Tuesday, February 24, 2009

F is for Father-in-law and Fireman in ABC Wednesday

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.


For more, you can log on via a Mr Linky enabled site

47 comments:

Reader Wil said...

What a wonderful tribute to your father-in-law. His painting is incredibly beautiful. How terrible that a ship exploded in the harbour of Bergen. Bergen is so vulnerable with all those wooden houses in Bryggen. I hope you are okay! Of course you must take care. Thank you for sharing this story.

Mara said...

What a lovely painting!

Sylvia K said...

That is a beautiful tribute to your father-in-law! And the painting is really lovely! Thanks for sharing a wonderful story and the beauty!

Dina said...

A real historic photo you have there. Your father-in-law has lived through tough times. May his old age be easier and enjoyable.

The photos on your link are very sad, all that damage to Bergen.

Be well.

Carolina said...

Congratulations on his birthday to your father in law. He's a very talented painter.

JoAnn's-D-Eyes said...

wow today you showed a lot good things RuneE,
I have not a father in law anymore and your painting is wonderfull:)

my F is for show FEELINGS with FLOWERS, thats what we do in HOLLAND, I really like making this post, please come watch it

www.joannwalraven.blogspot.com
JoAnn's D Eyes/HOLLAND

Liv said...

A wonderful tribute to your father-in-law! His painting is beautiful.

En flott hyllest til Svigerfar! Nydelig maleri!

naturglede said...

Gratulerer til han! Flott bilde og tekst du hadde. Maleriet var vakkert også. Takk for at du delte dette med deg. Ha en fin kveld.

Dreamybee said...

What an exciting life he must have had, and what a great photo! Thanks for sharing.

Your EG Tour Guide said...

I think it's a beautiful tribute to your father-in-law! Very nice indeed.
MY ABC Wednesday post is at
More of Me - EG

Katney said...

A delightful tribute!

Stay well, RuneE, and don't worry about rounds.

Babooshka said...

This was a marvellous poignant narrative and what a talented artist as the painting demonstrates. You are formerly releived of doing the orunds tonight for this marvellous post.

david mcmahon said...

What an amazing story. And what a heartfelt tribute.

PERBS said...

Such things as this are wat legends are made from. Beautiful story! You and your wife can be very proud of her father. Looks like he also did well painting -- even tho I could only see half the photo of it.

You take care. I will miss your comments but your family celebrations and your health check up is more important.

Life with Kaishon said...

What a lovely tribute. 90 years is a long time! How beautiful that he was a hero by being a fireman! Love it.

Leslie: said...

Fabulous tribute to your FIL...I hope he has a fantastic 90th birthday. He has a lot to celebrate, including his talent as an artist. Have a great week and drop by if you find the time. :D

Tumblewords: said...

What a fine tribute to your talented Father-in-law... Wonderful post!

spacedlaw said...

I too was tempted to post about my Father-in-law. He might be dying today. I am happy that yours is still going strong. Cherish him, they go away way too soon.

Tyra in Vaxholm said...

FFFantastisk man Rune,Gratulerer til han!
Wonderful story, a tribute to a man you really love.
Tänk att bara din story bevisar att han levt ett riktigt innehållsrikt liv.

Grattis till Father-in-law

klem Tyra

Grace and Bradley said...

He indeed has a full and color life and still going strong. You have written a beautiful tribute to him.

Jay said...

Happy birthday to your Father-in-Law! He must have been a very brave man to be a firefighter in the war - not a 'soft' option, by any means.

Malyss said...

I love old pictures and the one you show is quite great! Old people have seen so much things and times!They have so much to tell us and to teach to us!I remember my grand-mother (born in 1896!died 30 years ago) saying how she lived as a little girl:An other world!Your FIL had a full life, with family, jobs and art;happy birthday to him!

Atlântico Azul said...

What a wonderFul idea for F!!!!!

Sherrie said...

Hi!
This is an awesome "F" post. Your father-in-law is a very talented and brave man. Have a great day!!

Sherrie

Kate said...

It's a wonderful biography, and I enjoyed reading it. Your father-in-law sounds like a wonderful man and interesting person. Hope you're on your way to good health!! Stay strong!

Ferreira-Pinto said...

Your father-in-law seems to be quite a character with a rich life and talent for arts.
Like to read his small but interesting bio.
Tell him I wish next year he can celebrate one more birthday in the company of all those who he care for.

Dulce said...

A beautiful tribute to your father-in-law.
I love to read about him and also loved the painting.
Have a nice week.

Miss_Yves said...

Great post, in which History meets Familial story
Beautiful illustrations !

Rinkly Rimes said...

I've just started my day in a great way, by reading your f-in-law's great story. Your blog entry will probably be his best gift!

Berthddu Suit said...

What a wonderful tibute!

Pat - An Arkansas Stamper said...

This is a lovely "F" post, RuneE. I send slightly belated birthday greetings to your wonderful father-in-law.

You've written a wonderful story and tribute to your wife's father.

Pat - An Arkansas Stamper said...

P.S. I meant to also say that his painting is beautiful!

kml said...

Hope he can read these beautiful words. Give him a big birthday hug!

pictureeachday said...

Congratulations to your father-in-law, and to your whole family for getting to celebrate such a special occasion! He sounds like such an interesting (and clearly talented!) person :)

The Things We Carried said...

Great tribute to him! LOVE the painting too. I hope we will be these types of inlaws to our children's spouses!

Barbara Martin said...

Beautiful tribute to your father-in-law and the painting is awesome with its soft and delicate colours.

Moannie said...

Compliments on POTD from authorblog. for a fine tribute to a wonderful man, and a pretty good painter also.

lmerie said...

Lovely tribute!

Congrats on POTD!

Sandi McBride said...

A lovely tribute to your Father-in-Law...and that is a beautiful painting...his talent really shows! Congrats on Post of the Day!
Sandi

Crystal Jigsaw said...

Your father in law will be very proud of you I am sure. You write about him with pride in your heart. Well done on David's POTD.

CJ xx

Jeni said...

Another great post! Whether you show us beautiful photos of your home, other places you've visited -or telling a story like this one -you always put out a great product.
Peace.

Jeni said...

Another great post! Whether you show us beautiful photos of your home, other places you've visited -or telling a story like this one -you always put out a great product.
Peace.

Jeni said...

Oh -and I forgot to add this in with the above comment too -Happy Birthday to your Father-In-Law! And many more too.

Marc said...

Excellent tribute to your father-in-law. Best wishes to him!

John said...

Regner meg at dette er resultat av scanning og fotografi fotografering. Resultatene er meget bra!

Lara said...

well done! a great tribute, a great thought to a great man!

Holz said...

Fabulous tribute!