This afternoon we had a Sons of Norway lodge meeting followed by a memorial service for lodge members who passed away in the past year followed by an anniversary dinner in celebration of the Hardanger Lodge's 12th anniversary followed by a program on St. Patrick and the Norwegians in Ireland (i.e., the Vikings on both exploratory jaunts and pillaging raids). Yep, we were there 3.5 hours! Just as at the last lodge meeting, I helped Suzanna with her duties as lodge musician by joining her at the keyboard for the national anthems of Canada, Norway, and the United State of America at the start of the meeting. The lodge president had a plaque engraved for the keyboard, and she affixed it today so that people will know why the lodge is fortunate enough to own the keyboard (remember?).
After the meeting, we moved to the next room for the memorial program, a simple but sincere service to honor three departed lodge members, including Susan's grandpa Elmer. Susan's grandma Laura (Elmer's widow) used the shuttle service from the nursing home where she lives and joined us for the memorial service and supper afterward (crudités, roast pork, mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, green beans, and ice cream with mint syrup for dessert). Susan and Hillary sat on either side of Laura, holding her hands as she wept through people's impromptu stories about their memories of Elmer.
Hillary, Abigail, and Suzanna with their great-grandmother Laura. The family of each departed lodge member received a long-stemmed rose.
Some lodge scrapbooks and archival items were on display on a table in the back of the meeting room. This wooden plaque with rosemaling on it happens to have been painted several years ago by Laura herself!
Annika, a lodge member who wore a traditional Hardanger bunad for the service, sang some lovely songs in Norwegian and English (including, following the St. Patrick's-themed program at the end, a pretty Irish blessing).
As if our day hadn't been busy enough at that point, we still had a concert to attend this evening! Less than a month after the last concert (remember?) in the series, tonight's performance was by Jasper Wood, a violinist whose program was called "A Tribute to Heifetz." You can see video and hear audio of his past performances by clicking on his name in the previous sentence. One of our favorites tonight was "Banjo and Fiddle" by William Kroll. The piano accompanist was David Riley, who was not only impressive to hear but also fun to watch (his facial expressions and body movements while at the keyboard reflected his interpretation of the music and his sensitivity to the soloist's dynamics and tempos).