The population of Norwegian-Americans in the United States is 4.5 million, just shy of the population of Norway, 4.9 million. At 40.3 percent, Winnebago County is “the No. 1 Norwegian County in Iowa.” It is 22nd in the country with the highest percentage of residents claiming Norwegian ancestry. (The first 21 counties are all in Minnesota and North Dakota.) Nearby Worth County is No. 31 at 37.3 percent.
1. Bringing Norway to Iowa by Becky Gjendem
2. Bringing Norway to IowaMy story with Norway began 22 years ago with a love story.
3. I met this cute Norwegian in college. (Oops! Wrong picture.)
4. Here’s my cute Norwegian.
5. I was young and in love, and I would follow him anywhere.
6. I followed him to mountaintops.
7. And ski trails.
8. I followed him to a glacier.
9. I followed him to the altar.
10. I followed him to Tallahassee, where we lived for five years, because he dreamed of living someplace warm.
11. I followed him to Norway, where we lived for two years – land of tiny refrigerators and milk cartons and gigantic cereal boxes.
12. And extremely large trolls.
13. I followed him around Europe with a backpack.
17. I followed him back to Florida, Tampa this time. All three of our children were born there.
20. 2006“Adventures in Family Photos.” I used it on our Christmas cards that year.
22. He followed me to Iowa. We moved here to live closer to my mother, who lived in Mason City.
23. Iowa – the land of tall corn.
24. And funny mailboxes.
25. And big, beautiful flowers.
26. So I thought it was only fair tobring a little bit of Norway to Iowa.
27. I hope that makes otherNorwegians in the area happy, too.Winnebago County is “the No. 1 NorwegianCounty in Iowa.” It is 22nd in the country withthe highest percentage of residents claimingNorwegian ancestry.
28. “Vær så god!” What is it?“Vær så god” (pronounced vah-sha GOO)directly translates to “be so good,” but it means,“You’re welcome,” or “Be my guest.”