Tuesday, July 18

Telemark canal Norway

My great grandfather Nils Gundersen Øvald was a skipper on a boat that traveled 
down the Telemark Canal from Skien, Telemark Norway delivering goods.  

Today it is mainly pleasure trips down the beautiful canal


Monday, July 17

Sharing Memories Week #29 - I didn't cry for my mother.........then

52 Weeks of Sharing Memories
Lorine McGinnis Schulze of "Olive Tree Genealogy" blogspot in 2014 
suggested a 52 week challenge of writing down our memories.  
Well, I am in for 2017! The first Monday of each week of this year 
I am committed to using one of her 
to recall and write up a memory of one of my ancestors or myself

April 21, 1975. It was a Monday. I had been married just over a year. The call came in the night and my husband answered. He uttered just a few words, "No, when, yes, yes, we'll be right there." He hung up the phone, put his arm around me and said "Ranae, your mom died tonight".  Really? I did not know she was that ill, I had just seen her and she and I talked about my future and if and when I planned on having children. "Mom, don't rush us, we have lots of time to think about that." I did not know, nor did she tell me that she did not. 

Later at my parents home I sat in silence, totally numb to what was going on around me. I could only think of what must be done. What arrangements to be made, who to be called, what will my Dad do? My sister, obviously and rightfully overcome with emotion shouted at me. "Look at Ranae, our mother is dead and she doesn't even shed a tear". I said nothing. She was right. I will always love my grandmother for speaking up in my defense. "You don't know or understand Ranae, everyone is sad in their own way." I accompanied my Dad to the funeral home, helped him pick out a coffin, spoke with family and friends. It was all unreal and tears never came.

August 8, 1975. I had quit my job a few weeks back and I was now just about nine months pregnant with our first child.  My doctor said the baby could come at any time as it had "dropped" and he expected no problems. My bags were packed, the baby's room was ready, a going home baby outfit chosen. I was prepared, had it all together. Laying on our couch, in my nightie, in front of the air conditioner, that hot hot summer day, I thought I should put some fresh nail polish on. I placed the open bottle of polish on my abdomen. The baby kicked. The bottle spilled. The polish ran done my enlarged abdomen ruining my nightie. I began to cry.

What should I do?
What if I went into labor?
What if I couldn't stand the pain?
What if I died?
What if my baby died?
Why wasn't my mother here to be with me?
Why didn't she tell me she was so ill?
Was she in a lot of pain?
Why did she have to die?
Why couldn't she have been a grandmother?
Why couldn't my baby have a wonderful grandmother, as I did?


 I felt all alone. It wasn't like it was supposed to be. I wasn't ready. 

I cried. I cried and cried until I was choking with sobs. I cried for my baby. I cried for my mother, I cried for me. 

April 21, 1975, my mother died and I didn't cry..........then.

1955 - Mom and Me

Saturday, July 15

Vuku kirke 10 juli 2017, Verdal, Nord Trøndelag, Norge

This YouTube was presented by Ole Morten Larsen.  My fourth cousin Anne Gunn Stenstrom brought it to my attention. A lovely aerial view of the Vuku church in Verdal, Nord-Trøndelag. The 200 seat wooden church dates from at least 1655. For many many generations the ancestors of my Norwegian immigrant grandfather, Paul Sevald(sen), were baptized, confirmed, married in this church. Many family members are buried in the surrounding churchyard.

Thank you Ole Morten for sharing,

Tuesday, July 11

A precious gift from a far-away cousin

This morning, a second cousin I have never met but connected with through Facebook, sent me this precious photo. From 1902/3 Our great grandmother Gunhild Gundersen with her first two girls. His grandmother Gudrun is the little blond on Gunhild's right while the little dark haired girl is my grandmother Dagmar. This is the first picture I have seen of my grandmother as a child!

Thank you so much cousin Arild Fehn!

1902/3 Eidanger, Telemark, Norway
Gunhild, Gudrun and Dagmar Gundersen