Thursday, November 27, 2008

Yulefest 2008

The Nordic Heritage Museum in Ballard just held another Yulefest (annual Christmas Festival) on Nov.22-23. Attendees shopped for hand-crafted gifts from over 50 vendors while weaving through the meandering halls and nooks and crannies of the old school building housing the Museum. Many visitors, in addition to vendors, staff, and volunteers, came suitably dressed for the occasion in a traditional costume or Scandinavian sweater--myself included. I had planned on getting a photograph of Father Christmas while I was there, but he had his own photographer and was charging the parents of kiddies who wanted visual souvenirs to take home.

Scandinavian food and drink was served at several places in the Museum, including the New Bodega, the Nordic Cafe, and the popular Kaffestuga. Musicians, singers, and other entertainers could be observed entertaining those who stopped for coffee and a traditional treat. The Yulefest is always a fun and colorful event. The halls and booths are constantly crowded, and the cashier line in the gift shop moves glacially slow, but no one seems to mind. Everyone is thinking of the joys of Christmas and appreciating the opportunity to be a part of another Yulefest.

Not too long after my husband and I arrived at the Nordic Heritage Museum on the afternoon of Saturday, November 22, a fire alarm sounded and the building was slowly evacuated. It did not take long, however, before everyone was able to return to their shopping or plate of sweets.

A message board outside the museum promoted the Leif Erikson International Foundation LEIF)

On the main floor near the entrance, visitors perused home-baked pastries and other goodies to buy and take home, including krumkake, snickerdoodles, and much more.

In a room next to the auditorium, lefse line volunteers were kept very busy.

The Yulefest housed over 50 vendors on three floors of the museum. The second floor included these displays of woven items and Celtic-design inspired jewelry--one of my favorite stops.

Happy shoppers!

A close-up of some traditional rosemaling. My mother doesn't know it yet, but she'll be getting a painted heart-shaped box for Christmas.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Eight Things About Me

Amy Johnson at Amy's Genealogy, etc. Blog just tagged me for the “Eight Things About Me” meme. Hey, Amy... how ya doin'?

The rules are:
  • Each player starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
  • Write a blog post about these eight things and post these rules.
  • At the end of the blog post, list eight people to get tagged.
  • Leave a comment on their blogs telling them they’ve been tagged.

Ummmm, some things about me:

1. As a youth, my undying ambition was to become an astronomer, but I soon found words more to my liking than numbers.

2. I feel naked without my lipstick and earrings.

3. I once built a 5 ft. by 8 ft. N-gauge model railroad in an alpine theme, using chalet-like building models and German trains (yep--it was a lot of fun).

4. I love Sarah Palin--no apologies!

5. My No.1 personal hot button is fairness

6. I preferred the "Mod" look in high school--Jane Asher was a role model

7. My favorite color is red

8. My husband actually asked me to marry him the first time we met (but he meant it a little more later on)

I hope the sky will not fall if I skip the last two rules and instead invite anyone who has not already been tagged to participate. Please, join in! I am just days away from moving and in over my head, as usual. Amy, thanks for thinking of me.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Yule Love This, 2008

The time has come," the Walrus said,
"To talk of many things:
Of shoes--and ships--and sealing-wax--
Of cabbages--and kings--
And why the sea is boiling hot--
And whether pigs have wings.

From : "The Walrus and the Carpenter," Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There, by Lewis Carroll, 1872.

Obviously, there have been far too many things for me to deal with lately, and blogging (along with cabbages) has fallen by the wayside.

But, I can't let this next weekend (11/22 & 11/23) go by without promoting the annual Yulefest at the Nordic Heritage Museum in Seattle. Oh, ja... a Yulefesting I will go, and hopefully I will return home with some photographs to post here on my Norwegian-minded blog. So, for those of you who can't actually participate in tasting the pastries and the lefse, you will at least be able to see them!

Image: Norway stamp with image of Yule Nisse.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Picnic at Clearwater Lake

As my mother grew up on her grandparents' farm in rural Minnesota, she looked forward to the picnics held, typically twice each summer at Clearwater Lake (in Clearwater County). Grandpa Ole Johnson owned a cedar strip boat and kept it at the lake in order to go fishing.

Picnic at Clearwater Lake, Minnesota, ca. 1923.  L to R: Elmer Rinde's sister-in-law; Mabel Johnson (2nd from left); Malla Johnson (in background, seated on steps wearing a dark sweater and light skirt); Mrs. Rinde; Cora Johnson (with coffee cup); Mabel Rinde; Thea Johnson (seated at right), and (Marie Rinde?-standing at right).

Marie Rinde, a family friend (pickle in mouth)

Cora Johnson Moen

Thea Johnson Humberstad

Malla Larson Johnson and Stina Rinde

(L to R): Emma (Moen) Johnson, Esther Rinde's sister (white hat), Mabel Rinde's daughter, Esther Rinde (above the little girl), Mabel Johnson, Mabel Moen, Agnes Johnson (face not visible), Thea (Johnson) Humberstad, Marie Rinde, Phyllis Johnson, Doris Johnson, and Mabel Rinde. Clearwater Lake, Minnesota, 1930.

The 1920 census for Sinclair Township, Clearwater County, Minnestoa, Sup Distr 9, Enum Dist 49, Sheet 1B:

L A O Rinde, 45
Stina Rinde, 48
Elmer A., 21
Clara L., 20
Albert J., 17
Mabel P., 15
Oliver S., 14
Mary E. (Marie), 12
Henry O., 8

Both parents in the Rinde family were of Norwegian descent. The father, L.A.O. Rinde, was a farmer from Wisconsin, and the mother, Stina Rinde, was from Norway. When the Rinde family moved from the Leonard area in Clearwater County to Bemidji in the 1930s, the Johnson family continued to visit them and keep the tradition of multiple family picnics going.

Mom's aunts, Cora (Johnson) Moen and Thea (Johnson) Humberstad, were newly married, but still lived in the area. The young ladies in the Johnson and Rinde families were about the same age, and they enjoyed each other's company. The men are conspicuously absent from these photos, but they may have been out fishing, something that increased pollution in the lake in later years prevented. But in the 1920s, the simple joys of friendship and togetherness were cherished and planned for, between the endless round of household and farming chores, and the fishing was still good!