Lögberg-Heimskringla - 07.07.2000, Blaðsíða 2

Lögberg-Heimskringla - 07.07.2000, Blaðsíða 2
2 • Lögberg-Heimskringla • Friday 7 July 2000 Remembering Afi May Britnell Toronto, ON MY GRANDFATHER WAS BLIND. In 1910 he and my grandmoth- er—Afi and Amma in Icelandic—came to live with us in Leslie, Saskatchewan when I was three. My amma died shortly after and I don't remember her. I know she had a crutch. I seem to recall the tapping sound it made. Afi and Amma came from Iceland in 1883, when my mother was nine. They settled in an Icelandic district in North Dakota and hence had no need to learn English. That was my good for- tune. In order to talk to them I had to learn their language. Fve always been grateful to them for making me "bilin- gual." My afi lived on till he was ninety and I twelve, so I have vivid recollec- tions of him. His bedroom was off the kitchen since that was where most of the action was. Hardly a day passed without at least one visitor and often several. They were generally Icelandic farmers. They very often brought a quart of cream. No matter what the hour, they were always served coffee and in no time they were quoting poet- ry. I've often thought of it. Never were the discussions related to farming. They always commented on how good the coffee was. That reminds me of a story my mother used to tell about a neigh- bour who visited her parents. When offered a second cup of coffee he always declined by saying, "When the coffee is good, I don't need any more. When the coffee is poor, I don't want any more." The coffee carried by the local merchant was all one grade— poor. When anyone went to Regina or Saskatoon, they were commissioned to bring back five pounds of Eaton's first grade mocha or java in the bean. I never went home without it after I grew up. It was fifty cents a pound. I can still see my afi with that wooden coffee mill anchored between his knees. It was always freshly ground for each infu- sion. I sometimes wonder now whether the days were long for Afi, despite all the company he had. The only things I recall him doing were grinding the cof- fee and playing the piano. Whenever he wanted anything, he always called me. When he had the urge to play, I would lead him into the back parlour. After awhile, I would hear the sounds of "God Save the King." That would be my signal to lead him back to his chair in the kitchen. For Afi's sake, we had a large wooden clock that sat on a shelf in the kitchen. It had a loud resonant tone when it struck. It must have been a great comfort to him during his long still nights. I don't know what became of the clock. I wish I had it. Just before the end of World War I, a sister of mine was selected to be a V.A.D. nurse in London. She was a librarian in Regina. Before her depar- ture, she came home and brought her trunk. She decided to discard some of her possessions. She'd lift things out one by one and say, "Who wants this?" "Why," I said, "I do," when a pair of white kid gloves were displayed. Why I chose those I don't know. Leslie village society didn't really make white kid gloves de rigueur. One evening I decid- ed to clean them. I put some gasoline in a saucer, a glove on my right hand, and rubbed it with a soaked eloth. I was almost through when I heard Afi call from his bedroom. I jumped up quickly to see what he needed. He wanted to light his pipe. Poof! Flames two to three feet high leapt from my hand. My father came quickly and smothered the fire with his hands. Fortunately we had a doctor. That was unusual. I think I would have gone mad if we had had to wait for one from the next town. This doctor had served in the war and was experienced in dealing with burns. Till he arrived, I kept running out the back door, around the house, and into the front. Twice a day the doctor came for about three weeks. One day he arrived carrying a shingle. What could that be for, I wondered. Not to paddle me, I hoped. The doctor then laid my hand on the board, straightened my fingers as