Sunday, October 16, 2011

Happy Birthday, Bestefar

On October 15, 1914, my grandfather, Thorolf Johannes Haugen, was born in Pori, Finland (once called Bjoerneborg, Finland).  His parents moved there for three years to work and returned to Norway in 1917.  

I was only 12 when my Bestefar died, but I still have fond memories of him.  Bestefar was so handsome and kind.  I remember Christmas in Norway and how he smiled at me and played "this little piggy" with my fingers as I sat on his lap.  We visited him and my grandmother in Norway during the summers, too, and I loved their little house that my grandfather built himself.  In fact, my Bestefar was very talented when it came to anything made with his hands. I also remember how my brother and I would explore the backyard and swim in the Lommeli river that flowed behind the house.  Bestefar would take us to where we could jump in safely  -- it was really cold water, by the way.  

I remember when Bestefar visited us where we lived in Spain, both in Bilbao and Almuñecar; he also came to the United States, when we lived in New Jersey, the summer before he died, and we took him to Pennsylvania to Amish country and then Canada, across from the Niagara Falls.  I returned to Norway with him  that summer and celebrated my 12th birthday there with a marzipan cake.  

That summer in Norway was the last time I ever saw him, but I have never forgotten him.  He had a quiet, gentle way about him that was special.  

Happy Birthday, Bestefar!

Thorolf Johannes Haugen, circa 1932 during his military service.  Below, my grandfather with my grandmother circa 1977.
Hugs and kisses, Bestefar.  I miss you!

1 comment:

  1. Great pictures, Astrid. I'm so glad you have good memories.

    You look more like your Italian side, but I can definitely see your dad in both his parents.