It was around noon the very last Sunday in July 2006. My wife Anna and I was sitting outside a Motel just South of Portland, OR.
I had called Shirley in the Morning. She said she happend to know where to find the Motel. ”I’ve been working in the Neighbourhood – we’ll be there in an hour or so. The girls are so eager to meet you. Can you propose what to do today?”
That’s why we were sitting outside. Reading Tourist Information: What to do in Portland, OR.
The Rose garden? The Chinese Garden? Colombia River Gorge with all the Waterfalls?
”This is what I want to do, Anna said, I’ll go to the Japanes Garden. It says here it’s one of the best in the World outside Japan”. I could not deny that. Besides, I’ve never been to a Japanese garden.
The Sky was heavy this Sunday. Might it be Rain? Or Shower? Or….?
Then came this car into the parkinglot. A woman went straight ahead toward me. Is it Shirley?
”Hi, she said, it’s so nice to see you after all this years (1995)”
”How are you”, I’m fine etc….
Then came the girls. A little shy. They had not seen me since they were 3 and 1 year. Could they remember me? No. Unless: They had seen pictures of me! Recently. And I haven’t changed that much in elleven years.
”Hi Tor and Anna, so nice to meet you”, said the two young ladies.
Could I recall them?
Kelly, yes, as she last time was 3. Only 11 years older and a little lady.
Brianna, no, she was 1 at that time. Now with tooth-regulation.
Both still blond. Nordic look. Wonder how long that will last?
After blah-blah, we came to the point:
Let’s go to the Japanese Garden.
Oh yes, that’s sounds interesting. Never been there before, Shirley admitted. Did she know how to get there? Yes, no problem (let’s forget all about parking).
It’s a free Coach from the Parking and up the Hill to the Entrance of The Japanese Garden.
The web-site starts:
The Japanese Garden is tucked into a cusp in Portland's West Hills, situated at about five hundred feet above sea level. It is a haven of tranquil beauty that has been proclaimed one of the most authentic Japanese gardens outside of Japan.
The tranquil beauty of the park I can verify. So can Anna, Brianna, Kelly and Shirley.
In this Park you don’t run, walk fast, speak loudly, bring food. You just relax and clean your Brain and Soul from day to day stress.
When we’re about to leave the Park, Brianna suddenly said: Thank you for choosing this Park for our Sunday walk. You see, I’ve choosen Japanese as my first foreign language at school.
What a surprise. Who has telepathic abilities. Anna or Brianna?
Seals in pebble sea
Late Sunday Lunch – Fish, Silver and Immigration history
After the Japanese Garden, it was time for a late lunch. We headed west out of Portland to a restaurant reknown for it’s good seafood. Shirley had been there before, and the girls as well.
You can see from the pictures we did have a jolly good time, with lots of jokes and fun.
We all had fish. Delikatesse. Tres bon. Herlig.
What the girls did not know:
The day before Anna and I left Silver Valley in Idaho. And in the valley they still have silver mines and lots of places where you can buy silver jewlry. We did – also for the girls. We thought about it: It might be risky to choose exactly the design and color each of the girls
would admire. After all they were no longer 1 and 3 years of age.
Shall we believe the photos, it looks like we were close to hit the nail.
Then came the Question from Shirley: How are you related to Kelly and Brianna?
That goes back to the 1890’s. My grandma’s eldest brother went over from South West Norway to North Dakota and got his promised land. He after relatively short time realised he was not a farmer. So he went back to Norway again and convinced all his 7 brothers to come along with him and receive their promised land. The only hindrence was his mother, who would not let him return back to USA without bringing a wife. They at the end agreed upon he could bring his mothers maiden, who later became his wife. They in turn gave birth to three girls. The oldest, born 1899, was very good in keeping connections with family in the old world. I met her (Marie) first time in 1995, in Portland, OR. In 1996 she did visit Oslo, with her Grandson.
Complicated? Well, I’m second cousin to these girls grandpa (i.e. Their fathers father).
PS. Did you know that Norway is second to Irland when comes to percentage of the population that emigrated to USA? Well, thats a fact.
you can read som interesting statistics
- North Dakota – 33% of all white people are of Norwegian heritage
- Minnesota – 20%
- South Dakota – 17%
- Montana – 12%
- Wisconsin – 10%
- Washington – 8%
- Iowa – 6%
- Alaska – 6%
- Oregon – 5%
- Wyoming – 5%
After some wonderful hours with family in Portland area, we went further west and at the end of the day we arrived at Seaside at the Pacific Coast. That’s another story.
Labels: family, Japanese Garden, Oregon, Portland