A note about how Norwegians got their names
The Ongoing Saga
When I was a child, I frequently asked my mother to tell me about the Olden Days: I didn't understand why she thought that was funny. But though she always laughed, she obligingly told me stories from her childhood. Stories about her mother; stories about her father - fewer of them; an astonishing story about her grandmother and grandfather. And I hungrily filed those stories away, tucking them neatly into little boxes inside of me. They are nice to have. I take them out frequently and listen to them over again and again. I hear Mom's voice telling them to the child I was. They warm me. They bring a smile to my lips, my eyes, my heart.
Now I wish I could ask Mom to tell me more. I'd listen so much more carefully. And I'd ask burning questions that we have - things that we have discovered, my sisters and cousins and niece and I. Mysteries in our family. Mysteries we endeavor to solve - so far away in time with no one left to ask who can tell us first hand - or even second hand. So we conjecture. We make educated guesses and do the detective work of putting together the pieces - one at a time.
We scour the internet, dig in archives and libraries and recorders' offices, and pour through those mountains of photographs my father begged us to keep - he pled with his dying breath. And we obeyed. Not certain why at the time. But oh so happy now that he did plead and that we did obey. They were treasures waiting to be discovered - by new eyes.
Thank you, Dad, for your love of photography. Thank you, Mom, for your stories and your diligent making of scrapbooks and keeping of letters and newspaper clippings - and for keeping all those boxes and boxes of negatives and photographs.
I dedicate this to the two of you. I dedicate it from all of us - because we do tend to speak for one another, my sisters and niece and cousins and I. And, therefore, I think they would agree...
We dedicate this to those who came before us... those who are now gone... and we thank them for leaving us this wonderfully intriguing legacy to unravel.
Denmark, 16 December 2007
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