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.





1 comment:

  1. I really enjoy reading your blogs! Thanks for sharing. I can only imagine how difficult this must have been to come to a new land and not know the language. I had an Uncle William Hermann that served in WWII and was sent to Iceland! He was lucky to go to Iceland as he spoke the language!

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