This Wednesday my Father-in-law turns 90, and is there a better F than that? He was born one year after WW1 and grew up during the post-war struggles for survival, the depression and all the problems that ensued. He managed to become a journeyman painter in the 30s, but jobs were scarce and far between. Then came WW2 and the Nazi-occupation of Norway. Painters and all sorts of skilled labour were drafted by the new authorities, but my father-in-law managed to escape from this by joining - The Fire Squad.
You might call that going from the ashes into the fire, and in many ways it was. Bergen was one of the Norwegian cities most hit by allied bombing (had a large Nazi-submarine base), but the worst happening was the explosion of a commandeered Dutch vessel loaded with explosives that lay in the harbour in the middle of the city. It destroyed a large part of the centre. The ship's anchor was later found on top of a 500m high mountain east of the city.
But he survived. When peace came he was decommissioned together with a large part of the Fire Squad, started for himself as Master Painter and married my future mother-in-law. From this marriage came 3 children (one of them obviously my wife), 11 grandchildren, and 5 great-grandchildren (so far). One might say that he has done his part to maintain the number of the Norwegian populace.
He has now been a widower for 20 years after my mother-in-law died, but he is still going strong - The much beloved "Moffen" for our own four children, a wonderful Father for my wife and the best Father-in-law I could have had.
PS Did I mention that he also trained as a painter in oils? Below is a copy of one picture that hangs in our living-room.
PS For obvious reasons I may have some difficulties doing "the rounds" right now - but I'll try to do it bit by bit later on!
Today's post is an entry in the fourth round of ABC Wednesday, the meme initiated by Denise Nesbitt.
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