Friday, December 23, 2011

Mit loft er for højt

This one goes out to Rolf, the kook who was my Grandfather's Norwegian cousin (we always just called him my Great Uncle). 

I just found out two evening ago that he had passed away and it was honestly a shock because he was so full of life!! I stayed with him and his wife the summer after I graduated high school and it was one of the best times of my life.  I remember when he stayed with us in Salt Lake when I was in Jr. High--he taught me how to waltz and do square roots, and at his home in Oslo he woke us every morning at 6 am playing the bugle. I hiked up the hillside with him to pick berries for dessert and feared for my life riding shotgun in his little car while he tooled around going 100 miles an hour (through roundabouts at 70!) screaming at pedestrians.  We took a boat through the fjords and stayed at the cabin belonging to him and Vesla (his wife).  It was delightful.  He was hilarious and smart, tough and loving, all at the same time.  Even in his 70s he would ski the length of Norway every winter.  He would tell stories about growing up in Norway. He was a young boy when the Nazis occupied the country and packed a rucksack with bread and cheese and hid in the mountains until it became clear that most of the citizens of the country would not be sent away or killed.

He was, in many ways, my soul mate.  Telling stories, pigging out on berries, wandering onto strangers' boats to explore, acting weird, road rage...sound familiar?  The saddest part of all is that Eli will never get to meet him.  I told him all about Rolf and we were planning a trip to see him and Vesla before they died, but we were too late. Rolf's death was completely unexpected--we didn't even know he had prostate cancer.
This post's title is from a Norwegian folk song and means "My ceiling is too high." I think it is fitting for Rolf. I will miss him dearly. Here are some of our happy times:

He was mighty proud of these glasses with flip-up shades!

What a character! He and my Mom going to the well to get the water running in the cabin.

Showing me how to wear my scarf like a "true Norse!"

At the Oslo harbor.

Vesla, me, Mom, Rolf.

Inntil vi møtes igjen, jeg elsker deg

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