The overnight snow that was forecast hadn’t fallen, or it refused to stick around. It was cold enough, and we were prepared. The cold has been the damp kind that comes with being by the water. We packed the warmest clothing we had in Spain. There were gaps. Hats, gloves, and ear muffs were needed. They weren’t difficult to find. New items were added as the cold seeped in.
Our trip to Denmark was one of seeking connections to Donna’s roots and her fondly remembered Danish grandmother. Childhood visions of a woman who read Donna’s fortune in tea leaves, whose hair hung below her knees when it was unbraided, whose teeth rested in a glass of water.
Donna’s father’s highest compliment was that a person was tough. His mother-in-law earned that compliment. Donna’s mom scrubbed the house from top to bottom before her mother came to visit. She wouldn’t smoke in front of her. Donna was suitably impressed. Kindred spirits perhaps. I once asked Donna if her parents spanked her as a child. Her answer, “They threatened, but they couldn’t catch me.”
After hitting a row of Copenhagen’s vintage stores we headed to Tivoli Garden. I was wearing a heartier version of a coat I had in high school. Green wool, horn buttons, a hood, and there was plenty of room to layer. It was a great vintage find. We saw what Tivoli had to offer with only a single trip to a gift shop, and a visit to the slot machines to warm up. Donna was heard to say, “Well, this puts Zoo Lights to shame.” I took way too many pictures.
We headed to Figaro for dinner. It’s Tivoli’s seafood restaurant. We ordered the seafood platter and dug into fresh cold-water seafood. There’s a difference when sea creatures haven’t been swimming around in bath water. We were going to leave a pile of shells!
At dinner we conversed with a young couple from Jutland. It was one of those free flowing comfortable conversations. World events, weather, and world views were shared along with oysters. Lark’s first adventure with a fresh beach picked tennis shoe-sized oyster didn’t leave her wanting more. The couple departed with hugs. Contact information was shared, but the blog host now offers an “Oops!” where actual contact information used to be. A paid email feature is now available. Yeah, I’m bitching a little here. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
When we got back to the hotel Donna emailed her nephew Ralph. His father’s genealogy records are now in his generous hands. Donna found out her grandmother, Hannah Laurasena Peterson, was born in Jutland. She arrived in the U.S. in 1891 at six years old. In the course of her life she had five children. Donna’s grandfather, Andrew Nelson, died from tuberculosis. Hannah lived 82 years. Her hair reached below her knees. She read tea leaves. Her accent was thick. She made time for her spunky granddaughter, if only to prove she could get her to sit still. She kept her teeth in a glass of water on the nightstand.
The snow finally arrived. It was warm enough for the flakes to be big and wet. Rain was sure to follow. We headed out for a big cup of coffee and a pastry. Then we’d search for a sewing kit to fix a loose button on Donna’s coat. Copenhagen delivers!