I love today. The calendar has it marked as Columbus Day. Oh the memories of childhood elementary school drawings and the smell of crayons are still carried in my mind. There were the stories and songs of the Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria sailing the ocean. Somehow these brave crews found the West Indies and are credited for laying claim on the Western Hemisphere. I always pictured a career group of sailors from Genoa working together, sharing food and chores: organized and cordial.
And then I had humor thrown into the vision.
In my Dad's hometown in upstate New York live a cluster of Norwegian octogenarians. They love October 10th and celebrate it in costume, with boatloads of food and party napkins. Food fills the table like walkers and oxygen tanks fill the room. It could be 80 degrees outside and all will come dressed in their finest handmade woolen Norwegian sweater.
Oh yes, it is Leif (Ericksen) Landed First day. Viking ships teaming with horned helmets, metal shields and axes steamed off of the ships that hit the harbors in Newfoundland to Maine. Ask any of them, and they will set you straight on the real name of today's date! And yes, Eriksen is spelt with an 'e'... he was Norwegian of course.
So, tonight in Speculator, New York Dad and his chums will dig into lutefisk, fiskebollers, krumkage, lefse and rice cream with lingonberries. These people know how to remember, laugh and love. Vikings knew how to fight, this generation knows how to love... what a heritage!
And to add just a hoot of more humor... in will come the town's only Italian family: crashing the party. This is another annual aspect of the evening. They clear off a spot for their lasagna and the debate begins...
who came first? And I always thought the answer to that was the chicken or the egg!