Thursday, April 10, 2014

Dear Grandma & Grandpa

(Today I was thinking of all the changes that have taken place since their deaths, and so I thought, 'what would I tell them, if I could?' -   So here goes:

Dear Grandma & Grandpa,

     I am the youngest daughter of your youngest son.  I was born many years after you left this world.   Things have changed around here, that's for sure! 

     Grandpa, the house you built in Minneapolis has been torn down!  The area is now industrial, and any homes that you might remember are long gone.    The house on the farm in Silver Creek is gone, too.    The house in St. Olaf Township is gone...not only the house, but all the buildings on the farm site!    Your home in Fergus Falls does still stand, though it does look a little different today.'
     The church in Minneapolis where you both sang in the choir is still standing, 
and Kvam Church still stands, looking much the same as when you were here.  
Many of your descendants are members of Kvam today.

    I think you would still recognize Dalton - to be sure, there have been many changes, but the general layout remains the same.   The depot is gone, the train tracks have been removed, 
but you could still eat in the cafe and buy groceries in the same place you did in the 1920's.

    But these changes are nothing compared to the changes we have seen in our world!   
You never got to watch television; and the world of computers would most likely be mind-boggling to you!  Why, we have even had a man on the moon!

    Medicine has changed, too.    
If you were here today, chances are you would live longer than in your 70's.
Many diseases have become rare due to vaccinations
and many have become treatable that were not in your day.

    Grandma, you wouldn't believe that today, women wear pants!  
They wear shorts, and short, short skirts - in public!  Yes, even in church!    
And you would likely be appalled at the tattoos!   Even women get them!  

    I think you both would be very unhappy with the changes in morality and spirituality.
God was the center of your home.
This is not true for many families today and it is reflected in so many ways.

Grandpa & Grandma, you would probably be very happy (and proud) of your
descendants (well at least most of them!). 
They have carried on your love of music, love of working with wood, 
your family heritage and yes, even your stubborn-ness!   
God is the center of many of your descendants' lives.
We get along well as a family - and you would be glad to know
that last summer we met with the relatives from Verdal, Norway -
the very place you grew up, Grandpa!

Yes, there have been many changes - too many to tell you,
but so many things remain constant as well.

Sure would have been nice to know you!

Pictured below are the children of my grandparents.
Back:  Ben, George, Joseph, Ralph
Front:  Rachel, Anna

      

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Jules


When I was working on my family history some time ago,
one of my great-grandpa's brothers was sort of a mystery.
His name was Trond Dahlager.
I knew he lived in Worth County, Iowa and
for a time, two of his children were living with
my great-grandparents.
I traced him as far as Brookings, South Dakota
and it ended there.

Now, thanks to a tip from another relative, I have
learned that Trond and his second wife had more
little Dahlagers.  [I assume his first wife died young.]

One of his children with his second wife was Jules Dahlager.

So of course I googled "Jules Dahlager"

I learned he was a painter in Alaska, and he was
called "one of the most beloved painters of Alaska."

I saw pictures of his wonderful paintings, and most of them
were thousands of dollars, so any thought of possibly buying
one of his paintings was definitely not in my budget.

So on to e-bay....there, I found a postcard with his painting on it!
And it was at a price I could afford.
So now I have a "painting" from my famous cousin.

By the way, there are a lot of talented artists in the
Dahlager family, so while it is not surprising to find another
artist in the family, to find a "famous painter" was just plain special.



Thursday, January 9, 2014

Leikvold's - Lakevolds


Say what you will about the internet, computers, Facebook. . .
Some very cool things have come out of this modern technology:
Not only have I "met" relatives through this blog,
I have received information about my ancestors
that I thought I would never know.
I have received pictures that I had never seen.
Like this one:
This is the Leikvold (Lakevold) family.
Back row is Betsy and Marit (Mary)
Front is my great grandmother Sigrid, Caroline, and Ole.

How cool is this!?
Thanks James for sharing this!

And these:


Pretty sure this is Marit - wonder if it is a
graduation or confirmation picture?

And Betsy

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Mailed in a plain wrapper

I was glancing through my magazine the other day and read a full page ad for a hearing aid.
It promised to be better than those expensive ones...
No hearing test required...And the price was "affordable."

The ad bragged that no one would see
your hearing device when you wear it....
And they would ship it to your home in a
plain, unmarked package!

Well, how tempting!
The mailman won't know I have ordered a hearing aid,
but he will probably think I have ordered some
x-rated materials!

Actually, I do have a hearing aid already,
but should really have one in each ear.  
Someday.

But what is it with the stigma on hearing loss?

Although I don't want a hearing aid that it huge and has
a long wire with a battery on it, why must it be 
a "secret" that one has a hearing aid?

When I got mine, people told me,
"I can't even see it."
{They didn't say that when I got glasses;
For some reason, glasses get compliments.}

Since I have had a hearing loss most of my life, I have
experienced the social stigma it carries.

Time to remove the stigma and the plain brown wrapper.




Monday, November 25, 2013

Thinking of Grandma

The other day as I was driving home, I was listening to
some Mozart, and I was reminded of my Grandma.
I don't know why Mozart reminded me of Grandma.
I don't even know if she liked Mozart's music.
I don't think we ever listened to Mozart at her place.

I think it was the tune that sounded more Scandinavian
that German (or was it Austrian) to me.
[And a beautiful sunset surely contributed.]

Funny how music triggers one's memory.

I don't remember grandma being active;
she was nearly blind and her hearing was impaired.

But in the car that day, I was imagining her bustling
about in her kitchen with her family.

I began thinking of my Mom and her siblings.
And Grandpa (who died before I was born).
Imagining what is was like in the "olden days" on the farm.

I had visions of her in Norway, 
tending cattle on the mountain.
The beautiful music reminded me of the beauty
of Geirangerfjord, which was near Grandma's birthplace.  

By the time I got home, the music had stopped
and my rambling mind returned to the present.

But it was a pretty good ride home.



Sunday, November 10, 2013

MONS GJERDE

This is my great-uncle, Mons Gjerde. He was my
Grandma, Elsie Dahlager's brother.  
Grandma & Mons both immigrated from Norway.
Mons was married to Christine Dahlager
Grandma was married to Christine's brother, John Dahlager.

Mons was a Lutheran pastor, serving in Minnesota,
Wisconsin, Washington and South Dakota.

My grandpa John died unexpectedly in October, 1936
Three days after John's death, Mons died very suddenly.
How strange that these men, who had married each other's sibling
had died so close together.
I

Friday, November 1, 2013

Family Get-Togethers









This photo is of my Dahlager relatives on the occasion of
my great-grandmother's birthday -circa 1930
she is shown with her grandchildren and I suspect
some of these are her great-grandchildren.   What fun to
have these old pictures!  And I am so glad that the
Dahlager family were VERY good at taking pictures!



his photo was taken this past summer at a Melby Family reunion
when our relatives from Norway came to visit.  It was great fun!

Seems like we should have get-together more often, though.........
instead of waiting for funerals, or 80th birthday parties.
Seems like relatives and friends got together more oftenwhen I was young than they do now - 
and I think it's too bad that so many of us are too busy to take time for this.
When I was young, relatives visited on Sunday afternoon unannounced
....and Mom was always prepared!   
Sad to say, if someone pops to see me  tomorrow, 
I probably wouldn't have anything more than coffee
 and my house would not be "company ready"
Oh, how things have changed!