Lars Jonassen-Torp-Havstad called out, ‘Iam here Karl,let the party begin’. Karl smiled to himself, indeed his cousin Lars was always ready for a party.
Karl smiled to himself and said ‘Moderation, dear cousin, is the way to go but come in’.
As others arrived, all in good spirits, called out to Karl who replied ‘Welcome and come in, the music is warming up’. The men shook hands and the girls waited with great anticipation for a kiss from this man, the majority of whom had set their caps . Karl was tall like his brother Mathias and sister Ane but whereas Ane was blonde, the boys had dark hair and Karl’s eyes were a stunning shade of blue which added colour and character to his face , he was, indeed, a handsome man.
They moved inside and when everyone was enjoying catching up with family or friends they had not seen for some time, Karl, Mathias, their uncles and several cousins sat together and a discussion took place. Karl broached the subject of his leaving wanting there to be no misunderstanding among his family. Karl said’ My problem is that Norway and farms have reached a watershed in a problematic situation’, he went on to say ‘As you are aware the government have dug a canal all the way out to the sea, a great deal of land was retrieved and it was divided between the farmers involved. It was a costly operation and many farmers lost their farms’.
His uncle Ole replied ‘Yes that is true, but we can weather the storm as we are well placed’
Karl answered his uncle ‘ You and my other uncles are indeed in a good situation sir, but there are many who are not, I being one of them. I feel with current circumstances I may not succeed, but there is another reason .You know my passion for adventure and I have read many articles about people who have emigrated and I want to be one of them. The winds of change are blowing in this country and I have chosen not wait to see what that brings. I have decided on Australia as it is a young country which may offer better opportunities over America where thousands have gone before’.
Karl wanting to return to his guests indicated that the dancing would commence. He approached the quartet and gave his instructions; because of their social class they were familiar with Strauss’ music so he asked for a waltz followed b the very popular folk music dance Springar and as strains of the beautiful Blue Danube filled the room, Karl put his hand out to his sister and they led the dancers onto the floor.The girls were dressed in lovely dresses, all were well schooled in the art of dancing and as they whirled around the room they made a beautiful spectacle, well appreciated by elderly family members.
Watching the dancing later with his family, Karl said to Mathias and Ane ‘I hope you are not too upset.
Ane replied’ We know of your hopes and dreams and the reasons you have made this decision, you are our big brother who has cared for us since our parents died 15 years ago; you put your life on hold and now this is your time. Of course we are sad and will miss you very much – but we love you and wish you well’
Mathias, a fresh faced 20 year old said’ I am going to miss you keeping me out of harm’s way, but now I will have to make my own way’
Karl answered ‘ There is still time to come with me’
Mathias replied ‘ No you are the adventurer and not frightened of anything, so I will stay and keep the home fires burning, waiting for your return’.
Karl threw him a look and as Ane caught that look. knowing its meaning. her eyes filled with tears and Jacob seeing this came over and took his wife’s hand and said ‘ come on kjaesreste (sweetheart) it is time for us to hear you and Karl sing.
And so, with the ebb and flow of singing, dancing, happy laughter and camaraderie, it finally came time for people to go home and with them, they took the memories of this evening which they knew would remain with them for a very long time and one which would not be revisited