National Nordic Museum

by grace on July 10, 2022

In my last post, I had many photos/videos of the many sailboats I saw while running alongside the marina in Seattle on Sat. April 16th. That afternoon, Mom, dearly departed Stan and I drove around to look at many sights he wanted to show us, and ended up at the fabulous National Nordic Museum. It was a very cool place, not too huge, and on its website it says “The National Nordic Museum shares Nordic culture, values, and ideas with people of all ages and backgrounds to create connections, generate dialogue, and inspire new perspectives.”

I called ahead to see if they had wheelchairs because Stan wouldn’t have been able to walk around, and they did have them, so Mom and I got Stan into a wheelchair and she wheeled him around while I dashed about taking photos.

This is the definition of Hygge, a lovely concept of happiness. Under that is a description of the bobbin lace pillow below.

This is just one of the many interesting things on display.

Here’s a beautifully intricate paper cutting.

In the hall, a rowboat built in the style of Norwegian Viking boats called Faerings dated to ca. 895 A.D.

A shot from above of the hallway. The museum was light and airy with wooden birds hanging from the ceiling.

An afghan created in 1931 by a woman named Matilda Hjort who had Swedish-speaking parents in Finland and immigrated to the U.S in 1898. She lived in Washington and married her schoolmate from Finland. She raised sheep, whose wool she then crated, spun and dyed to make this afghan.

There’s the description above if it’s not too small to read. The fascinating thing to me about this afghan is that we have one that’s just like it. Actually, I think Mom is in possession of it. Dad’s father was Danish, and he left his wife and child when Dad was a little boy, but my parents were in touch with my grandfather’s mother, and I have very vague memories of her. Granny Swenson. I have a recollection of visiting her in some kind of care facility and she seemed very very old and sweet. She was probably about 59…

This is a small replica of a Viking burial ship called the Oseberg, which had been buried in a burial mound in Norway. There’s a head-spinning amount of information online about it, including on Wikipedia. two women had been buried on the ship, one of them a servant and the other could be queen Asa of the Yngling clan, but on the other hand, she could have been a shaman. There were also the skeletal remains of 14 horses, an ox, and three dogs found on the ship. Let’s hope they were put to death before burial…Anyway, the original ship was 70 feet long and like I said, head-spinning amount of info about it out there.

It’s funny, I hadn’t been keen to visit this museum, I remember thinking “I just want to do outdoors things in Seattle,” but when I stepped inside I remembered that I love museums and always go bonkers taking photos of things plus their descriptions. Maybe someday I’ll go through all the photos and descriptions and study them more thoroughly.

The story about this bike is really something.

The placard for the bike from 1942 reads “Accompanied by his mother and sister, the teenage Eero Tetri used this bicycle to escape the Russian army, which was advancing on his home city of Viipuri in 1944. Tetri’s story captures perfectly the Finnish concept of sisu, and the resilience of the human spirit in the face of war.” This brought tears to my eyes.

I bought many, many souvenirs in the fabulous gift shop, including a jar of lingonberry jam, some hand-harvested seaweed salt from Iceland, a small book about Hygge, which I’ve actually read most of, plus other great things. I could have bought even more but I somehow controlled myself and eventually stopped piling stuff on the counter that I wanted, mostly because the museum was closing.

A good time was had by all, but I know the busy day really wore Stan out. I’m happy he got to see the museum, plus spend so much time with Mom.

When Mom and I returned to our place the sun was setting…

…and another train was passing.

The Olympic mountains were starting to be visible for the first time on our trip.

Only two more days of our vacation and hopefully I didn’t take quite as many pictures those days, but I probably did. I’d like to move on and write about things in real time, although I’m not holding my breath about that. The weather has been really good recently which means I’ve been been doing way too much yard work. Yesterday especially I worked too long because a strong wind was blowing which made me keep going because I didn’t get over-heated. The weeds are starting to come under control for the moment anyway, which is always rewarding.

I hope your summer is going well.

ok then,

Mrs. H.

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