November 8th, 1941

Seventy-five years ago today, Ivan put this ring on his finger when he married Alfa. Children of immigrants whose parents came to America looking for a better life with more oppurtunities than their small towns in Norway and Finland. Their parents met, married and moved to a small logging town on the coast where they knew there were jobs. Then their children met, fell in love and were married. One month later, Pearl Harbor was bombed and shortly after that, Ivan enlisted in the Army Air Corps as a signalman in the South Pacific. Alfa got a little house and worked for one of the town’s plywood companies. The next time they saw each other was in 1945 after the war had ended and he was able to get a ship home. They moved to a town where there were plenty of jobs for servicemen, found a house, and had my mother and her brother.

Ivan and Alfa were my favorite family. They died too early and I could have benefitted from them being around at least into my 20s. I did everything I could to keep their memory alive and valid, mostly through taking care of their lake house. It sold in August and I am still sad. I had touched the same doorknobs, stepping in the same spots, touching the same boards, flipping the same switches.

The ring fits my finger perfectly


  1. I loved reading your post about your grandparents. Great way to keep Alfa and Ivan’s memories alive!
    My favorite quote is from Carol LaChapelle in Finding Your Voice, Telling Your Stories , “…people die twice: when they physically die, and when we stop telling stories about them.”


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