When We Were Vikings

Vikings 2006
This handsome young Mountie agreed to pose with us. We weren’t displeased.

Last night I went to my auntie’s house for supper. We were celebrating my great uncle’s 92nd birthday. After supper when the supper dishes had been cleared from the long table in the dining room, and with the coffee cups and dessert plates pushed out of the way, together we looked at old photographs.

There was one picture I’d never received a copy of. That was the one of my auntie and I all dressed up for Hughenden’s 2006 History Book Release parade. She wore a traditional Norwegian outfit borrowed from a local traditional Norwegian. Thinking that authentic sheep horns attached to a hardhat would make a great costume, that’s what I wore. The silver duct tape was awesome in that it made the hardhat look like a metal helmet.

I thought old sheep horns would be dried up and light. They were not. At dinner last night, I told the other guests, “Before that day, I was actually five feet, seven inches tall. That helmet was so heavy that it compressed me down permanently to five feet!”

Vikings aren’t often on Facebook

While I really miss the connections I had on Facebook, I don’t miss the pressure I got from the social media service to constantly post new content. I’d read that the content that users post to Facebook then belongs to Facebook.

Viking Ship Hughenden Parade
My auntie and I in my old canoe decked-out as a Viking ship. (Vikings never actually wore these heavy helmets. I understand why.)

At first, I didn’t plan to completely leave Facebook. I thought I could get a fresh start by deleting my older posts and by deleting Messenger. After deleting my old posts one by one only to have the social media site restore them not once, not once, but three times, I understood that this really wasn’t my content to delete. Facebook could do what it wanted with content I’d shared to keep its audience engaged. I worked for Facebook.

I also discovered that it’s not possible to delete Messenger once a user has signed on. You can delete the app and you can block selected people from messaging you. But when I clicked around Facebook’s help section and finally found the link to the instructions for removing Messenger, I found out that particular help page was no longer available.

So how do you like me now?

Since you can’t find me on Facebook, how do you “like” and share my work? Well, you can still share my posts to Facebook. I can’t, but if you do, I’ll get more readers. Because of the huge number of people that use the network, Facebook remains one of the best vehicles to drive website traffic. (The corporation really limited how I could do that through my author page near the end, though.)

I still have this lutefisk bumper sticker that was mounted to the rear of the quad that towed our ship float. (I don’t love lutefisk.)

To show your support, you can also follow me here on WordPress. If you have a WordPress account, simply follow me. If you don’t, follow me by email. That way, my new posts will pop right into your email’s inbox. And if you like what you read, please like it and comment on it, just like you would on Facebook.

Thanks for spending this time with me today. I hope you have a nice Sunday evening. Please keep in touch. You can contact me through my website and I’ll get back to you. I’d still love to chat!  ~ Lori

When You Go Home


My friends’ farmsite in the Peace River country.

When I go home I’m lucky to be able to visit a place that hasn’t changed significantly since my childhood. Until recently, that same house even contained my grandparents’ wood burning stove from their homestead. The stove dated back to probably the mid-1940s and when all that heat from over all those years finally caused some of those old welded seams to part, it was time to donate that relic to the museum.


There’s nothing quite like that feeling of returning home, going back to the place where you were born and raised. A lot of people don’t get the chance to do that. In early September, I did have the chance and I took it.

Listen to me read this post:

An invitation.

Angel Lori
During the anniversary celebration, we were invited to get our photos taken in front of angel wings.

During the summer I’d been invited to an anniversary celebration. It wasn’t just any old invitation, either. A stranger tracked me down on Facebook probably having used an ancient church directory to find my name that has never changed. I thought this kind of effort deserved my attendance. Also, I try to make the long trip back to northern Alberta once a year if I can.

The folks hosting the party put on a nice dinner Saturday evening and on Sunday morning, held a church service with an old fashioned corn roast afterwards. The corn was good, but the best part of the service was who I got to sit with in that polished wooden pew.

Who’s watching who?

When I was four years old, my parents rented a house by a hamlet out on the highway a few miles east of the community where I grew up. It was in this tiny house that Dad glanced up from watching television one evening to see a mouse on top of the TV watching him.

I was four years old and I was in love.

The man who rented the house to us operated the gas station next to it. Together, those two elderly buildings sat near the entrance to the hamlet and watched the sparse traffic pass for years. At four years old, I planned to marry that gas station man when I grew up. Our forty-one year age difference didn’t matter a hoot to me. I was four and I was in love.

A few weeks ago, I got to sit in church with this very first love of mine, now ninety-two years old and sharp as a tack, fit as a fiddle, and still married to someone else. I’m beginning to lose hope that my chance will ever come. When you go home, there are chances to reconnect.

New flavours, old memories.

Butter Chicken Company logoWhen you go home, you sometimes discover new flavours mixed in with the old memories. In my hometown, a new restaurant has taken the place of the Burger Baron. Its menu is varied and nicely-priced, and one of the cooks’ specialties is Indian food. At this place, I ate one of the best Indian dishes I’ve ever had. It was flavourful and spicy! When you go home, some changes are unexpectedly pleasant.

Home never looked so good.

My childhood home looking good!

If you’re lucky, when you go home you discover that your childhood home looks even better than when you lived there. New siding, mature trees, wide patio doors, and a lovely deck off the back of the house made me beam with pride, and it’s not even my house.

Two tastes of home.

As parting gifts when I left the Peace country on Tuesday morning, my friends sent with me two tastes of home. The first gift was red potatoes, huge and flawless, with crisp white flesh. Back here in Hughenden, we cut them up and fried them in a ton of butter along with parsley from the herb bed. The potatoes from my friends’ garden lasted only three days in my house. There’s nothing like fresh produce to remind me what home tastes like.

Two jars of Peace country honey.

The second parting gift was two jars of locally-produced honey. I’d been home a few days when I opened one of the jars to take a little taste. Immediately, I was transported back more than thirty years to the summer during which I worked in the apiary at the college, processing honey and raising queen bees. When you go home, you remember that honey tastes like the place it comes from, like canola flowers and clover and Peace country sunshine.

When you go home, the experience makes you appreciate connections to a place and it makes you value time because, upon returning home, it’s obvious that the years move along. I’m one of the fortunate ones who can still go home. Not forever and not always but for now.

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