Farvel og takk for laget
with Heidi Håvan Grosch
Heidi was a long-time Minnesotan until she married her favorite Norwegian, Morten, and moved to his home country of Norway. As a recent immigrant she is experiencing Norway with a unique perspective, filling us in on the good, the bad and the unexpected!
I come from Minnesota, where snow and cold only added spice to the Super Bowl activities. I now live in Norway where it is not unheard of to invite people to celebrate my husband’s birthday by grilling outside in -12°C (10°F) with wind. We learn to adapt to the environments we find ourselves in.Ten years ago I married my Norwegian bachelor farmer and moved to a Christmas tree farm in Norway’s heart. I struggled to learn the language and drive up our steep driveway in icy conditions, and I learned to “leave the car” if I got stuck and use gestures or new words to help make myself understood. I stretched my working wings by volunteering and finding jobs in schools with children of all ages, from preschool to high school, and learned that all children crave to be seen and heard and that learning happens best when motivated. I found myself in country mode, gathering firewood to keep the house warm and learning how to slaughter a pig and gut a fish, and in doing so have gained a greater appreciation of and respect for all the gifts nature has to give us.
I remember very clearly how I first came in contact with The Norwegian American almost ten years ago. The American ambassador to Norway was having an event for resident Americans at the embassy in Oslo, and I decided to go. Someone was there who mentioned The Norwegian American, and I thought, why not? I like to write, I have stories to share… So began a decade of writing and sharing with and for all of you. I have tapped into my inner child with the Barneblad column, stretched my Norwegian language skills in Norwegian 101 and explored “Norwegian-ness” from many sides in Rønningen Ramblings.
Writing for The Norwegian American has been a great blessing and learning opportunity for me. Through the act of writing down and sharing what I experience, I have seen it through the eyes of many. It has meant a great deal to receive emails or letters from those of you who have found a connection to something I have written, and I continue to be amazed at how strong the bridge is between those who live in Norway and those who have connections here. Norwegian blood runs deep.
However, as with many things in life, there comes a time to move on. Ecclesiastes 3:1 states that “for everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven” and Pete Seeger’s well-known song “Turn, Turn, Turn,” sung by many after him, reiterates this idea. Now is my time for a new season. I am updating my website, heidigrosch.com, so if you wish to follow my future ramblings you can find me there. But for now, I leave you with the song Carol Burnett sang to close every show… “I’m so glad we had this time together, just to have a laugh and sing a song, seems we just get started and before you know it! Comes the time we have to say, so-long…”
Farvel, dear readers, og takk for laget
Heidi Håvan Grosch
Rønningen Gård, Sparbu, Norway
This article originally appeared in the Feb. 23, 2018, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.