Friday, September 4, 2015


Mabel Rockness is a very dear friend of mine. She is three months younger than my mother.  I first met her at the Sons of Norway in Ballard, Washington, sometime in the late 1990s. I had moved to Seattle from St. Paul, Minnesota in February 1992 to take a job with the American Red Cross. My mother came to Seattle to look for an apartment for me. This 100% Norwegian mother found me an apartment in Ballard, just two blocks from the Sons of Norway lodge. :)  She sponsored me, and paid for my first year of membership with the lodge.

Gotta love that.

As it turns out, Mabel was also a member of the Lutheran church that I joined in 1994 - Phinney Ridge Lutheran on Greenwood Avenue at 75th Street, in the Phinney neighborhood. Over the years I have grown to adore this woman. Her ready smile and great hugs just melt my heart. Ten years ago I got married, and she organized women from the lodge and church to make seven kinds of Norwegian cookies for our wedding reception -- which took place at the Leif Erickson Sons of Norway lodge

Fast forward to 2015
On many occasions Mabel and I have discussed all things Norwegian. She's been my teacher and my friend. On Sunday August 16, Mabel organized a 'cousin reunion' for her Solberg cousins, of which there are many. She invited me as her guest, and asked that I share some of the information that I have discovered about the Solberg family -- a fascinating family history, with hundreds of wonderful anecdotes. Mabel gave me the names of 10 cousins she knew would be at the party, in the community room of the Norse Home -- where Mabel now lives. I made handouts for 10. 

When all had arrived and had gone through the smorgasbord (pot luck), there were about 45 to 50 people there!  I was stunned. Mabel introduced me, and I then shared some of what I had learned. Afterwards many family members came up to thank me for the work that I had done. In addition, many offered more details and stories, and referenced artifacts that they had. I exchanged email with several people. 

The Blog!
There were so many in attendance, and many more who wanted to be but had other commitments. I've been trying to think of a way to share what I've discovered with all who are interested. What came to mind was to write a blog.  The plan is to write periodic posts about the Solberg family. I'll post what I learn, as well as answers to questions posed by people who read the blog. That way, all will be 'kept in the loop.' 

As for Mabel. Well, she's not on the internet, nor are her brother Andy and his wife Torbjørg, who also now live at the Norse Home. I've made a commitment to Mabel to print out the blog postings, and give them to her to read and share as she pleases. As for the rest of the Solberg Clan -- you can subscribe to this blog (look to the right), and you will be notified whenever a blog post is uploaded. 

Make sense?   

I'm doing this because of the love and admiration that I have for Mabel. 

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