Saturday was crisp and sunny, the perfect day for a stroll along the periphery of Neset Camping, taking in the everyday landscape of the little boy Svein who would grow up to be my dad. Neset means small peninsula or outcropping in Norwegian and that describes this scenic spot of land sticking out into Byglandsfjord. Olav Neset and his ancestors have owned this land for a long time, building it into one of the most successful campsites in Norway. When my dad, his mom and siblings left for America, there was only Olav’s family home and barn, a couple of small log buildings and the cabin that my family rented at the other end of the property. Both families took their names from the place, the farm and land, which was common in those days. It was a time of great poverty in this country, hard to imagine in the prosperous Norway of today, but the reason for the mass Scandinavian exodus to America, similar to the great Irish emigration.
I always like walking about and listening to the quiet country sounds of waves on the lake and wind through the pines, birds singing, cawing, ducks quacking, a dog barks…it’s nice. This is a kid-friendly place and, while it’s quite empty now, in the summer the sound of children chasing each other and laughing makes me think of dad and his twin sister, Ellen, and little brother Ilif, doing the same all that time ago.
Okay, let’s get on with the Walk Around Neset photo album before I wax too sentimental.