Janet's thread

A weblog, mostly about knitting but other topics appear

Notice for Norwegian Language Class February 10, 2011

Filed under: Films,Friendship,Norway,Social issues — Janet @ 6:58 pm

Here’s the notice that came to my mail box last week:

Hei again Norskies!
 We will be showing the Made-for-TV documentary film, “Der Elden Slokna” (Where the Home Fires Died).  It was produced 20 years ago for NRK and tells the story of old farm buildings perched high above Storfjorden in the Ålesund area of western Norway.  Many people who grew up on those farms are interviewed for the program.  It really is quite a treasure.

This week there was another notice about a film, a Norwegian film to be shown at the Nordic Heritage Center.  Elling is the title.  We went on Tuesday lunch time – had a bowl of soup and watched the film, all in Norwegian but it had subtitles in English.  What a gem of a film.  It has received several awards and much acclaim.  It raises questions as to how people cope with transition in a fast changing world and where do the boundaries lie between sanity and the not so sane.  What constitutes normality?  Delicate subjects treated in a very sympathetic way.  From the website, here is the


When his mother, who has sheltered him his entire 40 years, dies, Elling, a sensitive, would-be poet, is sent to live in a state institution. There he meets Kjell Bjarne, a gentle giant and female-obsessed virgin in his 40s. After two years, the men are released and provided with a state-funded apartment and stipend with the hope they will be able to live on their own. Initially, the simple act of going around the corner for groceries is a challenge. Through a friendship born of desperate dependence, the skittish Elling and the boisterous, would-be lover of women, Kjell Bjarne, discover they can not only survive on the outside, they can thrive. But as their courage grows, the two find oddball ways to cope with society, striking up the most peculiar friendships in the most unlikely places. Written by Sujit R. Varma  


My Father’s Childhood House

Filed under: Autobiography,Family,Family history — Janet @ 12:42 am

 My father was born in 1891.  He was one of 5 children who grew up in this house on Buena Vista Hill, Newark Ohio – photo taken 1960.

By coincidence my sister Nan spent a year in Newark from March 1960-1961.  At that time, a relative of my father by his first marriage, contacted my sister and told her where my father had lived in his youth.  So my sister went and found the house and took this picture.  One thing she remembers my father telling her was that in the winter the children used to go sledding and his older sister would pretend to be hurt and need to be pulled back up the hill.  And one thing I remember is that when the children had been naughty their mother made them select their own switches from one of the fruit trees so that she could punish them accordingly.  My impression is that she was quite a mild person and I would like to think that she was strict but that her punishments were not too severe.  There were 3 boys and 2 girls to try to keep in order.  Her husband, my father’s father, died in 1897 leaving her with the 5 children to raise.  I asked my sister what our grandmother did then to support the family.  Nan said that Grandma would have had my grandfather’s Civil War Pension.  And she worked at Newark County Court House, presumably doing office work.  Eventually the children grew up and dispersed but I don’t know at what point the house was sold and my grandmother went to live with her daughter Myrtle who was living in Raleigh North Carolina.  The oldest daughter, Aunt Ruth, was in Indianapolis Indiana, twice married but no children.  This is the research thus far on those early years on that side of the family.  Those unknown aunts and uncles and cousins.