I am Norwegian. And German. And Russian. And dozens of other European descents (including "Italian Gypsy" if you asked my Grandma Lee). But mostly I've always felt Norwegian. The Norwegian stories were the stories I heard often as a child. The Norwegian spinning wheel (belonging to my great-great-grandma, made by my great-great-grandpa) sits next to my modern spinning wheel in my living room. Holidays since childhood have brimmed with Norwegian foods and customs, and I, personally, am in charge of lefse (yes, me, gluten free and all) for my entire family. I am Norwegian. Even if it is less than 1/2 of my blood.
This weekend we headed to a nearby Norwegian heritage center for a fall celebration, the "Threshing Bee". Lefse. Brown cheese. Threshing. Flailing. Rope-making. Grain-grinding. This place, suspended in time and space, feels somehow like coming home. And while we may already know how to blacksmith and make butter and cheese and keep animals, it's still a perfectly magical day brimming with wide-eyed learning. We feel normal here in some strange lost-in-time way.