Norwegian Literature (November 2009)

At our November 2009 meeting, we had a lively discussion of Norwegian authors presented by a panel from the Washington Lodge Reading Circle, chaired by Christine Meloni. 

The speakers, books and authors are:

  • Carla Baer: "Kristin Lavransdatter: The Wreath" by Sigrid Undset
  • Kristin Stone: "Return to the Future" also by Sigrid Undset
  • Karen Doty: "The Boat of Longing" by Ole Rolvaag
  • Lynn Juhl: "Out Stealing Horses" by Per Petterson
  • Tim Christenson: "When the Devil Holds the Candle" by Karin Fossum

A panel of Reading Circle members presented a talk about Norwegian Authors at the November meeting. L to R are: Carla Baer, Karen Doty, Christine Meloni, Tim Christenson and Lynn Juhl.

Christine concluded by explaining the Sons of Norway Cultural Skills Program in Norwegian Literature and highlighted the progress of Circle members toward this program’s objectives.

About the Speakers

Timothy "Tim" Christenson

Timothy "Tim" Christenson was born in Burbank, California, the son of Larry and Nordis (Evenson) Christenson. His mother was born in Denver, Colorado, and her Norwegian ancestry is from Bagn in Valdres and Tromso. His father was born in Northfield, Minnesota, with roots in Story City, Iowa, and in Norway (Sognefjord and Danhaug).

Tim earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in history at St. Olaf College, Northfield, MN, where he first met his future wife, Glenda. He has a Master of Arts in International Relations from Fletcher School, Medford, Massachusetts, and M.A. in history from Harvard University, Cambridge, MS. He was awarded a U.S. State Department Fulbright Scholarship, studying at Mainz University, Germany, 1982-1983.

He went on active duty in the U.S. Marine Corps after college in 1976, retiring in 2006 with the rank of colonel. Tim’s current full time job is with the U.S. Dept. of Defense, teaching a master’s degree program at the U.S. Navy Yard, Washington, DC.After his post graduate degrees he took a position with the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Later he served for seven years at the Pentagon in the Policy Office for Arms Control.

During his leisure time he likes to teach sailing with the Pentagon Sailing Club. He sings in the choir of his home church, Prince of Peace Lutheran in Springfield, Virginia, where he also plays cello in its orchestra.

In early 2009 he joined Washington Lodge after searching online. Now he is enjoying being part of our Reading Circle in reading/discussing Norwegian books.

Tim is married to Glenda Mueller, and they have 4 daughters and 2 sons: Erika Nordis, Grete Ann, Margit Kirsten, Karin Ingrid, Markus Adrian, and John Timothy. They have lived in Springfield, Virginia for 26 years.

Karen Ladderud Doty

Karen Ladderud Doty enjoys nourishing her 100% Norwegian roots. This includes visiting her father’s home area of RDholt, near Eidsvoll and her mother’s parents’ homes in Fölling and Mosvik, both near Stenjer in Trondelag.

She has had fun with genealogy, tracking her mother’s father’s ancestry as well as filling in some branches on her father’s side of the family. She also enjoys grandparenting, cooking, hiking, biking, reading, and home renovating. She works both as a computer system engineer and as a Presbyterian minister.

Karen grew up in Marysville, Washington, near Seattle, lived in the Wash. DC area, mostly Bowie, for over 20 years, then moved to Wisconsin where she served for 14 years as pastor of Melnik Presbyterian Church near Manitowoc. She is married to Verlin Morton, whom she met in Washington Lodge. She joined Wash. Lodge in 2002, and her activities have included President (4 yrs.), Secretary, Membership Director, Bazaar Chair, Lutefisk Dinner Chair, Reading Circle, Sons of Norway International Delegate, S.O.N. 3rd District Delegate, and many more. She has a son, Richard Doty.

Lynn Juhl

Lynn Juhl was born in Forest City, Iowa, the second of four sons of Emma Sveen and Ralph Juhl. His mother was born in Forest City with roots in Lillehammer, Norway. His father was born in Orchard, Colorado, with ancestry from Denmark.

After graduating from high school in Crystal Lake, Iowa, Lynn earned his Associate of Arts degree at Waldorf (Lutheran) College, Forest City, his Bachelor of Arts in English and mathematics, Concordia (Lutheran) College, Moorhead, Minnesota, then a Master of Arts in Mathematics Education and Ph.D. in math education and statistics at the University of Illinois, Urbana. He taught mathematics in Puerto Rico in 1974 as part of his master’s degree.

Lynn served for two years in the U.S. Peace Corps in Malaysia, 1967-69, staying with the organization for two more years in recruiting and training. From 1974-2006 he taught mathematics in the Arlington County Public Schools at Williamsburg and Kenmore Middle Schools, and Wakefield High School.

Lynn’s children are Peter and Kathryn. He is married to Rosalie Smith, who joined Washington Lodge in 2008 with Lynn. They have become world travelers since their retirements, having visited Norway this year for the first time. He is an avid reader who enjoys being part of the Lodge Reading Circle.

In November 2009, Lynn is going to El Salvador as a volunteer with Habitat for Humanity. Lynn was active several years as a leader in the Boy Scouts of America. Currently he is a deacon on the Church Council of Advent Lutheran in south Arlington, and serves on the Boards of the Malaysia-America Society (MAS) and Friends of Malaysia (FOM). He has completed 16 Marine Corps Marathons and has run with the DCH3 (running club) for 20 years.

