Thursday, January 24, 2013


It was a long life.

91 years.  And it ended on the last day of 2012.

Grandma Nordberg was born to Swedish immigrants in New York City.  A fact that she was quite proud of.  She grew up in the Bronx, surrounded by cousins and loving and fun parents, especially her dad.  He was an inventor on the side and came up with many products that "almost" made it big!

She was tall and lanky.  She had a tall, lanky brother, Irvine.  Her parents took her to the Swedish Covenant Church each week, although they did not attend.  She was introduced to Jesus, and loved and followed Him all her life.  She met her husband at church, the son of the pastor.  She went to Bible school in Philadelphia at night and worked in a munitions plants during the day.  He took the train each weekend from the city down to see her and he courted her for a year and then they were married.

I think that generation was really remarkable.  My parents and my in-laws were remarkable people in so many ways.

They were content.  Something I see missing in this fast and immediate society we live in today.  They weren't demanding the latest "thing", or dress, or convenience.  I remember growing up and we went shopping once a year for clothes, at Easter.  We always got a new Easter dress, and hat and gloves.  And I think a few new play clothes and school outfits were included. And many years my mom did not buy any new clothes for herself.  I wasn't in the budget.   My Aunt June made my sister and I swimsuits!  Funny to think of that these days.

They were faithful.  Faithful to each other and faithful to the Lord.  Alma taught children's Sunday School and did Children's Church for 35 years.  A commitment which is almost hard to fathom nowadays.  I was in my early 20's when I first attended our local church.  I still remember all the Norwegian young moms and 2 Swedish moms coming in and dispersing to different classrooms to teach the children each week. When Alma organized Children's Church, Bob her husband, assisted her by playing the piano and keeping "law and order".  And every year they taught 2 weeks of Vacation Bible School for the local children and their moms.  For years she organized Christmas packages through the Salvation Army for the women inmates of a local prison.  She brought a gorgeous, large, artfully arranged bouquet of flowers,  for the front of the sanctuary each Sunday.  Flowers exclusively grown from her garden.  And she only had eyes for Robert.  No one else could hold a candle to him.

They had integrity and personal responsibility.

They were great cooks.  Alma was a fantastic cook.  They had a nutritious sit down family meal each night.  She began to listen to radio programs each day devoted to teaching on healthy eating and food preparation and vitamins.  And soon became a mini expert.  Her aunts had been "cooks" in the early part of the 20th century to wealthy New York City families, and Alma learned to bake at their side.  She made wonderful cakes, pies and limpa (swedish rye bread).  There was always loads of butter and heavy cream in her frig!   She was famous for her shrimp salad and I loved her pot roast. She knew the right cut of meat to buy.

They were great homemakers.  Alma's heart was for her home.  She made it a comfortable place for her family and those who visited.  It wasn't fancy but it was welcoming to family and friends.  She learned skills as she, Bob and her boys made a home out a large dairy barn in Westchester.  She did dry wall, taping, sanding, bought power tools, painted and wallpapered, purchased appliances and bathroom fixtures.  And then went outside and developed flower gardens and grew beautiful vegetables in her huge patch down the hill.  She wasn't nervous that she didn't have a job outside the home that paid her money.  She had plenty to do at Guard Hill.  And I think she must have been the original homeschooler.  She homeschooled my brother-in-law for years before BOCES was extablished and he could attend a couple of years of high school there.

Alma, along with several other older women included my mom, showed by example how to love a husband, commit to local church, raise a Godly family, reach out to hurting parts of the community, be a friend, and love the Lord.  She looked for the coming of the Lord each day.  She watched and longed for His return.
And we will see her again.......

For we have hope

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