In 1944 Halldór (Dori) Guðjón Jónsson Eastman’s family celebrated his 70th Birthday in Riverton, Manitoba and they could barely fit everyone in the picture. Dori was a toddler when he arrived in Canada. In the centre of the picture is my 15 year old Mom looking to her right, her eight sisters and brothers are scattered throughout, and in the top left is her Mom at 39.
Laurie Bertram’s fascinating new book ‘The Viking Immigrants Icelandic North Americans’ (you can order it here) shares the context in which individual dreams and communities unfolded from the 1870s.
Our ancestors’ story is not about being a hero. It’s about asking the question ‘What good can I deliver today?’
You know the problems you have now and yet, you also know you’re built to survive and thrive. Right? Anxiety and fear still visits you from time to time.
Whether the challenge faced is getting up in the morning, tackling work from home, talking to a bristly partner or frustrated child, figuring out who to trust, or navigating the shifting sands of intelligence about COVID it’s all in pursuit of choosing how to show up.
Figuring out what choices to make around what’s in your refrigerator and how to get it there, personal problems, and how to move around in a world of global pandemic is unfortunately all about making good choices based on what you know at this moment, just for this day, just for now. And that’s ok! That’s what our ancestors did too.
L.K. Bertram’s new book ‘The Viking Immigrants Icelandic North Americans’ has arrived at the perfect time. It’s is a great story about people showing up in ordinary and extraordinary ways and taking simple steps every day that add up to unfathomable miracles.
There are many lessons to be learned but for me it’s about impactful action, not about heroic gestures.
Maybe we’ll be able to see the great things we are doing now in retrospect but what is for sure is that the little choices we individually make and the actions we take right now are very important.
Our ancestors weren’t concerned about legacy over and above the survival and happiness of their family. They asked themselves each day what good they could deliver towards that purpose.
It really doesn’t matter how well you are remembered. (Of course we will all remember you!). What mostly counts is how magnificently you are showing up for yourself and others right now.
That’s where the miracles are. Thank you for the little things you do.
Mother’s Day is coming up on May 10.
Deadline for Mother’s Day is April 23.
Shipping week of April 27 and May 4.
To the extraordinary everyday you!
P.S. This great book has a history of Vinarterta!
The Viking Immigrants: Icelandic North Americans
By L.K. Bertram © 2020
From 1870 until 1914, almost one-quarter of the population of Iceland migrated to North America. The Viking Immigrants examines how the distinctive culture that emerged in Icelandic North American communities – from food and fashion to ghost stories and Viking parades – sheds light on a century and a half of change and adaptation.
Through an analysis of the history of everyday forms of expression, L.K. Bertram reveals the larger forces that shaped the evolution of an immigrant community. This exploration of the Icelandic North American community draws on rare and fascinating sources of community life, including oral histories, recipes, photographs, and memoirs. By using a multi-sensory approach to the immigrant experience, The Viking Immigrants uses often-overlooked cultural practices such as clothing production, the preservation of recipes, and the telling of ghost stories to understand tension and transformation in an immigrant community.