Thursday, May 17, 2012
Happy May 17th!
by Avery Baker, from Jennie Bentley’s Do It Yourself home renovation mysteries
My father’s name was Baker. Kenneth Baker. English ancestry, as you can probably guess. The village baker. And my mother’s name, before she married him, was Morton. Another English name. I figure their ancestors probably came over on one of the boats following the Mayflower, and from Plymouth Rock, ended up settling in
But somewhere back there, in the mists of time, I had a Norwegian ancestor. That’s where my Aunt Inga got her name. And that’s probably where I got blonde hair – more Mello-Yellow, really, but let’s not get picky – and pale blue eyes.
I don’t celebrate my Norwegian heritage, or any other, all that much. Like most Americans I’m a mongrel, and proud of it. But once in a while, it’s fun to identify with someone in particular.
Today is one of those days. May 17th is the Norwegian constitution day. In
they’re celebrating with marching bands and parades. Same in Norway Brooklyn,
where a lot a Norwegians live. When I lived in – and I did until just a couple
of years ago, when Aunt Inga died and left me her house in Waterfield – we went
there sometimes to join the fun. New York City
There aren’t many Norwegians in Waterfield. We don’t have a parade. And
Brooklyn is a bit too far for a
daytrip. But I do my best to create my own fun. I have a party and invite my
friends. I serve salmon – plenty of that in – and kransekake. I decorate it with
small Norwegian flags, in the Norwegian tradition. And I enjoy, for one day of
the year, that I can identify with a history that goes back more than a few
hundred years. Maine
So what about you? Do you identify with a particular people in your ancestry? Do you celebrate their special days? What do you do?
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Avery Baker made her first appearance in Jennie Bentley's Fatal Fixer Upper, back in 2008. Since then, she's appeared in four more DIY mysteries, with the sixth - Wall to Wall Dead - arriving September 4th. You can learn more about her doings and undoings at www.jenniebentley.com