The Spaces Between Your Fingers

Click the image to flip

Flip
I interviewed my grandfather, Lars, in the breakfast nook of his New York home. While I was interviewing him, our family was bustling around, and Lars was eating his usual breakfast of Norwegian goat cheese, an English muffin, and a hard-boiled egg. He was wearing a Norwegian sweater and a hat. When he was telling this story, he often played with his glasses or asked his wife for confirmation on his answers. He usually took a bite of food after he was done speaking. This story is about the first time he met his wife, on his way back to Norway for the first time since leaving when he was a child. He met her on the same boat that he left Norway on and she and he were both planning to spend the rest of the summer in Norway.

Lars looked out at the New York Harbor and skyline of the city. He was back on the decks of the Stavangerfjord, going back to Norway to visit his family. Despite the fierce wind that swept across the top deck and messed up his already thinning hair, Lars felt no need to pull his light sweater close to him. The sun was warm enough that he could ignore the chill of the wind. The boat moved further toward the ocean, and the shadow of Lady Liberty passed over the boat. He looked up, and as he did, he heard a quiet voice whisper,

    “Wow.”

He looked down and to his left, finding that the voice belonged to a young woman, and as Lars took her in, he was immediately captivated. She had short, brown hair, and like him, was wearing a light sweater. Unlike him, she had paired it with the most fantastic dress. The gusts of wind fluttered it around her legs, but she was unbothered by the movement of the fabric. Her hair was thrown about haphazardly, but once again, she did not seem to mind. He looked again to the statue but turned back to the woman after only a second.

    “Is this your first time seeing her?”

She tore her eyes away to look at him,

    “The statue?”

Lars nodded, unable to say anything. The woman continued,

    “Yes, she’s magnificent.”

Lars extended his hand,

    “My name is Lars.”

    “I’m Marit. Gundersen.”

    “Pleased to meet you, Marit. Are you traveling to Norway for a specific reason?”

She smiled, and if he could, Lars would spend the rest of his summer learning about it, family be damned.

    “Yes, I’m going to the Oslo summer school and then Trondheim to visit family.”

    “That’s coincidental,” Lars stated, wheels already turning out a plan in his head, “your travel plans line up with mine.”

Marit laughed, and the sound was like bells in a chapel.

    “Maybe we can stick together then.”

    “Maybe.”

Meeting Marit

Flag as Inappropriate
Mid 1950s
New York City

I interviewed my grandfather, Lars, in the breakfast nook of his New York home. While I was interviewing him, our family was bustling around, and Lars was eating his usual breakfast of Norwegian goat cheese, an English muffin, and a hard-boiled egg. He was wearing a Norwegian sweater and a hat. When he was telling this story, he often played with his glasses or asked his wife for confirmation on his answers. He usually took a bite of food after he was done speaking. This story is about the first time he met his wife, on his way back to Norway for the first time since leaving when he was a child. He met her on the same boat that he left Norway on and she and he were both planning to spend the rest of the summer in Norway.

Decade: 1950s
Rating:
Recorded by Cecilia Eisenhardt on June 5, 2019
×
×
4
×
Alert IconAre you sure you want to permanently delete this postcard? You cannot undo this action. Delete
×