Sunday, May 16, 2010

Potluck, Patriotism, and Piano

Yes, Faithful Reader, I know what you're thinking: Yet another weekend without a Scandinavian Saturday supper! But, like last week, we opted for a Scandinavian Sunday instead. Today we traveled to Richardton, ND for our monthly Sons of Norway lodge meeting, which was followed by a potluck supper at which we knew we'd be getting plenty of Scandinavian food. Yesterday Susan and I prepared the dishes that we brought today to the potluck, so technically we did do some Scandinavian Saturday cooking . . . but we left the actual ethnic culinary experience for today.

Yesterday Susan made a roaster full of scalloped potatoes with ham, and I made a batch of Scandinavian meatballs in gravy that we brought in a crock pot to the American Legion hall in Richardton. There were three tables full of food: cold salads (including a tasty German potato salad), hot dishes, and desserts (including delicious homemade riskrem [rice in whipped cream served today with lingonberries] and vaffel kaker [thick cookies made in a heart-shaped waffle iron]). Before we ate, our family sang a capella the table prayer that we learned at Norwegian camp last summer.

Although for me the highlight of the afternoon was the meal (ha!), it was in fact preceded and followed by other events. First was the business meeting, at the end of which Suzanna sang a solo for the group: "Gjæter-livet" ["Herd Life"], a song about herding the cows, goats, and sheep "when May days are calling" once again. Suzanna has never herded these animals, nor does she get the urge to do so once May rolls around; but we felt it an appropriate song for a lodge meeting held in May.

Then lodge member Paul read aloud some information on the history of Syttende Mai ["May 17th"], Norwegian Constitution Day--the Norwegian national holiday analogous to Independence Day on July 4 in the United States. (Today's potluck was to celebrate Syttende Mai.)

After the meal, we all planned to drive out to the Schnell Recreation Area (just three miles outside of Richardton) to meander the hiking trails, view the wildlife, and enjoy the beautiful weather. Our lodge president had arranged for a gentleman who works at Schnell to join us at the Legion hall beforehand, and he gave a presentation on the types of birds and other wildlife likely to be seen and on some of the history of the area.

However, as everyone else was getting into their vehicles to drive out to Schnell, the Mobergs packed up to head back to Dickinson so that the girls could perform in a piano recital. At the end of each school year, Mrs. Vold (the girls' piano teacher) has all her students perform in a "musicale" (remember last year's?) at which she also presents any awards that they have earned at various piano contests. Although Suzanna and Abigail earned trophies at this spring's piano festival (remember?), Mrs. Vold kept those trophies until now so that she could present them tonight. And she had had the plate on each trophy engraved! So nice.

It was an emotional evening because it was also a goodbye for Mrs. Vold. She and her husband will be moving away, so this was her last recital with her students in Dickinson. She has been an excellent teacher for the girls, and we will miss her and will have a difficult time finding another teacher to replace her. Mrs. Vold focused on proper technique and had the girls learn theory and vocabulary and read about composers and so much more than just having them play a new song each week (well, this is further evidence of her high standards for, and confidence in, the girls). She was trained by excellent professors of music herself, and she took pride in passing along to her own students what she had learned from her esteemed teachers. Thank you for everything, Mrs. Vold; we wish you well.

Here is Hillary with Madeline, her best friend (and our neighbor), who just started taking piano lessons from Mrs. Vold this year.

A goodbye hug from Mrs. Vold for Abigail, Hillary, and Suzanna.

1 comment:

  1. Makes me think of Mrs. Davis....and saying good bye to her at her funeral. Sad times make wonderful happy memories....