Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Norwegians are here. . .

This akavit cleared customs, adding authenticity to their visit, the agent
remarked. Norwegians always seem to bring some for their hosts, he mused.
They arrived on time tonight on Icelandair at Terminal 2, bearing gifts and full of plans for a three-week adventure in the USA. Norwegians Beate and Unni were here 10 years ago and remember plenty about their last visit. They even stayed one night in Alexandria with Mom, and she put them up in her Motel Six Kids. Unni remembers seeing Big Ole there in the actual "Birthplace of America." We spent a delightful evening reviving old times.
It's now the middle of the night, their time, but they are wired and not ready for bed yet. Tomorrow morning we'll drive to Northfield for breakfast at Jen's Dundas bakery, a stop at St. Olaf College and a Jesse James experience (????!) and then north for a visit to the City of Lakes, while we drop off some chairs and equipment for Maxwell's Saturday afternoon graduation party. We may stop at the Midtown Exchange for a personal interview with an honest-to-goodness music composer laboring in his closet studio.
Sunday night the Norwegians depart for Seattle on the Empire Builder, then points north. Accustomed to European trains, they've never experienced Amtrak. They will return to Iowa and then Minneapolis by rental car, driving through western North Dakota to see our relatives and the Bakken Shale oil boom towns. Last time they were at the Rolfsrud Ranch, they helped brand some calves and neuter the boys. Unni still remembers the smell of burnt hide. What new excitement will this year bring?
Is there someone who is shorter than Kathleen?
Results tonight were inconclusive. We can't convert meters.

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