This morning the girls had Sunday school at our church, and then Susan swiftly drove them to Medora so that they (and other children's choir members from our church) could sing for the church service there that precedes the annual fundraising dinner and auction for Badlands Ministries, which runs the summer Bible camp that the girls attend. Then she zipped them back to Dickinson so that we could make it to our Sons of Norway lodge's monthly meeting, one of two interesting ethnic events from our day.
Suzanna is our lodge's musician, but I join her at the keyboard (remember?) to help play the Canadian, Norwegian, and American national anthems, with which we open each business meeting. Toward the end of the meeting, the musician is called upon to lead the group in song. Today Suzanna had me help her lead the group in singing "The Lefse Song," silly verses related to lefse and set to the tune of "Camptown Ladies." We thought that would be appropriate because, next Saturday, lodge members are gathering to make a bunch of lefse to be served and sold at next Sunday's annual lutefisk supper (remember?).
The business meeting in our lodge is followed by lunch (typically veggies and dip, sandwiches, cookies, and coffee) and a program of some kind. Our lodge's program director approached our daughters after we arrived today and enlisted their help with today's program! It was an informational presentation on the history of the zipper, and the girls took turns reading passages aloud and holding up photos of inventors and their various versions of the zipper throughout the years. What the zipper has to do with Norway I do not know, but the girls read well and spoke clearly and were not the least bit flummoxed by the last-minute request to perform.
Suzanna holds up a diagram while Hillary reads aloud and Abigail waits her turn with the microphone.
Someone recently donated several Norwegian craft items and works of art to our lodge, and we're selling them by silent auction at the end of each meeting this fall. Hillary bid on a troll sculpture of the witch Befana. I think others would have submitted higher bids had it not meant outbidding a nine-year-old girl . . . so she had the winning bid and took home the troll! (Susan and I paid for it, and it now lives amongst our collection of Scandinavian items on a shelf in our office; but Hillary felt so proud that she had been successful.)
Hillary and Befana
One of the announcements made at the meeting was that an ethnic supper was being served this evening in New Hradec, ND by the Czech Heritage group (whose members are to that organization what we are to the Sons of Norway: persons interested in preserving the culture and heritage of our ancestors). New Hradec is only 12 or so miles away, and our family loves trying new foods, and I'm all about public "feeds" hosted by small-town groups . . . so that's where we went for supper!
En route, Susan said, "You know, I did not grow up in a family that drove to other towns to eat supper at their churches or town halls." But I did. Most notably, our family would drive to towns throughout northwest ND for lutefisk suppers, but we also liked going to eat meals put on by the Ladies Aid of this or that church, or potlucks that were part of this or that community celebration, etc. In any case, we found our way to New Hradec, a cute little town with an old Catholic church and cemetery, dirt roads, and a few well kept houses. The supper was served at the Catholic Workman Hall. There was a group playing Czech music upstairs, where we paid; and downstairs, where we ate, there was an accordion player providing music while we ate.
The food was delicious. We dished up from a buffet line that included chicken that was breaded, fried, and then baked with onions; a turkey/noodle casserole; rice with chicken gizzards; cabbage rolls stuffed with seasoned hamburger and topped with a tasty tomato sauce; mashed potatoes and gravy; cooked corn; coleslaw; pickles; and fruit salad. On every table were pitchers of water, lemonade, and coffee as well as huge bowls of homemade chicken noodle soup. At another table were platters of kolache, bread baked into dinner-roll-like portions but with sweet fillings; I took apricot, but there was poppy seed, prune, and mixed fruit, too.
After getting stuffed, we drove back home, purposely taking an unusual route on "the back roads" to explore the countryside and see what we could see. What a busy day, but what a fun afternoon/evening!