Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Now and then...yesterday and today...

Now and then...yesterday and today...

I got a really nice letter from Norway today and in it was a couple of interesting comparisons. In my previous letter to Inger I spoke about my family members coming to Chicago for the weekend in early March to help us. We had an old fashion ”painting party”. We ate lots of good food and worked our tails off painting several rooms. We laughed so hard and had so much fun reminiscing about our childhood. We talked about events that we have not talked about in many years. They were things we did together, the things we did TO each other and what we remember. Each of us have our own vivid memories and we discovered that some of my vivid memories are not memorable to my other sisters at all and vice verse. We also discovered that each of us has slightly or widely different memories of the same event! We talked about the need to putting some of these memories on paper for future generations to read. I think this is a really good idea so will start to do that soon. When I do, I will put them here on the blog too.

I described the gathering in Chicago to Inger as an “Amish Barn Raising” and she understood what I was talking about. Sometimes I wonder if she will understand what I am trying to tell her. She is a very smart lady so I should not wonder but I do. We, Americans, assume that everyone in the world understand our customs, culture (or lack of), our slang, our ideals and the way in which we live but the reality is that we are not the only place in the world!!! We are only ONE country on this earth! And America is not as important to other as it is to us. It has been so nice for me to learn about Norway and it's customs, culture, and food from this special family member who I have met through the internet. Inger goes on to tell me “ We have a word in Norwegian for this: DUGNAD. Coming together, family, friends , neighbors etc. work and finish a project together without getting paid and eat and have a good time. This is a tradition still in Norway. So you have organized a dugnad. “ The truth is we enjoyed our dugnad in March so much we have scheduled another for the first weekend in May!

Inger also shared with me another comparison. Last year when we met, I sent Inger some copies of post cards which my Grandfather received from our family in Norway beginning with this card from his Grandmother in 1908. If you have been following me you have already seen it in several blogs...

Grimestad 1908 - Then

Recently Inger and her friend, Henrik spent several hours on a sunny warm March day taking photos. These photos show comparisons of “now” and “then”. They have old photos of these locations and they are taking new photos of the same location. She surprised me with this wonderful photo!

2012 Grimstad – Now......

Wow! It gives me goosebumps! I love it! 

Enjoy!   Jan

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