Nordic Fest Reunion

While some of my cousins (spouses and children too) spent two or three days immersed in all things Norwegian at Decorah’s Nordic Fest, Mary and I were able to be there only Friday. But I know we included the right event – coffee at Rik and Marcia’s. Here are a few reflections and photos.

For two hours we updated each other, shared stories, and even visited with cousins-once-removed from Oregon and Montana. All the time, we tried to stay cool drinking lemonade in Rik and Marcia’s shaded backyard. The perfect treats they provided were a nod to Grandma Gina’s baking: gingersnaps and large sugar cookies. We loved them!

Around this table (left to right): Aunt Irene, Judy, Louise, Uncle Sid, and Elaine – all busy in conversation. By the way, Sid had marked his 88th birthday ten days earlier.

Thirteen Borreson cousins from six states gathered for a photo with Aunt Irene and Uncle Sid (left and middle front); Gertrude “Ann” (right front); and (left to right standing) Louise, Dan. David, Elaine, Albert, Marcia, Naomi, Richard, Sandra, Brian, Judy, and Glenn. Eleven spouses or children also were present.

Three quilts done by Grandma Gina provided a colorful backdrop to the gathering. Thanks to Elaine, Louise, and Albert for bringing theirs to share. Apparently, Gina had a goal of making a quilt for every grandchild but we aren’t sure if she accomplished that. Some of us (including yours truly) don’t remember receiving a quilt, but that could be a memory lapse. Maybe our quilt got used to keep us warm years ago and was utterly worn out – which, if you are a quilt, is not a bad way to go.

Well, that’s a bit from “one cousin.” I’d welcome your clicking on “Comment” at the bottom of this post to add your own thoughts or memories of the weekend, including what I missed.

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5 Responses to Nordic Fest Reunion

  1. judy says:

    Hi from us, We enjoyed the weekend so much. Sid fared very well and so happy to see everyone. We did not attend much festivities, mostly the visiting with relatives. That was the the most enjoyable. Hope see all of you in the future. Sid and Irene

  2. Brian Borreson says:

    What a great weekend, enjoyed seeing everyone and visiting, great to hear stories of Emil and Gina! We were happy to see Uncle Sid and Irene and that they had a good time with all the nieces and nephews! We had a great unexpected visit at the Norwegian supper Sat night, a young man came up and said his girlfriend had noticed a table with t-shirts that had Borreson written on the back, he came over and introduced himself as Erik, Glenn’s middle child, what a nice young man, had a great visit with him,as the lovely young lady that was at his table walked by we of course had to introduce our selves as the wonderful family of Erik’s!! We didn’t catch her name as some of our hearing is somewhat diminished!!?? and of course Brian couldn’t let the lovely young lady at the table go unnoticed so he went over and asked her name again! She wasn’t going to let that be the last word so she came back over and asked us what our names were!!! Well after that we finally did get everyone names and Monica chatted with us for a short time and Erik came back over to make sure there was no corruption going on with the Borreson bunch, such a nice couple, it made the evening even more special!!! A really nice weekend, dorm life and all!

  3. Daniel Borreson says:

    I too enjoyed Friday at Marcia and Rik’s house. We had a great meeting at noon on Saturday and then the most enlightening was the near three hour discussion we had in the dorm after eating at the First Lutheran smorgasboard. Many of us shared our recollections from our parents and gained several insights that we previously had not pieced together. I think nearly everyone there was able to contribute some information. We learned about the Poor Farm, how Odell ended up at the home farm, the Last Will and Testament after Gina died, and some controversey that resulted. We may not all have known much details but most of us had listened to discussions between the Uncles and Aunts to get a sense of what happened. I think all of us left with a better appreciation for how all our (cousins) parents got to where they were.
    I recall a similar discussion at the reunion at Louise’s house a few years ago. After most cousins had left, Nan, Sid and Irene sat at the kitchen table with about a half dozen of those not needing to hurry home. If my memory serves me correctly, I think we talked that evening for about an hour or so. I recall both Sid and Nan, particularly, telling about the farm. One item I recall Nan said: She “couldn’t use too much water when the cows got in from the pasture in the summer, because the water pressure got too low when the cows all wanted to drink out of their drinking cups in the barn at the same time.”
    Great reunion. I would attend another next week end if there was one. Thank you Elaine (and Louise) for organizing. It was great to be able to talk to four of the cousins children as well.
    Dan Borreson

    • Glenn Borreson says:

      Since unfortunately I couldn’t be at this three-hour session, I think it would be wonderful if one or more of you would pick up a topic from that gathering, and then write it up and e-mail it to me. I’d be happy to add what I know (which may be little or nothing) and post your piece/topic on this blog. Think about it. No, just do it! By the way, maybe my next posting will connect with one of your conversation topics, even though this wasn’t planned…. Now doesn’t that make you wonder what’s coming up?

  4. Sandra (Borreson) Kretlow says:

    Yes this was a great reunion. Elaine and Louise did a great job of organizing it. I loved the all the conversations we had in the evening and learned a lot about the farm and our uncles and aunts’ life in the early 1900s.
    Great to meet Erik (Glenn’s son) at the Norwegian dinner on Saturday night. His girlfriend Monica has such a great personality. She would definitely fit into the Borreson clan. Great weekend even if it was very hot.

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