Saturday, October 18, 2008


Last Tuesday in September started sunny and promising.The girls were headed 80 kilometer eastwards. A meeting with Tilly's paradise from the seventies The place where she and her children spent their summer for eight consecutive years, in a camping wagon. Her husband was busy working in the town, and would only come out for the occasional week-end.
The lake was made for swimming, and the long, quit valley with its river of swirling trouts, a gift for young and old fishermen. Playgrounds for active children an oasis for mom. As the children grew elder, they would also tag along for hikes to the mountain peaks.

We drove as long as the bumpy roads allowed.
Then; across the river and into the trees.
Small shackles along the paths, open to everyone, but foremost to the hunters.
Ops! We had forgotten hunting season had just begun. We laughed and scrambled, scaring both deer and fusiliers away..

We went along enjoying the song of the river and the sweet smell of decaying leaves.

Tilly told us that the water here was said to be the cleanest in Norway. We filled our bottles and drank the crystal clear, gravel filtered champagne of the mountains.
The five of us are all stone mad. We sat down and started gathering rare stones almost before lunch.
The trick is emptying our rucksacks of food and coffee, and then fill up with whatever nature gives.

On our way down Tilly wanted to say hello to the owner of the camping site. Old grandma remembered Tilly and all the members of the family, except for the grandchildren, who she had not met. We were welcomed like long lost family, though four of us had never met the Granny and her daughter before. This is how people used to be in the country side. Not many left these days.

On the opposite side of the valley is a rare view over the lake, Tilly remembered. We huddled in Turid's mini van and set off.

There were S curves all the way to the top, no point of return. The view was amazing so were the curious sheep.

How were we to come down without burning the brakes? Liv, Tilly and Elbjoerg took their walking sticks and stone-heavy backpacks and went.
While Yours Truly climbed into the map-reader front seat and prayed God's angles help us make it safely downhills.
Of course they could be trusted to make their job.
The smell of burned rubber stayed with us all the way home, though.

Monday, October 13, 2008


Originated by MaryT, check hers for today
My hubby and I were guests in the realm of my Mom this week end. 60 kilometers of beach and good farming soil. The inland still is covered with stones brought here 10 000 years ago at the end of ice age. By the beach the farmers have cultivated the land by hand and later with heavy machinery. This last remaining primeval scenery is protected for the generations to come.

My mom still remembers that they had to cut turf for the fireplaces. The men cut, the women loaded the turf in stacks for drying. There are even yet hardly any woodland on Jaeren.
The farms by the sea have always been rich. This is Haa old vicarage. Now an art museum, but with sheep and cattle on pastures all around. The earth here is sandy, not far away there are great clay sources and a great , old factory. Hence the red roof stones .

My grandma came from a sea farm. My granddad from high Jaeren, just a few kilometers from this red house.
Its characteristic side shelters show the shape of a Jaerhouse. Shelters used for storage of turf and vegetables also helped protect the people from the howling wind .

The great poet of Jaeren lived his last years here and he and his wife are also buried at this land. A special honor from the government.
Arne Garborg was eldest son of a farm not far away. He denied his allodial possessions and left for our capital, "to study or to die". His father found this so hard, he committed suicide. Garborg was gifted indeed, but he chose to become an author and a poet. His whole life he wrote about the landscape and the people he had left. He gave Jaeren a voice, and a soul.The people of his homeland took him to their bosom, even when he was alive. Grieg composed music to his masterpiece about the Little Maiden of the Mountains. His plays are seldom played nowadays, but his songs are being song wherever people of Jaeren, or for that sake Norwegians, are gathered."Here and there on the hills and ridges low houses seek the shelter of each other in little clusters. In the dense air they almost hover away, swept in the peat smoke and sea mist like in a dream; secluded and still they lie on the moors like homes of trolls. Around the houses are bleak , green patches of field and pasture, like islands in the moorland; every patch and spot surrounded by stone fences in piles …."
From chapter 1 Peace By Arne Garborg'

The little maid
She is small and dark and slender

with dusky,
pure features
and deep gray
and a soft and dreamy manner.
It is almost as though a spell lay over her.
In her movements,
in her speech
there is this muted calm.
Beneath her forehead,
lovely but low,

her eyes shine as if through a mist.

They seem to be staring

deep into another world.

Only her breast is tight and heavy,
and there is a quiver about her pale mouth.

She is tremblingly frail and delicate,
and at the same time,
charming and young
The Little Maid of the Moutains By Arne Garborg


Liv, Torhild, Turid, Tilly, Elbjoerg and I went to revisit the garden of our dreams last opening day of this season September 23rd .
On the north peak of an island, surrounded by the Golf Stream, two hours south of Haugesund a gardener fought all odds and founded the only palm island of Norway.
The gardener was struck by a terminal cancer, left his family in the city and moved to the the little family hut on the barren island, to die without burdening his near and dear ones.
He had bought the 25 acres of stones and cliffs far out in the sea for a small penny in the mid sixties. Planted pines and furs to create shelter from the howling Atlantic storms.
Now he started freighting soil, manure, seeds and cuttings while waiting for the great harvester to take his course.
He had nothing to loose, challenging nature to its utmost, with a surprising siege.
His wife came to live with and stand by him, in this peculiar, creative struggle. His children went on growing flowers, plants and rare imports in the greenhouses in the city.
Seasons came and went. The gardener was still alive and planning new projects. People became famous, wanted to see the green wonderland
The whole family decided to invest in buildings to house the visitors, later on also their own boat to bring the spectators to and fro.
In -87 the opened the place for the public.
600 visitors. Far beyond their estimates.

The built a restaurant, hired a gourmet chef who could make a menu from scratch. There are no shops at the island.
Last summer queen Sonia celebrated her 75th birthday at the island with royalties from all over Europe.

They searched and found living quells of water deep under the earth.
We were there on a rather cold and rainy day. The pictures does not at all give fairness to the color splendor of the flowers.
I will not even try to list the variety of the flower species. They come from all over the world.
34 000 guests have this summer greeted the gardener, still alive, though in an electric cart, and testified that the miracles of belief, hard work and love is stronger than any medical or metherological prognoses.