Farfar (Grandfather) is Northern Norway – a hard working farmer . Our Farfar is 82, 90% blind, needs two walking sticks to get around and still climbs ladders! Once a farmer, always a farmer.
In 1960 Farfar bought a patch of land in rural Alta and built a house on it. Over the years he has worked hard to build the cutest little farm – planting groves, making fences and digging a water hole for a paddling of ducks, all while raising a family. The farm is duly called Solslett gård (Sunny-field Farm).
Moose spent his childhood eating strawberries, bottle feeding new lambs and fishing in the salmon river. He would help Farfar take the sheep up into the mountains for the summer grass – and back down again to the barn for the snowy winters. Farfar would teach him about the land – what plants to use to make tea, how to rest the pastures and to train working dogs. He taught Moose that even though farmers have to work hard for little money, their life is always rich.
Farfar has so many amazing stories – like the time when he had to train a German Officer to ski behind a reindeer during the war, or how he was part of re-establishing the mail service across the mountains. Farfar would go on reindeer herding treks with his Sami friends and every Christmas give “one-horse-open-sleigh” rides in town.
His house is always open – school children visit to learn about the farm animals and local teens pop round to exercise the horses. Every summer they have farm-experience guests and many friends just drop in from Sweden, Finland and Germany to say hi – and, of course, the locals are always stopping by for a chat (especially to eat some of Farmors famous berry bread).
With only a primary school education, Farfar can speak three other languages – German, Sami and Kvennish, which is a Finnish peasant dialect from the 1800s – but no English. As yet I haven’t been able to speak more than a few sentences with my Father-in-law as I am just a beginner in Norwegian. However, I’m finding there is no need for talk when it comes to understanding – I know that he loves us dearly and is tickled pink with his new granddaughter.