Since my ancestors are at least half Swedish, that makes me a Scandinavian, and one of my favorite places to visit in California is the Danish village of Solvang . There is so much to see and enjoy. One of the best places to shop is Nordic Knives : they have knives and swords. It is such a cool shop! One time, my former husband took my arm and dragged me out of the store. “Why did you do that?” I asked. “Because you had a look on your face like you were remembering a past life as a Viking and I had a feeling that you were about to loot and pillage me!” I do remember when he was on the Mark Twain riverboat at Disneyland – he had that same look, and I wondered if his hair was going to go white and if he would start dressing in white suits like Mark Twain.
My father was born in Sweden in 1906 and came over here third class on a ship (no steerage for him!) in 1921. After landing at Ellis Island in New York, he got on a train and went to California where his mother and her new husband lived. The conductor pinned his tickets to his chest: when the ticket opened up it was about 10 feet long! At each stop, the conductor would pull off part of the ticket so it got smaller as time went by. I do not know how many days it took him to go across America; it took my former husband and me three days to go from Los Angeles to Atlanta, Georgia on Amtrak in 1973 with our 10 month old baby girl, Phyllis.
My two youngest children were born in October and the two oldest were born in November. Yes, three Scorpions and one Sagittarius. I am a Gemini and their father is a Virgo – it was an interesting mixture. My father had asked me to put some part of his name in my children’s names. Since his name was Wolf Arvid Hjalmar Lindvall there was no way I was going to give my children any part of his name! (I’ve had too much attention with my own name, I was NOT going to do that to my children!) Many years later I told this story to my boys, and they got upset. “You mean I could have been named Wolf? Mom! What were you thinking?” Go figure.
I must be thinking of my parents because of our upcoming “Day of the Dead” celebration here on the Mendocino Coast. At Living Light, we’ll be featuring our famous pumpkin pie at the cafe, and we are creating altars to honor our ancestors–one in Living Light Cafe, and one in Living Light Marketplace. Our whole company participated last year, and it was really interesting seeing photos and memorabilia from our Living Light family. Speaking of family and ancestors, next week I will write about my eclectic mother.