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There was that most pleasurable rainy ride from Stavanger shared in all of those raindrop photos—leading up to the best possible time in Kristiansand. My family here includes Tone, Simon, Oda and Erland. Tone is the daughter of my second-cousin, Gurine, whom I first met in 1985. I liked her so much; she and I agreed back then that if only we lived closer to each other we would become such good… Read More

It’s the last day of August and I’m in Bergen, Norway (which will return in a later post). For now here are some photos from Trondheim. I stopped over there both as a base from which to go meet the Swedish cousins and also to experience a little of where my South Dakota grandfather, Ole Floren, originated. I spent a couple of days in Trondheim years ago but wasn’t as deeply into… Read More

Scandinavians used to live out their cold dark winters in Long Houses, the animals at one end, the humans at the other. It seems to have worked rather well since we do continue in great friendship with our furred and feathered companions. This is a wrap of the South Dakota visit, a warmly reassuring trip to a familiar family place. A few photos…mostly animals…although a few humans crept in. Cousins all. And… Read More

I’m just back from a few days in South Dakota, adopted land of my mother’s family. The time with my first cousins was just as family time should be and the reunion with more distant cousins likewise. Then there’s my ongoing exploration of the family tree and the grandparents and cousins that go back…and back…and back. Now I am considering ‘extended family’ in a whole new way—in layers and branches and trees…. Read More

So here’s the thing about abnbs. When you’re in a ‘foreign’ country don’t you always wonder how the natives live? I mean on a daily basis, personally, in their most private of spaces and moments. Do they use duvets or sheets and blankets? What sort of knickknacks do they put on corner tables? What do they eat just before going to bed? Well, turns out that in the kind of abnb that’s… Read More

Albuquerque to Denver to Minneapolis 6:45am to 2:30pm. Minneapolis to Sioux Falls 4:00pm to 9pm. Here I am. Sioux Falls, South Dakota. You only hear me talk about Minnesota and Norway. But there’s a darker side to my family’s story. We are part Swedish and have a South Dakota heritage as well. I’m kidding about that ‘darker’ part—I just say it because dad always claimed the reason my mom was so stubborn… Read More

Chapter Three My Mom’s South Dakota Granny Furiosa struggles to return to her [Minnesota—by way of South Dakota] homeland and escape the clutches of a ruthless [New Mexican] desert gang leader…  With the harsh desert sands [of Farmington] in front of them and marauders behind, only the maddest will prevail the storm. (IMDb/Mad Max: Fury Road) That was Saturday morning. By Monday, our fearless heroine and her loyal steed, Ghost, were leaving… Read More