Next day the walking was quite different. So easy, the kilometers disappeared and the pack was light on my back. I saw a woman on the road, a road with only the very occasional car or tractor. I saw her walk into her pretty garden filled with flowers, we went to talk to her.
Well no she didn’t know any stories and we should try the museum. And she was busy, it was time to make middag. I chatted a bit more and mentioned Huldra and the others who live under the ground. Oh yes she had seen Huldra twice. And she gave us a short description of these meetings and suggested we speak to the neighbour.
Another lovely garden, and then when the door opened it was like going straight into a fairy tale. Yes we could either talk for hours on the step or come straight in said Odd, and into the little warm colourful living room where Nancy was ‘resting middag’, as is the custom here. Here they are with the latest family member
and this is what he said;
I was up in Svalbard working as an electrician one season in 1969 and was due to go back but Nancy said she didn’t want to stay another winter alone with the kids. That next winter the mine collapsed, there were no survivors. She saved my life. I have been back there this summer and I got a lung infection. Nancy got me to the doctor and the medicine caught it just in time, so I think she has saved my life again. Not bad.
My mum and dad grew up here in the North but my dad got a job in the Fire service in South Norway. Then when I was ten the war broke out. Mum and dad had seen a World War before, and they had us four boys and didn’t want to see us starve. They knew there was food in Senja and decided to move back. My uncle had a house far out away from any road, and we went up there and built a gamman (Sami winter house made from roundwood and turf).
So I went from a town life with electricity and shops and roads and telephone to a life where we had to find all our needs in nature.
For me and my brothers this was a great adventure. There was only one thing that I didn’t like. That was when I had to go up and take the animals out of the snares. Sometimes the bird was fluttering or the hare not quite dead and I couldn’t find it in myself to knock it on the head. Apart from that we really loved living there in the forest beside the lake.
We lived in that little house for five years.
On the way out Odd showed us proudly the woodstore he has made inside, in case anything should happen to him. So Nancy doesn’t have to go out to get in the wood. He has also moved the steps so it’s easier to clear the snow. You are allowed to use your head said Odd. Clearly he uses both head, heart and hands.