named ICELAND!!! His three brothers were in the Pacific! How unfair was that! But then he got me :-)

Del came home four months later and smuggled my white baby kitten that promptly ran away. A story in the Daily Pantagraph, in Bloomington, Il. describing the circumstance and the all-white kitten, brought innumerable  cats-kittens-black-orange-multi-colors you  name it, to our door, never did find my kitty.

Back to the language: Walked to a small store to get strawberries and cinnamon...couldn't communicate with the clerk, had go back and get my poor husband...this was repeated several times during our first year.

One day I told Del that something was  a "cattastrope" that was one word that took him a long time to figure out until I said it was a "bad bad cattastrope."

"Ahh, we pronounce that "catastrophe" :-(  

How he put up with me, and this, for 70 years is beyond me. Must have been love.

BTW, In case you haven't guessed, my English is self-taught and mostly through Readers Digest "It Pays To Increase Your Vocabulary" section.





Friday, June 16, 2017

Joy is a choice


Charles R Swindoll, in his "Laugh Again" says joy is choice and paraphrased the poet;

ONE SHIP SAILS EAST
ONE SHIP SAILS WEST
REGARDLESS HOW THE WIND BLOWS
IT IS THE SET OF THE SAIL, AND NOT THE GALE
THAT DETERMINES THE WAY WE GO.


THIS IS THE DAY THE LORD HAS MADE
I WILL...REJOICE AND BE GLAD IN IT...








Wednesday, June 7, 2017

So, now you're 92, when do you plan to settle down, somebody asked...


My answer was:  "I am to busy!" But it did make me stop and think back a bit...To last November 1st. when I had the stroke.I could have taken it easy and quit gadding around, but decided I wanted to reach the finish line the way my life has been going from the time I remember, one exciting trip after another!

I had researched my Icelandic roots and found it goes straight back to Hrólfur 'Rauðskeggur' (Red-beard)  A.D. 860. It is not hard for me to believe that my line goes even further back, like, all the way back to the Biblical tribe of Gad because of my "Gadding about" :-)...

 Four days after aforementioned  stroke I jumped my rope to make sure I could still get around. In December I flew to Minnesota to visit  a daughter and her family (I have 7 daughters and 3 boys). Flew back to Illinois and changed suitcases and flew to Florida, visited a son, daughter-in-law and my 90-year- chronologically gifted sister (I had visited my 94-year-gifted sister in Nov.). Flew back to Illinois and grabbed another ready-packed suitcase and flew to Reno, Nevada in January for some RnR. After fun-filled days with my youngest daughter, Heidi, we flew back home to Illinois and got the van packed for wintertime in Arizona.

Flew back to Illinois in March for drivers license renewal and re-enactment film of the stroke for St. Francis hospital. Returned to Arizona three days later. In April I headed up to Salt Lake City, Utah, visiting another daughter, family and a grand-daughter's birthday party (there I got to try my hand at shooting a gun, at a gun range, not Maddy's party!). Picked up from there - beginning to know how a UPS package feels! - by Heidi to drive through some of the most gorgeous parts of the U.S. in Wyoming on our way to S. Dakota. Next we were in Grand Forks, N.D. at the Icelandic North America - INLNA - convention. Then onto Minnesota where I had book signings, "GROWING UP VIKING"  in Winona and Minneapolis celebrating my 92nd birthday on May 21st.

Drove back to Illinois to prepare for going to Nebraska in June to an Alpaca farm. There we visited a daughter - she and her husband live in Chicago, they help with the shearing - and a grand-daughter who has the Alpaca ranch there. Check out Butterfield Alpaca Ranch, the yarn she makes from the Alpaca is wonderful.  My son and daughter in-law drove up from Colorado, I had been invited to speak at a Freedom Rally as a WWII War-Bride ..They came to cheer me on with the rest of the family.

Back home now in Illinois working to finish my next book, The Inner Space Aliens.

You agree with me that I am way to busy to settle down?