Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Mom's shoe

Mom's shoe - left here when she was a little girl
Dear JJ,

We went to Norway for a family reunion.

When my mom was 9 years old, in 1937, she went to Norway to visit our relatives.

It turns out that when mom left, she forgot her dancing shoe in the summer home by the family farm. The place where they would take the sheep to graze during the summer. So they nailed her shoe up and said when she comes back they would give it to her.

When my grandfather would go back, he would write a bit in a note and stuff it in the shoe, and finally in 1997, mom got back and she and dad wrote in the shoe. They went again in 2007. I had heard this story growing up. Now I got to write in the shoe - for the first time.

Wanting a connection with our past is part of the human condition. Part of the reason this "older" dad writes this to you. Somehow that shoe represents that entire past of our relatives - and writing in it seemed to fill some destiny. I know, most have lofty thoughts with destiny - but trust me, the best destiny is feeling connected and loved - like you do with us, and now with your family in Norway

Love,

Dad
Nothing like fresh fish - with Cousin Silje and your new best friend Eline

And even though you didn't speak the language - you found a new friend, a cousin, you could play with and while we are all eating at the family reunion - always good to have conversation



In the summer cabin - things are "rustic" - but like your dad, you do your best thinking here


Inside the shoe - a note from my grandfather, Eric Otnes - and every

time he came back - another quick note


You two invented your own language  to talk.

In the background is the Stabur, built in the 1600's it is where salted meat would be kept, and cheese would be made.