Anticipation of visit to the "Motherland"

Trip Start Jun 26, 2010
1
6
Trip End Jul 15, 2010


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Where I stayed
My Condo in the west loop

Flag of United States  , Illinois
Thursday, June 3, 2010

What does it mean to be Scandinavian? 

My grandfathers parents immigrated alone to the United States from Norway, and Sweden.  Ending up in Chicago my great grandmother found employment with a wealthy family as a maid.  

 My great grandfather was a talented painter hired to paint a mural in the very house my great grandmother was employed.  They were married and created a large family with deep Chicago roots, consisting of 3 living grand children, 8 great grandchildren, and two great great grand children.  I was recently married at the Planetarium in Chicago, where a mural still remains my great grandfather created.  However, a whole other part of our family and heritage remains in Scandinavia.  

There have been stories of our relatives somewhere down the line being one of the wealthiest merchants in Norway.  At the time the merchant brought all of their wealth on their ship to avoid their wives being robbed while they were away at sea.  Tragically the boat was caught in a storm, and the boat sank with the families wealth.  My husband jokes that we should go diving and recover what was lost... I am not so keen on the idea.  I have been told a newspaper article exists outlining this incident, stay tuned I will post it if I can find it.

With no Swedish traditions kept in the family except for the occasional singing of "Skinnamarinky dinky dink, Skinnamarinky doo," at family parties, (no Scandinavian roots that I know of).  Maybe I will find out why I have very dark hair, and tan very well, I don't think it comes from my Irish heritage from my dads side of the family.  Hopefully many questions will be answered about my heritage as my mom, sister, and I are about to embark on a Scandinavian journey of discovery. 

We will spend a week with my mom's cousin and her family, and explore where our relatives once lived.  Then we will join a tour to explore the rest of Scandinavia.  If you have never been on a tour, the dynamics of the group are entertainment enough.  It is almost like being on survivor, alliances are formed, and people are often voted off the island. 

Now the task at hand becomes packing for three weeks of a climate that will vary, and to still be fashionable at the same time
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