Family Ties

On Saturday, Jon had to go deliver bulletins at the churches and I decided to walk around the church grounds at the first one. Like most country churches in southern Minnesota, the graveyard surrounds the church and this one literally has people on all three sides. It was interesting to walk around and see the gravestones and names of the people. Many had epitaphs and I wish I’d brought my Norwegian-English dictionary so I could have read them. Some people were born in Norway in 1830 while others have markers that just say “Baby ______” and the year the baby died. It was humbling to see those markers because they represented something in the life of a family that most people probably don’t talk about.

Walking through the graveyard made me realize how strange I am as a West Coaster. Everyone seems to be from somewhere else and people really don’t have ties to the land in as much of a sense as they do here. Some people have farmed the same land for 7 generations and most people in the churches have an ancestor that settled here from Norway 150 years ago. Times like Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas are huge around here because everyone lives within a few miles of their parents, grandparents, or other extended family. Church attendance is more constant because it’s a time to see all your family members and there’s a pride in the churches that I haven’t found in the West which is probably tied to that.

This entry was posted in Daily Life, Minnesota Life by Jen. Bookmark the permalink.

About Jen

Jen isn't quite sure when she lost her mind, but it is probably documented here on Meditatio. She blogs because the world needs her snark at all hours of the night... and she probably can't sleep anyway.

3 thoughts on “Family Ties

  1. One of my favourite things to do the summer I worked in Maine during my days off was to go to the graveyard not too far down the road. The gravestones all had beautiful sayings on them and much history that I couldn’t fathom. I had never been in a graveyard that old before.

  2. The people you described remind me of the immigrant community of “My Antonia”. It’s one of my favorite books.

  3. yeah, californians seem to be more “adventurous” in the sense that they don’t stay still. i remember one sociology class discussing this in terms of divorce rates in the west. the theory was that people who moved west seemed to be more antsy or something.

    anyway…interesting. also, as much as i love the west coast, i long for heritage…

Comments are closed.