TIME AND PLACE

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Since Neset is my name and since I grew up on the Minnesota land homesteaded by Grandpa Torgus Neset, it was probably inevitable that Neset family history is where my ancestral search  would first lead me. Here’s a true story about reaching a first branch of the family tree.   The first DNA-focused post shared what few facts I have about Grandma Asborg Eilifsdotter Neset—followed by three short stories about her journey to… Read More

“THE HELLIG OLAV IS APPROACHING NEW YORK CITY IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. WE WILL BE AT THE DOCKS IN THREE HOURS. PREPARE TO DISEMBARK UPON ARRIVAL.” It has been eleven long days since May 7th when the Hellig Olav pulled away from the docks in Kristiansand and Asborg’s life was split in two as though by the sharpest of blades. Before and After. Old Country and New Country. It is… Read More

The focus moves to 7-year-old Svein in the second section of my story about Grandma. Asborg’s mother hired a photographer to take the picture that would be all she would ever see of her daughter and grandchildren again. It would also be our only glimpse of the Nesets in Norway. There’s my dad standing in back, his head tilted wistfully as he squints into the sun. His twin sister Ellen leans against… Read More

    This is the first section of a story I wrote awhile ago about Grandma Asborg Neset.      When I knew Grandma Neset she was old and stooped with a deeply wrinkled face. She did not like children and usually referred to me as dårlig jente (bad girl) although I was the person she asked to read the funny papers to her on Sundays; Dick Tracy was her favorite. Her house always… Read More

ON THE TRAIL OF MY DNA: Part 1 What better place to begin then the waterscapes of Byglandsfiord and a mountain lake nearby; this is a view from whichever cabin I’m in at Neset Camping or on a drive up the mountainside. These are photos from 2016, interspersed with today’s tale. The search begins here, with me, Marjorie Neset, and with dad and mom, Svein Neset and Ovidia Mathilda Floren…and quickly moves… Read More

I wish I could/would have begun these big fat six-week trips earlier in life. Sometimes focusing on a world ‘neighborhood’ of multiple countries, sometimes one country in greater depth…like I’m doing these last years. Not that I regret the many dance festival jaunts or art/dance focused meetings, conferences, gatherings, viewings in so many intriguing locations all around the world. Grants often covered much of the cost, I was usually surrounded by lively… Read More

The very notion of travel obsesses me. The literature of travel fills my bookshelves; the work of travel alternately stimulates and exhausts me; the cost of travel keeps me on a paycheck to paycheck budget. I’ve had other passions: books, dance, school, but travel has subsumed them all and, actually, owes a large debt to each of them (without books how would I know where I wanted to go and what was… Read More

I’m traveling on a different kind of quest this summer. To Norway to find…me? India and Greenland were physical challenges. Russia and South Africa literary, historical, and artistic adventures. Vietnam last year and Norway this year feel more like major life searches. In the case of Vietnam to see with my own eyes (and to offer mostly unspoken apologies) a place we Americans nearly destroyed in the name of false pride. In… Read More

On MY summer vacation I will be… sailing through the Arctic Ocean, immersed in the majestic polar landscape with wind in the sails and the sleepy sounds of a creaking wooden ship? Just around the corner from the North Pole lies the special gathering of Arctic islands – the Svalbard Archipelago. The only way to move around these icy islands in summer is by sea – just like the ancient explorers did…. Read More

(This set of posts comprise an addendum for Time and Place 2015-16, accounting for previous travels and events.)  The Scandinavian countries of Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland host a spectacular dance festival (Ice Hot Nordic Dance Platform) every winter, highlighting contemporary dance that is uniquely Nordic. Both the festivals pictured below took place in the winter although I’m not sure the Norwegian one that Kristine Maltrud and I attended was part of… Read More

Home means very different things to different people. Now that’s a trite statement if ever there was one—but important to say before I launch into what that seemingly innocuous but really heavy-laden four-letter word means to me. I’ve declared my spiritual, home as everyone who’s ever seen this blog knows, to be Neset Camping in Setesdal Valley, Norway. My birth and forever-after—my history and geography—Northern Minnesota. My son Steven went up to… Read More

It’s true there is an earlier post with photos of this same route on this same day. It would make sense to delete this one I suppose but I few photos may be different and it is extraordinarily beautiful. So I guess it’s a keeper-post. Hope you’ll enjoy it a second time. Surely there’s no greater possibilities for a scenic road trip than in Norway…so Teresa and I took one…and I so… Read More