much as possible, and bound the two together. Every day the fingers were straightened a bit more till they were perfectly straight. Thank you Dr. Scott. I still remember your name. I owe it to you that my hand healed perfectly. I know I never felt any ill feeling toward my afi, thinking that if he just hadn't felt it necessary to enjoy a pipe at that particular moment, this would not have happened. I loved my afi. Letters to the Editor JJ0 To the Editor: On a recent Sunday, after having lis- tened to a brilliant sermon on "The Good Shepherd" (John 10) at our local Knox Presbyterian Church, Margaret and I drove a few miles to neighbouring Campbellville to have lunch with friends at "The Country Laine" [sic]. This small restaurant, which we can heartily recommend, has been lovingly moulded from part of an old lumber yard building with the rustic atmos- phere charmingly maintained. Part of the decor consists of old books which lie about in casual piles here and there. We were seated at a table under a window on the ledge of which rested a small pile of books. I glanced at them and was suddenly stirred at seeing the name "Gunnar Gunnarsson" as the author of a slim volume with the title The Good Shepherd. I found the double coincidence exciting: the Icelandic name of the author and the identity of the morning's sermon and the title of the book. Gunnar Gtinnarsson was indeed an Icelander, born about 1889, who wrote a large number of books and other writ- ings, all about Iceland. The Good Shepherd was written in Danish while he was studying in Denmark. It was translated into English by Kenneth C. Kaufman and published by the Bobbs- Merrill Company in 1940. My object in telling you this is to enquire whether any L-H reader has a copy of an Icelandic translation, or knows where there is one. I would very much like to acquire such a copy, either by purchase or by a temporary loan. Yours truly, Ed Eggertson Burlington, ON Correction ín ourprevious issue, weprint- ed that Einar Arnarson had been president of Betelstadur from 1987 to 1986. It should have readfrom 1987to 1996. ^ Wfe Understand •-Ma^. BAiv3AL^i^l FUNERAL HOME & CREMATORIUM Winnipeg'soriginaJ Bardal Funeral Home since 1894. ^v 843 Sherbrook Street in Winnipeg Telephone 774-7474 /j LÖGBERG- Heimskringla Pubiished everý Friday by; Lögberg-Heimskringla Incorporated #650-5 Donald Winnípeg.MB R3L2T4 Ph: (204) 284-5686 Fax: (204) 284-3870 E-mait: logberg@mts.net Website: www.logberg.ca OFFICE HOURS: Monday to Frlday, 8:30 am to 12:30 pm MANAGING EDITOR: Gunnur Isfeld ADVERTISING DIRECTOR: Sandra Duma LAYOUT, COPY EDITING: David Jón Fuller PRiNTING: The Daíiy Graphic SUBSCRIPTION: 44 tssues/year: Cariáda: $35 Canadian -Manitoba, add GST & PST: $39.90 -other provinces, add GST: $37.50 U,S.:$44USor$66CAD lceland; $44 US or $66 CAD -PAYABLE IN ADVANCE- Must be remitted in Canadian or US Doliars. All donations to Lögberg- Heimskringla Inc. are tax- deductible under Canadian laws ADVERTISING For information on commercial ad space, contact Sandra Duma at 254-5477, FAX 256-9891 Classifted Ads; $15.00 minimum, $3 perline based on five words per line. After three inserts, your fourth is free. SUBMISSiONS L-H is always open to new writers. News, fiction, poetry, photography, and humorous articles are welcome. Send by mail, fax, or e-mail to the attention of Gunnur Isfeld, Managing Editor, at the £.-Hoffice. BOARD OF DiRECTORS PRESIDENT Harley Jórtasson VICE PRESIDENT: Elva Jónasson SECRETARY: Julianna Bjomson TREASURER: Bill Perlmutter BOARD MEMBERS: Shirley McCreedy, Evelyn Thorvaldson, Kirsten Wotf, Melissa Kjartanson, Lesiie Bardal, Marno Ólafson, Dan Johnson, Ken Howard, Bill Helgason, Grant Stefanson MEMBER-AT-LARGE: Jon Slg Gudmundson, Kentucky MESSUBOÐ Fyrsta Lúterska Kirkja Pastor Ingthor I. Isfeld 10:30 a.m. The Service First Lutheran Church 580 Victor St., Winnipeg R3G 1R2 Ph. 772-7444 <m ir hím fam xm mív wwm m n nmw mvn\hm 4k rim \ r\n w^mw

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