Monday, February 15, 2021

Lisa Klungseth's Journey to the United States and a New Life - Part 3 of 3

In Part 2, Lisa's train was just coming into Minnesota at nightfall: 

Now it is dark and I cannot see anything. It is raining and I am waiting eagerly for time to go by. I sat and thought about how strange it was that Adolf could not come to meet me before this. When we got to Brookings – two hours before Huron – I went out to the corridor to get some air. Two men with long visors on their caps came in. I didn’t pay any attention to them. Then suddenly I heard someone say “Lisa.” It was A. who had taken the bus to meet me. He was as happy as a little boy to see me again. We talked as acquaintances then, but then when I saw the gleam in his eye, I recognized him again. When we got to Huron we took a car trip around the town and had a long talk. We would go to his place in Huron and be there for the night because he had to be at work at 5:00.

When we got into the house I got the surprise of my life. He had not been there for three weeks and it was completely terrible. It was two railroad cars which stood together, making a square. The windows had been broken by hailstones and the sand had come in. There was no place where you could sit. It smelled like manure and tar because there was tar paper nailed over the holes. There was nothing to clean with and I used a roll of toilet paper to take off the worst. My head was aching from all the traveling and I wanted both to throw up and to sleep. There was nothing of that to do. I had a wish to leave because the dirty mess was the worst I knew. Adolf didn’t really know what we should do. I had a desire to drive out to the farm, but for his sake I stayed. He had bought a light-blue nightgown which would have fit my mother. I had joked with him and written that I was as heavy as my mother and he had believed it. We slept very little, because it didn’t take very long before the alarm clock went off and he went to his job. I laid down and slept and made a kind of meal at 10:00. When he came home at 12:30 he was done and then we drove around the town. I did not like Huron. One must be familiar with the town before one likes it there. I was really anxious to come out to the farm. We got there at 6:00 in the evening. I received a hearty reception from Janice, Barbara and Everett. They had cooked a chicken, really good food. Adolf had kept rockets from the Fourth of July and we had a big party that evening. I warmed up Norwegian chocolate and we ate cream and cakes.

The days which came afterwards were completely different than what I had thought. The children had taken care of the house by themselves for three years. There were no decent places other than the kitchen, and everything was very messy. One room had been used only for storage. That room I decided to use for a bedroom. We were agreed that we should be married August 3, and there was a lot that had to be done first. I cleaned and tidied the house for three weeks. We talked with the pastor, ordered cards and sent invitations to 70 people. We hardly slept. We worked, talked and joked as a couple of youngsters.

We planned to get married at the American Lutheran Church at 1:00 and eat lunch at a hotel at 2:00. Mary and Ove with their family came to Yale in the morning. I was so anxious that Magda and Lars would get there. Yes, at 10:00 they came with two children. We were so happy to see each other. I rode with Magda to the church. She and Lars were our attendants. Early that morning I had to get up and clean the outdoor toilet because the hens had been there.

When I got to the church there were flowers for me from Adolph. There was one flat bouquet for a corsage, a small one for my hair and one for the table. I got a large bouquet from Anna and Kristian. We put that on the table with a Norwegian flag in the middle.

We had 62 guests and many gifts. The lunch consisted of ham sandwiches, a piece of cake, a piece of pie, coffee and wedding cake. We had grape wine with which to skål, only one glass for each person.

Oluf was toastmaster and there were many speeches. After the meal Mary, Amanda and I packed up the gifts and then we walked around and visited with all the guests. At 5:00 we were done and drove home to Yale.

When we got out to the car it was all written on in white letters “Just married,” etc. Behind the car hung a long row of tin cans on a string so when we drove they rattled with a terrible noise. All of Huron could hear us. All over people would turn and have a good laugh. When we got home the house was full of people. It took a long time before we could get in and make coffee at Yale and show them around and drink a little beer.

When I got home, I had to take off my wedding finery and put on another dress so I could serve coffee. When some of the guests had left, we made supper. Oluf and Kari and Nora were with us at Yale and it was really fun. Nora was just as nice as in my childhood, and when we go to Canton we will visit her.

Lars, Magda, Maren and Kenneth stayed at Yale until Wednesday morning. Then I rode with them to Salt Lake City. That trip is described in more detail later in the book.

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