Over the past three days, we've visited several cousins, and learned more about my Norwegian ancestors and current relatives living in this area. Roger Skare, and his wife Jean, shared a long lunch with us in Clearwater. They helped me get to know the children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren of my Aunt Eloise. Another of those cousins, Ted Skare, talked with me, and linked me with his granddaughter, Jennifer Cheeseman of Houston. Jennifer is leaving for a trip to Norway, and I was able to share with her some of the information I have on her family's Norwegian history.
On Wednesday, we drove up to Isle, and spent the day with my cousin Bob Skogman, and his wife Diane. Bob has been helping Minnesota Norwegians find out about their family history for several decades, was instrumental in establishing the Noregian branch of the Minnesota Genealogical Society, volunteered for many years in the Sons of Norway, and assisted with quite a few annual Soine Family reunions.
Today, we drove down to Prior Lake, and found the gravesite of my grandmother (Edna Maxwell). We stopped by the Prior Lake Library, and found the obituaries of her and her husband (William N. Maxwell). Later this afternoon, we were fortunate to be invited to the home of Trudy and Boyd Wasson, who hosted a traditional Norwegian dinner at their gorgeous house in Eden Prairie.
This trip has exceeded my expectations, and risen to my hopes, in helping me establish strong relationships with the cousins I had grown to know about over the past few years. Their help has been vital in enlightening me on the Norwegian experience both here in Minnesota, and in Norway. Clearly, I could not have had such a successful trip to Norway last year without them.
Tomorrow, I'm going to try to find another cousin, Shirley Manning. Shirley has provided me with more information than anyone, and we have not yet contacted her to estabish a visit. She lives a few hours west of here in Moorhead, and I'm crossing my fingers that we'll be able to spend some timewith her tomorrow.