01 February, 2014

In memory of my mother on her birthday....

It's 2014, 
and this morning I woke up
thinking of my mother.

She was born February 1st 1914.
Today she would have been 100 years old.
These cold winter months, 
one hundred years ago,
my beautiful mormor (grandma)

was pregnant with my mother,
and I am trying to imagine the scenery.... 

The still growing family lived on a farm,
right beneath the mountains,
in the south of Norway.
Their house was a wooden cottage
with a room in each end,
My grandparents in one,
and my grandfathers parents in the other one.
A breezeway with a kitchen
parted the two rooms,
and the kitchen had dirt floor.
Upstairs were two bedroom,
beds with straw mattresses,
several kids in each bed.
The family already had three children,
my mother would be number four,
and there would be five more to come.

My grandparents worked hard
from early mornings to late evenings,

and at night my grandfather
would sit by the fire
and carve wooden shoes
for the family,
but also enough to sell at the market every fall.
My grandma spun, wove, sewed and knitted,
and kept the family well dressed.
She was known
to waste no time,
so when she walked between the houses
or out in the fields,
she would knit as she walked,
keeping the ball of yarn in the pocket of her apron.

They had no electricity,
water was heated for baths and cleaning,
but clothes were often washed and rinsed in the creek,
also in the winter.
This winter, 100 years ago,
was very cold and they had a lot of snow.
The story is
that after taking my mother to church
for her baptism later that winter,
the carriage/sled tipped over
as their horse climbed the hills
up to the farm.
My grandmother dropped the baby,
- my mother,
who was properly wrapped up in a blanket.
The baby rolled about 50 meters
down to the creek,
where she came to a stop, unharmed.
After that she was nick named
the princess of the snow.

Mother, I wish you where still here with us!
Thank you for teaching me to use my hands,
to never give up,
and to love the nature with all its beauty
by climbing the mountain winter and summer.
Although you told me many many stories about
the life up in the valley,
I would have loved to have learned more...

Happy Birthday, mor, where ever you are!