Tuesday, February 15, 2011

She brought this over on the boat...

My mother was born in Norway. When she met and married my father, an American minister, they left very soon after the wedding for New York.
The one thing she brought over on the boat from her family home was this painting by Olaf Nordlien.

It had been in their home as she grew up and she always loved it.
It hung in our home in New York, and then moved with us to California.It was such a part of her life. I am sure when she was homesick and missed her land and her family, that this painting was a comfort to her many many times.
When my parents went to heaven, the 3 of us 'kids' went to their home and went through all of their belongings. We each selected some things that we especially treasured, and this painting was my choice.
It was shipped back to Dallas, and now it hangs on our dining room wall. At first, even though I loved it, I cried every time I looked at it. It was so HER...

Now it has settled into our home and even though it is not like anything else in our home... it fits! Right there on that wall.

When I think of my mother as a young bride, leaving her homeland and not knowing if and when she would see her country or her loved ones again, and making her way to America... this painting makes me love her and miss her every time I look at it. It always makes me think of her. She would love that I love it so much...


Farm Girl said...

It is a beautiful painting. Looking at it as a Mother and I think of one of my children leaving and going across the ocean, and maybe never seeing them again, show me I am not made of the same stuff, the earlier generations were. I am thankful you have such a tangible piece of history to remember her by.
Thanks for sharing this. I like how rugged it looks. You could preach a sermon by it.

myletterstoemily said...

what a glorious bittersweet treasure to see every day. i can
totally see the tears, but now it must bring you such joy.

the glory of your mom's homeland in your dining room!

Sharon said...

So, so precious, Sonja - I'm a little weepy over this one myself.

I love the painting, and the story that comes with it. It speaks so eloquently of your mother - and it speaks of her faith. The picture of that sailing vessel, making its way through the rocky cliffs, in the middle of a wind-tossed sea - treacherous waters, yes, but safely sailing in God's protecting grace.

Thanks for sharing this - it's just beautiful.


Anonymous said...

I'm sure that she would, Sonja. And you are not only keeping her memories alive, you are keeping her essence with you as well because you love what she loved. And, as she missed her home in Norway, you miss her. Beautiful.

Dianna said...

Sonja, what a precious part of your mother you have with you...something that reminds you of her with every glance. I'm so grateful that you have this with you now.

Debbie said...

What a wonderful thing to have. This whole story had me kind of teary eyed to tell you the truth. I love that you have this piece of her history in your home. How hard that must have really been for your mom...Thanks for sharing this beautiful story! HUGS

Aliene said...

It is so good to have history that really touches your heart right there on your wall. I would have put it up, also, even if it never goes with your other decor. This is a touching story. Blessings, my friend.

Anonymous said...

I love that story! It almost sounds like one of those stories you hear on The Antiques Roadshow, except most of those people are looking to sell their paintings at auction.

Rita said...

It is not only a beautiful painting, it is a beautiful memory of love for your mom. I cannot imagine leaving my beloved America and my family, going to a new country with a new husband, knowing I might never see them again. How very brave your mom was and how very fortunate that you have that painting to remember her each time you glance at it.

Walk In Truth said...

Hi Sonja,
I hope your Valentines Day was wonderful!

What a treasure of the heart that painting is. What an amazing mom the Lord blessed you with, and I love the way you love her, and cherish her memory.

The painting is so beautiful, and calming, and 'Priceless"

God bless you,

Debbie Petras said...

How special Sonja that you were able to have this painting. I can only imagine what your mom felt as she left her homeland and everything familiar; her comfort zone. It's a lesson for me!

It's very interesting too that this painting is not a boat on a calm sea. There are many waves and it looks a bit scary. But that's how life can be. It causes me to be reminded that Jesus is with us on the boat and He is in control not only of our lives and circumstances but ...He also has power over the sea.

What a timely reminder for me from this treasure you shared about your mom. Thank you Sonja for allowing the Lord to use you in my life.

Love you,

Debbie said...

Beautiful treasure. Pure and simple.

I don't know if you've ever read the poem "Gone From My Sight" by Henry Van Dyke. It's one of my favorites, and I intend to have it read at my funeral. If you haven't, google it and read it as you think of that picture and your mom. I think you'll like it.

Kathleen said...

So sweet! I can just imagine your mother's journey. What courage she demonstrated (no doubt inspired by your father's affections)!

I have a number of items that belonged to my mother. They're scattered here-and-there around my home and, like you, they always summon her.

I'm sure enjoying your family stories!


Janettessage.blogspot.com said...

Another wonderful inheritance from your parents...and your mother was a true "Ruth" in all forms. She planted such wonderful seeds in her children and they are bring forth multiple generational blessings.

My parents have one piece that will be mine one day...it too also embodies our family before the time of many crisis...it won't match anything in my house, but it will remind me of God's favor on my life and His Grace on my life!

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Even as it makes you think of her and "home", it makes me think of home as well.

A ship sailing close to harbor and home! Even so, we are carried.


Saleslady371 said...

How brave a time for your Mom. It is a very dramatic painting. So glad you shared it.

Felisol said...

Dear Sonja,
I've been giving the painting your mother chose to bring across the sea lots of thoughts.
She might have found a picture of Norway in sunshine and with green fields.
She didn't do so.
She knew how her fellow countrymen up north had to find their outcome.
Out in an open fishing boat in every thinkable kind of weather.
You can see the open room in the middle of the boat for storing the catch.
Often the fisherman had to go further out on the sea, where no cliff or mountain cods were hiding from the howling storms.
No wonder the fishermen were prayers.
God was the only one they could relate to, on board these nut shells against the roaring waves.

A great parable to our journey through life, and the way your mother might have felt,leaving all her family behind, to follow her husband over to the new world.

A mighty painting portraying a great woman.
From Felisol

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

WOW SONJA....you are so beautiful...and then I see your wedding picture and WOWOWOOWOWOW WHAT A BEAUTY as a younger woman! Oh, it only gets better...REALLY!!! And you mum was of Norwegian heritage???? Here in Minnesota, I love the Scandinavian heritage here. What a gorgeous painting, and it is a lovely reminder of your mother's journey. Thank you so much for your visit and I am so glad you enjoy my music selections! IT IS FUN TO FIND JUST THE RIGHT SONG!!!

Enjoy your evening dear heart, Anita

Karen said...

What a beautiful story and painting. Think of the miles it has traveled and the comfort it has brought!

myletterstoemily said...

ha ha! i hate those BEIGE lines! i mean, seriously?

Miss Debbie said...

What a sweet story and what a treasure the picture is! Thank you for sharing a part of your family history with all of us.

Marsha Young said...

What a wonderful keepsake from your Mom. She would be pleased to know that it means so much to you. Moms are like that, aren't we ...Marsha