I shall never, ever complain about Norwegian weather again!
We had the photo shoot for Hjemmet (Norwegian Women’s magazine) at my house on Friday and the weather was
a little nippy (sorry, old habits) beautiful!
After a whole month of work, not to mention all the stress that went into this day, it went off without a hitch. Two very lovely ladies showed up at nine o’clock in the morning, one took pictures while the other interviewed my husband and I. She asked him questions about the house and me questions about the book. The book is after all the whole reason I decided to do this, anything for publicity. Right?
They were finished by one, and then stayed for coffee and cake before leaving. I must say, they made the whole experience fun… Thank you, ladies.
In all fairness, the house did need to be painted, just not at the speed of light. He fell because he was rushing to get the job done and now, every time I see the scar on his face I’ll be reminded again, of all he does for me. Another point for him.
The women from Hjemmet were hardly in their car before my husband was fast asleep on the sofa. I put away the food we used as props and started packing all the stuff I’d loaned for the pictures. I then woke my husband and asked if he could help me return all the heavy, potted plants I’d borrowed. To my surprise he said, “No!” He needed a trip out in the boat… Alone.
It didn’t take long for me to realize he was right, enough is enough. So at four o’clock in the afternoon I put on my pajamas, went to bed and watched one episode of Mad Men (I have a secret crush on Don Draper) before falling asleep. (Darn, I forgot to tell Hjemmet we were probably one of the first homes in Norway to put television in the bedroom).
My son woke me at seven and asked if I could drive him to a friends house, I did (in my pajamas), came home watched another episode of my chain smoking, hard drinking ad man and went back to sleep. I slept until 9:30 the next morning! I can’t remember the last time I slept that long…
The first thing I noticed while drinking my tea and looking out the window the next morning, was all the potted plants were gone… Somebody had returned them while I was asleep.
“Thank you, honey!” He wouldn’t let me put a picture of his scar here, so I’m posting a picture of Don Draper instead.
I’d also like to thank Anja for her help and advice, and for lending me all her magnificent treasures.
Marita, for the pretty cupcakes.
Diana, for the excellent cake.
Oasen, for the beautiful flowers.
Espeland Senteret, for building our spectacular new lookout.
Who doesn’t remember Oprah’s famous statement, “Everyone has a story.”
It was about that time I discovered the world of scrapbooking and thought I could tell my story through pictures. I desperately cut and pasted album after album in hope of clarifying to future generations how we became a ‘modern family’. A family of wholes, halves and steps. A family with more than one country and a family they could be proud of.
A few years later I was lucky enough to attend a Write Your Life Stories workshop in the Hague. I never did and still don’t consider myself a writer, just a person with a story. I’m not quite sure what possessed me to do it (perhaps a midlife crises of sorts) but I soon found myself day after day, year after year, writing. Pouring my heart out, one chapter at a time.
Long story short, that endeavor became a real book. A book for both my family and the world, and I’m not sure which is scarier. Writing a memoir is tricky, because no two people remember events exactly alike. There is also the honesty issue, which can be quite hurtful to both yourself and those you hold near and dear. I live in a small town now and whenever I’m out roaming about I can’t help but wonder who’s looking at me, and if they know my secrets. Its almost as if I’m naked for anyone to look at.
For me the biggest surprise has been peoples reaction. People I thought were close, have been distant and people who were distant, have now become close.
My family has been very supportive, although not all of them have read the book (yet), including a few of my own children. Don’t get me wrong, I know it’s hard. I was most on edge about my parents reaction and greatly relieved when they simply said, “That’s life”. I then began wonder how I would feel if my children were to critique my parenting, in a book! All I can say is bravo, Mom and Dad.
My closest friends, most of who appear in the book have also been encouraging and flew (along with my mother and sister) all the way to the Netherlands for my book launch. I have a great group of dear friends in both America and Norway.
I graduated from Brick Township High School in 1976. While most of my classmates were playing sports, joining clubs and going to parties, I gave all my free time to a boy. He turned out to be the wrong boy of course, and my high school years were waisted. I didn’t go to college either, instead I changed diapers and made bottles (all by choice). Twelve years after graduating high school, I took my children and moved to Norway. Besides a small circle of close friends in New Jersey, I’ve had no contact with any of my high school peers.
Marking the thirty-fifth anniversary of our graduation, a reunion was planned and a ‘Brick ‘76’ facebook page was started. I began checking in everyday to see what people were writing and what they were up to. Never truly feeling a part of this group, it took awhile before I got up the nerve to hit like or leave a comment here and there. I was unable to make it to America for the reunion, which I deeply regretted.
Some people disappeared again after the reunion, while others stayed behind and kept up on facebook. When news broke that my book was being published, I was surprised to find so many of my old classmates standing on the sidelines, cheering for me.
After thirty-five years I finally scored and the support of my classmates has been one of the best parts! Go Dragons!
Look what the mailman brought yesterday. The first copies of Fly Away Home!
My heart pounded as I tore open the box and the feeling I got as I lifted that first copy into my hands can only be described as euphoric. After two long years my dreams were suddenly a reality in which I could hold. As I skimmed through, my life literally flashed before my eyes. Fifty two years of triumphs and shame. My strengths, my weaknesses, my marriages and my children’s lives, now in print. In twenty-one days it will be available to the world and no matter how it is received, I shall try and remember these three quotes:
“I admire anybody who has the guts to write anything at all.” -E.B. White
“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at your typewriter and bleed.” -Earnest Hemmingway
“To share your weaknesses is to make yourself vulnerable; to make yourself vulnerable is to show your strength.” -Criss Jami