The introduction to A Long Way Downstream: The Life and Family of Thibertine Johnson Winje, Norwegian-American Pioneer begins:
There is an old Norwegian emigrant prayer that reads: …The ties that bind me to home fire my courage and strengthen my soul. Should all things perish, fleeting as a shooting star, O God, let not the ties break that bind me to the North. Norwegian emigrants had a strong attachment to the land they left behind, and clung to centuries of beloved folklore that resulted from scratching a living out of the unforgiving Nordic landscape. What caused home loving Norwegians, like Baard and Bertina Johnson, to cross an immense ocean, bid goodbye to family members, often forever, and risk their lives and those of loved ones? How did they summon the courage to leave familiarity and family for uncertain gain? Despite their ties to the homeland, the great migration to America during the 19th century is unrivaled in the history of Norway except for the westward sweeps of conquest and exploration during the Viking Age, a heritage treasured by Norwegians.
I can give any number of excuses for the delay, including the worst winter commute on record, fussing with the sale of two properties, my elderly mother moving in, writing seminars and activities on top of working full time, and now a history column, to boot. I have really tried to keep the delay to a minimum, but have failed. But, as I said, an end is in sight, and your copy or copies should be coming your way soon.
It's time for me to move on with other projects, and I do have a few in mind that deal with either family or Pacific Northwest history: pioneers in Coon Valley, WI, miners/photographers in the Cascade Mountains, Scandinavians and their involvement in Seattle's 1909 Alaska Yukon and Pacific Exposition, and even a fictional novel or two.
Now, I just need to get multiple households and storage units merged into one place so I know where everything is, set up a quiet workspace, cut my commute in half, and find that clone who is off hiding again. She's not very good at cooking or organizing, but at least she lends a fair amount of moral support.