|Bergs. My best people.|
Marrying into a family is a happy, joyous proposition.
It can also be daunting and just a bit scary.
Even when everyone is on the same page—linguistically speaking.
Aunt June joined the Berg family way back in the sixties.
A city girl, she had a lot to learn about her future husband’s ranching family.
That had nothing to do with . . . ummm . . . ranching.
His parents had immigrated to Canada from Sweden.
He and his siblings were first-generation Canadians.
And Swedish terms largely peppered the family’s daily speak.
So to speak.
Such terms as (forgive me, but I’m going to write these words as they sound, which will probably horrify my Swedish relatives.) Hell. Ringadongen. Shurkfasta. And the ever popular Yamen Ha Do Sit Promaken.
And these were just the words she encountered on her first visit.
Perhaps some explanation is in order . . .
Approaching the house, Uncle Leif and his future bride were met at the door by my MorMor, (Mother’s Mother) and invited in. “Just hang your coats here in the shurkfasta,” she told them.
Okay. That wasn’t too hard to figure out. Coats. Hang.
This may not be so bad.
They walked from said shurkfasta into the large kitchen, where one of the boys was trying to save a step and attempting to pour milk from the crock into a glass.
“No! Hell with the pitcher! Hell with the pitcher!” MorMor said.
Admittedly, future Aunt June’s ears pricked up at that one. But she soon figured that too. Pour.
She even figured out from the conversation about wrangling cows that a ringadongen was a coulee.
But the one term that stumped her was ‘Yamen Ha Do Sit Promaken?!”
Said with just a touch of wonder and amazement.
And even a bit of head shaking.
Let’s see if we can figure this one out.
Someone was doing something amazing.
And MorMor was watching.
And she said: that phrase.
Okay. That’s as much as I’m going to tell you.
Let’s see what you come up with . . .
Aunt June happily joined the family.
And learned to appreciate, and even participate in the occasional lapses into Sweglish.
It was a very special price to pay for happiness.