Friday, July 1, 2011

Just Do It : New and Improved!!!

You know what?  I have been working on this entry off and on for FOUR days.  I suppose it is time to hike my skirt up and give 'er the old "Publish Post" heave-ho.  Sorry for the delay and any frustration, angst or confusion it may have caused. 

Apparently, the literary critics in the crowd (my mother) found my first entry to describe the Hallinglag adventure to be "boring."  I don't know how many others agree with this assessment, but I shall endeavor to liven this one up.  Maybe with some last minute plot twists, explosions or dancing cats.

I believe I left you all with the big reveal that I had a margarita with my lunch and that this was for good reason. 

That reason = Ulen, MN. 

Google it, I dare you.  Find it on a map.  Or just click on this word:  VIKING.

I have no interest in explaining the slightly ridiculous and hardly credible story of how a sword was discovered in a field that the locals believed to have magic powers or something equally implausible. 

Just know that I have been to this place.  Oh, and also know that if you are ever going to a new and unknown place and want me to drive, get specific directions.  I am very good at finding my way, but I am a firm believer that streets are given names and numbers for a reason.  Guessing at how many miles out of town we are to decide which random gravel road to turn on to is not going to make me happy.

Apparently this shed is old.  Some ancestor of mine may have built it.  Are you impressed?

Another old building.  Actually, I think the precise grass mowing is quite impressive as well.
Another view of the spectacular lawn.
The best part of the trip.  A barn full of vintage tractors.

As I am now paranoid about boring everybody to tears with my ramblings, I will give you the shortest version of the remaining events possible (from me).  After Ulen, the next big event was a "banquet" at the Fargo Sons of Norway Lodge.  I could probably spend some time explaining Sons of Norway, but you can just Google it, right?  Right.

At this point, I should probably gloss over the rest of the weekend.  Especially as it has now been one week since the events started.  However, I feel I must break for a moment to explain a strange and eerie occurrence.

My grandfather is a collector of "art."  His walls are amply covered with mostly framed enlarged photographs.  Two of his most noticeable non-photographs are large portraits of the former King and Queen of Norway, Haakon VII and Maud.  They are not originals; my father has always surmised that they were purchased or received free with other purchase of some other object at some point in our family's farm history.  At present, I believe they are located in my grandfather's bedroom where he can gaze upon them while resting in bed.

The point of this explanation is that these pictures are very familiar to me and other members of my family.

Imagine my surprise when I was wandering amidst the antique bric-a-brac of the Ulen Viking Sword Museum only to discover that the exact same pictures were hanging on the wall in the mock-up living room section.  Frames and all.  I quickly drew it to the attention of my father and uncle who were all just as baffled as I was to see their familiar faces.  In the end, we had a good laugh, took a few pictures and moved on with the day.

Sorry for the glare. 

An even greater shock was in store for us later at the Sons of Norway Lodge.  Immediately within the entrance to the building, right there on the wall above the sign-in book, guess what we saw?  You should be able to deduce the answer, but if not, I will tell you.  THE SAME PICTURES.  Twice in one day.  Coincidence?  You tell me.

I apologize for getting in the way.  And again with the glare... on my glasses.

Dear readers, I tried SO hard to find images of these pictures to share with you online.  I was completely unsuccessful, thus adding to the mystery.  How could two such paintings as ubiquitous as these not be out there for the finding in a simple Google search?  Maybe they are trying to send me a message.  Am I the mysterious true heir to the Norwegian monarchy?  Interesting thought.

Blech.  This entry has taken WAY too long to write and I just want to finish and be done.  It is time to start the 4th of July weekend already and I cannot bear the thought of this conclusion dangling over my head as I try to get some "real" work done on my upcoming school projects.  Therefore, please pardon the lack of detail in the conclusion of this narrative.

Someone is bored with my blog entry and clearly being overdramatic about it.

My Hallinglag experience concluded with the business meeting for the group where I also claimed my silent auction item that I was victorious in winning despite no opposing bids, followed by a trip to the Scandinavian Festival at the Hjemkomst Center in Moorhead, MN.  I do not wish to imply that this event was not fun/interesting/worthwhile because it certainly was.  But in the interest of saving time, I will simply share that the highlight was the food.  Real Scandinavian food.  Especially the Danish Æbelskivers.  Mmmmm...

Perhaps I will write again this weekend as I endeavor to work ahead in my studies to avoid last-minute stress over assignments due to the fact that the next two weekends are going to be busy for me.  Procrastination in the form of blog writing is always good to get the scholarly brain juices flowing.

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