As many of you may already know, I wrote my life story. I was also given the opportunity to publish and so after some long hard consideration, I did.
Last April family and friends traveled with me to the Netherlands to celebrate the launch of Fly Away Home!
From there I was swept into the whirlwind of cyberspace… Tweeting, blogging and trying to promote a book. I had NO idea what I was getting myself into but worked around the clock doing whatever necessary.
To promote the book here in Norway I contacted a Woman’s magazine (called Hjemmet) and asked if they’d be interested in taking photos of my house. They were and did! I blogged all about it, which you can read, here and here and here.
It’s been ten months since the photo shoot and the article was published this week!
At first glance, I was excited… Then I started seeing flaws…
They took forty-two pictures. Eighteen of them made it into the magazine but were not the photos I would have chosen!
The glossy pages make my walls look canary-yellow, instead of the pale yellow they really are.
They left out the best pictures showing the incredible view we have of the water.
Worst of all, I told the photographer no bedroom pictures. One was taken anyway -I was assured it would not appear. It did!
Looking back I have to wonder, why did I publish my story and open my house to the world? A lot of theories come to mind but I truly don’t have one definitive answer.
It’s been quite a year and I’ve experienced many different emotions along the way… Surprise, glory, good fortune, stress, insignificance, embarrassment and maybe even a little regret. But as the Norwegians say… Gjort er gjort, whats done is done.
For those of you who don’t live in Norway, here are the pictures:
After getting the baby settled down into his first night in our new home, I sat at the kitchen table with a cup of hot tea and looked out over the fjord. The evening sun shone down on the water causing its reflection to dance on the wall behind me. From where I was sitting I had a clear view of Strandveien, the small farm my grandparents owned, where my father was born and where they struggled through loss and poverty. The same farm sold years ago, to fund my family’s new life in America.
At that moment Harry came up behind me, laid a hand on my shoulder, leaned down and whispered in my ear, “Do you think you’ll be happy here?”
I didn’t have to think, I already was.
Fly Away Home
A quiet summer at home, well that was the intention…
The only plans my husband and I had this summer were to paint the house and work in the garden. After finishing up a lot earlier than expected and in desperate need of sun, we decided to spend a week in Italy.
Some friends have talked us into taking a long-weekend in Dublin, at the end of August. I’ve been invited to join a group of women-writers, meeting in Scotland the weekend before that, and now a trip to America has unexpectedly dropped into our lives.
My husband was asked by his company to give up a week of his vacation and go to Houston on business. Of course he agreed to do it, as long as they were willing to buy a ticket for me too. I then decided to trade in my ticket to Houston for a ticket to New Jersey, which is where I come from.
Tomorrow morning I’m heading home to the Garden State, for a whole week with family and friends. (Plus shopping, no tax on clothes in NJ). When I get back, my new baby granddaughter will be coming to stay with me, while my daughter and her family go to Lego Land in Denmark. There’s nothing like cuddling with a new born.
Leave me a comment if you’re interested in winning a free copy of my book, Fly Away Home. At the end of August, I’ll pull one name out of a hat, contact the winner, and send the book anywhere in the world.
Sense and Sensibility is my favorite Jane Austen novel however, I’ve decided to read Persuasion, because Anne Elliot is my favorite Austen heroine. I’m also very fond of Elizabeth Bennet, from Pride and Prejudice. Which one will you read?
I’ll be gone for the next two weeks, but am leaving you with these awesome pictures, people have posted on Facebook. I hope you’re all having a great summer…
This picture was taken in 1963, the woman in the picture is my grandmother, Gerd. She was living in America at the time, but at home in Norway for a visit. I’m not sure what she was up to with clothes slung all over the open car, suitcases in the trunk and a bucket? Whatever it was, I can see she was certainly dressed for the occasion.
Life didn’t start easy for Gerd, she lost her father when she was quite young. She was married at nineteen, had three children and lost one to pneumonia. At twenty-five, her husband died and three weeks later she gave birth to her fourth child (who she would later loose in a boating accident). She was also left with a small-run-down farm to manage (which I can now see from my kitchen window).
Five years later, in 1949, she gave the locals something to really talk about when the widow up and married a man eleven years her junior. They sold the farm in 1955, packed up the children and moved to America. They stayed for thirteen years before moving back to Norway, but Gerd had a restless soul and lived the rest of her life with a foot in each country. Bouncing between her devotion to Norway and her love affair with America, she never could decide where she was happiest.
At ninety-two, Gerd passed away yesterday. She died quietly in her sleep, of old age.
Not many people are lucky enough to have their grandmother for over fifty years, like I was, but that doesn’t make it any easier to let her go. I have plenty of memories, like when I was little and we would visit her on a Sunday afternoon. She would always spread a blanket on the floor and there my sister and I would sit eating ice cream, looking through photo albums of people in Norway, we didn’t know. When I was eleven and visited her in Norway, I remember asking if she could make me a tuna salad sandwich for lunch one day. After she explained and I saw that Norwegian tuna was pink, I was a bit skeptical but it turned out to be the best I ever tasted. She later confessed that when she couldn’t find canned tuna in Norway, she used salmon instead.
With her in America and me now in Norway, I’d ring her every other week and she’d always answer the phone saying, “Is it really you Margaret?” and then when it was time to hang up she’d say, “I’m so happy you called, its always nice to talk to you Margaret.” She was sharp and clear to the very end. I’ll miss those calls.
The one thing I’m most grateful for is that she was able to hold my book in her hands and see her picture inside it. She couldn’t read it, but she lived it and now she will live on forever…