Monday, September 8, 2014

The Strand Family Home

Just as is written on the photo:  Per, Knut, Anne-Berit and Inger-Mari (or Lillemor) Strand in1938
Gamle Mau'ern, as Mauritz-Hansensgate was fondly called, was the Strand family's home for over 70 years.

My Uncles Per and Knut were adorable, don't you think?  My mother, Anne-Berit and her sister, Lillemor, were too.   The above photo was taken before World War II would ravage their country.

Here is what "gamle Mau'ern" looks like today:

The family in front of of #4 Mauritz Hansensgate in 2013
Anders, Jeff, Christian, Kirsti, Nils and Linnea

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Visiting in 1963

My mom, Anne-Berit, with me and my little brother Jay visiting with Bestemor and Bestefar
Where were you in 1963?  I'm betting a bunch of you weren't born yet!

In 1963, my mom took my brother and me to visit her family in Norway.  We stayed with my grandmother (Bestemor) and grandfather (Bestefar).

My grandmother was a wonderful cook. She would hold court in her kitchen, as you see her in this photo, making meals and entertaining guests. My grandfather was (in my humble and truly biased opinion ) the nicest man on the planet.

It was a lovely summer.
Jay and I with a kitten who came to visit
Jay was three years old that summer, and I was 11.  Jay loved my grandmother's waffles and spent a lot of time enjoying them.

Eating Grandmother's heart-shaped waffles!
Jay had gotten his "Flight Wings" pin from the Pan Am stewardess.  That was really cool for a three year-old!  He wore that cowboy hat (below) everywhere.  It was a little too big for him and often sat sideways.

He was adorable.
In the kitchen with Bestemor
Norwegians can't pronounce the English "J" sound.  It comes out as a "Sh" or Yah" sound instead.
My grandfather lamented that he had one grandson and that grandson had a name he couldn't pronounce.  My brother Jay was therefore given an easily pronounceable Norwegian nickname:  Knotten.

Translation?  Well, the Peanuts comic strip, when translated into Norwegian, is called "Knottene".

Knotten and I had a great summer together.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Hiking in the Forest

Lillemor, Anne-Berit, Willy and Annemor
The Strand family were all nature enthusiasts, as are all Norwegians to this day.  Here are Aunt Lillemor (Inger-Mari) Strand, my mom Anne-Berit Strand, my 'Uncle' Willy (actually their cousin, Uncle Erling's son) and his daughter Annemor on a backpacking trip.

I'm guessing this was taken just after World War II.

Willy served as one of the guys in white, on skis, who fought the Germans - sometimes in hand-to-hand combat - during that terrible war.  He didn't like to talk of his experiences during that time.
I remember him as a truly good guy, and a terrific soccer player!

I love this photo!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Bestemor in Salt Lake City

My grandmother, Sigrid Sophie Olsen, is standing on the left
The lady in the center has been identified as Lagertha Larsen Kristiansen, Bente Bakken Karlsson's great aunt.
I have no idea who these other women are, but they look like a Relief Society Presidency!
My grandmother, Sigrid Sophie Olsen, was born and raised in the country of Norway.  In the early 1900s she joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

She, like many others, felt the urge to "come to Zion", or emigrate to Salt Lake City, USA.  Many Norwegian Mormons had already made the trip - by the thousands.  In those days there was an entire Norwegian-speaking branch (congregation) of the Church in the Salt Lake area.

I know these photos were taken of my grandmother when she was visiting Salt Lake.  I have no idea who the other ladies in these photos are.

I love the styles!  This was during World War I.

Following the war, Miss Olsen returned to her native Norway.  She wasn't happy in Utah and had been homesick for the fjords and mountains of her native land.

Miss Sigrid Olsen is on the far left.
Grandmother was a tiny woman, maybe 4 foot 9 inches or 5 feet tall.  I love the hats, don't you?

I thought you might enjoy these photos.  She was a beautiful woman, don't you think?

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The New Swedish Temple President

President Jan K. Evensen and Marit, my cousin

My cousin Marit, on my Norwegian Mother’s side of the family, strangely enough, is married to an Evensen – no relation to me.  For the last three years he has served as a counselor to President Paul K. Oscarson (2009-2012) of the LDS Swedish Temple.  Just recently he was called to be the President of the Swedish Temple, following President Oscarson’s release.  At the same time, Marit, his wife, was called to be Temple Matron.

I felt the need to blog this, since I got two telephone calls, both from out of state, when the announcement was made, with people wondering if this new president was related to me.  "Well, his wife is," I had explain, laughing.  Then, I'd invariably have to launch into the story of how I'm related to Marit - our mother's were first cousins - and how I'm NOT related to Jan.

Oh, yes, it's a wacky world sometimes.  

But, seriously, I can't think of a more wonderful calling than anything related to temple worship.  What a wonderful place to spend your days!  And I know that Marit and Jan are two really terrific, gracious and kind people who are suited perfectly to this type of church calling.  

The Stockholm Sweden Temple actually sits on a beautiful site about 20 miles south of Stockholm, called Västerhaninge.  The stake center of the Stockholm Sweden South Stake and a patron housing facility stand nearby.  From what I can tell from the photos, and the testimonies of people who have actually visited there, it is a truly lovely site.

 "I have hallowed this house, which thou hast built, to put my name there for ever; and mine eyes and mine heart shall be there perpetually."—I Kings 9:3

This is the first temple built in Scandinavia, and it was dedicated in 1985 by LDS Church President Gordon B. Hinckley, who was acting under the direction of then LDS Church President Spencer W. Kimball as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

The cultural diversity of the Stockholm Sweden Temple District was evidenced in the translation of the dedicatory sessions—four of which were translated into Swedish, three into Finnish, two into Norwegian, and two into Danish.

At the first dedicatory session of the Stockholm Sweden Temple, President Gordon B. Hinckley stated, "This is the most significant day in the history of the Church in Scandinavia."

This marker on the grounds says, if I can make it out correctly, 
"In remembrance of King Carl (the 16th) Gustaf’s and Queen Silvia’s visit the 23rd of August, 1995"

Since its dedication in the 1980s, the Stockholm Sweden Temple has been joined by two other temples in Scandinavia:  The Copenhagen Denmark Temple, and the Helsinki Finland Temple.

Here are the currently operating LDS temples of Europe:

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Norsk side of the family

We still have Strand family cousins in the old country.  Here are our Cousin Gro's kids:
This is my cousin Gro's daughter Marte.  Marte is married to Morten Werner Nielsen.  They just had their first child, a boy, on July 23rd.  They live in Oslo.

This handsome fellow is Theodore.  He's Gro's son.

These pictures were taken at the family's summer home in Kragerø, which is an island south of Oslo.  Cousin Gro's mom's family has roots in this area.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Cousin Gro!

Gro Lene posing amid the veggies
I'm happy to report we recently found our Norwegian cousin Gro Lene alive and well and still living in the Oslo area.