Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Sigurd


My father went to King's College in England in the late 50s. His best friend was Sigurd, a Norwegian venturing out into the world to attend college in another country. As friends in college, Sigurd was always trying to get my dad to go to dances but my dad never wanted to go to those kind of things. So one day Sigurd bought 2 tickets for an upcoming dance and insisted that my father go with him. "Let's meet some girls!" My father reluctantly agreed. It was at this dance that my father met my mother. Had Sigurd not bought those tickets 50 years ago, I might never exist!

I only met Sigurd once. When I was 15 years old, he tracked down my dad (by spending a lot of time on the switchboard, doubtless charming the international operator) and came to visit us in Michigan. I remember he gave me a pocketknife with a Viking ship on it and filled my head with visions of sailing on the cold seas.

Sigurd called me here in Norway. He had tracked down my father once again, found out I was in Norway, and gave me a call. He lives in Sweden now, but was taking his granddaughter to Hitra, an island near the west coast about a 3 hour drive from Trondheim. He decided to drive her most of the way to her island, dropping her off onto a boat in Trondheim, and then visit with us!

He took us out for pizza. What a delightful evening in the Sentrum (downtown) on the Nidar river, hearing stories of the old days and the new days, eating Peppe's pizza while the kids slurp down Villa soda and get spoiled with Oreo icecream cake desert. We talked of family; after college Sigurd met a woman in Sweden but in those days there's weren't many jobs and they couldn't live in the same country. Sigurd worked in Oslo, so she moved all the way across the Sweden to take a job in the town closest to the border so she could be near to him. They were married and eventually moved to Sweden where it seems they were very much in love until she died a few years ago. He continues to live in Sweden and is very active with his children, grandchildren, and church.

It was so nice! I feel like I have a Norwegian uncle I never really knew I had. And now we have an excuse to visit the heart of Sweden.

Tusen takk, Sigurd!


PS: You know I like my spicy food, which can be hard to find in Norway! The spicy chicken pizza is the only pizza at Peppe's that's rated "3 chili peppers"... and it's great.

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