Christine Foster Meloni

Christine Foster Meloni was born in Minneapolis, Minn., the daughter of Elmer W. Foster and Dorothy Gilbert. Her father was born in Minneapolis, with roots in Norway: Lom (Oppland)and Gol (Buskerud). Her mother was born in Aberdeen, South Dakota.Christine grew up mostly in Minneapolis with a year in Dayton, Ohio, and 3 years in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Italian language and literature at Wells College, Aurora, New York, and has 3 Master’s Degrees: 1) Middlebury’s Graduate School of Italian, University of Florence, Italy, in Italian literature; 2) University of Rome, Italy, in Philosophy of Education; and 3) American University, Wash. DC, in Linguistics. She earned a Doctor of Education (Ed.D) at George Washington University, Wash. DC, in Higher Education and International Education.

Her teaching career has included: 1) Naples, Italy, English teacher at Casa Materna orphanage; 2) Rome, Italy, 10 years as English teacher in two private schools; 3) George Washington U., Wash. D.C., Professor of English as a Foreign Language, for 27 years, retiring as Associate Professor Emeritus. Currently she teaches English as a Second Language at Northern Virginia Community College, Alexandria, VA, and is a senior research associate in the National Capital Language Resource Center, George Washington University.

Christine is the author of numerous journal articles and three books. She has been speaker at conferences in many countries including Argentina, Colombia, El Salvador, Italy, Japan, and Russia (Siberia).

Married to Andrea Meloni of Rome, they have 2 sons, Adriano, of Milan, Italy, and Marcello, of Northern Virginia, and five grandchildren. In her leisure time she enjoys opera, foreign films, reading literature, dining in ethnic restaurants, spectator baseball, and is an avid walker.

Christine is having fun pursuing her family history/genealogy. Since joining Wash. Lodge in 2004, she has earned sports medals in Walking and Biking, and has reached the Specialist level in two Cultural Skills programs, Norwegian Lit. and Norwegian Genealogy.

Kristin Oen Stone

Kristin Oen Stone was born in Columbia, Missouri, daughter of Carol Blackey and Ordean Silas Oen. Her mother was born in Egeland, North Dakota, and her father was born in Park River, Walsh County, ND, with roots on his mother’s side from Sweden, and on his father’s side from the Midtmoen farm near Begnadalen in Valdres, Norway. Ordean Oen and Frank Jones are 2nd cousins, having the same great grandparents, Vegger Larsen and Sigrid Syversdatter of Midtmoen.

Kristin grew up in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. She earned a B.S. in Business Administration at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and then worked in New York City for Sea-Land Services in its sales/marketing division for Central America. Kristin obtained an MBA degree at New York University, New York City, after which she was employed in 1981-84 on the 101st floor of the former World Trade Center in NY City at Deloitte, Haskins, and Selos, a public accounting firm, first as an auditor, and later in its taxation department.

Moving to Richmond, Virginia, Kristin worked in a privately held firm as its treasurer, leaving for Washington, DC, to get married and have a family of 2 daughters, Elizabeth, now age 21, and Katherine, age 18. Upon returning to the work force she was employed at Federal National Mortgage Association ("Fannie Mae"), then changing careers to go into real estate, employed at Long and Foster and, for the past 7 years, at REMAX.

During her years as a fulltime homemaker she managed the Junior League Thrift Shop in Arlington, Virginia, was Membership Director and Vice-President of Arlington Association of University Women, treasurer and deacon of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Falls Church, VA., and President of Arlington Association for Family and Community Education.

Kristin joined Wash. Lodge in 1999, and was Program Director for 4 years, delegate to Sons of Norway 3rd District Conventions and worked in the annual holiday bazaars. She has enjoyed being part of the lodge Reading Circle during the past year.

Carla Bear

Carla Baer was born in Twin Falls, Idaho, the daughter of Ella (Jansen) and Willis Carlton Smith. Ella was born in Oslo, Norway, and grew up in her mother’s home town of Haugesund, Norway, and their lineage has been traced back to 1215 C.E. Their earliest-found ancestor, Ragnvald Smär, served with King Haakonsson during the Scotland campaign in 1263. Carla’s father was also born in Twin Falls, Idaho, with French and American Native ancestry.

After graduating from Twin Falls High School, Carla earned a B.A. from Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma, Washington, majoring in Norwegian and with a minor in Bus. Admin. She then earned an M.A. in Management and Human Relations at Webster University, St. Louis, Mo. Her employment history leads through Idaho, Wash. State, Kansas, Colorado, Mich. and Virginia. She had the good fortune to live in Oslo from 1983-1988, where she was employed at ESSO Norge.

For the past 20 years Carla has been in consulting, and currently works for High Performance Technology, Inc. (HPTi) in Reston, focusing on Enterprise Architecture. She served in the U.S. Air Force for 4 years, and separated with the rank of Captain.

When she has some leisure time, she likes to do projects at home, play with her rescued cocker spaniel, go biking on the W. & O.D. Trail, travel and day trips to historic sites, museums and festivals. She also enjoys visiting her mother who still lives in Twin Falls.

Carla joined the lodge in 2009 and is active in the Reading Circle.