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I’m just glad that I’m not walking across Iowa after a jaunt across the Atlantic, homeless, newly widowed and with two kids in tow.  This was the fate of my great-, great-, great-grandmother, Annie Kristina – or Stina for short – in 1890.

Finn with Danish Flag

There is a lot to learn about one’s heritage – and lessons to be learned.  Today is the day we close on our Ohio house.  Apparently not all parties got the memo, since instead of a deed to sign; we got an addendum to our contract to extend the date of closing to January 15th.

But, it could always be worse.  I have been saying that from the beginning; it is almost like I’ve cursed us, since it usually does get worse.   I am thanking my lucky stars that I’m not in the same boat as my aforementioned ancestors.  After immigrating to Iowa from Denmark, Stina (and her kiddos) returned to join back up with her husband and their newly-inherited farm in their homeland.  Upon her return, she discovered the hubbs had died.  Without any money, she packed her kids back up, sailed across an ocean, dragged them back to Iowa and WALKED from the southern part of the state back to her house in Iowa.

As I said, things can always be worse.

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This part of Iowa is home to a slew of Danes.  Elk Horn, Iowa is a tiny little Danish village; complete with a windmill carted from Denmark, a Viking homestead and a killer schmorgazborg.  It isn’t even kitschy/touristy – it’s the real thing.  You know, folks speaking Danish and all.

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We took in the sights in downtown Elk Horn and also visited the Danish Immigrant Museum.  We also stopped by Audubon – home to the world famous (apparently) Albert the Bull.  I’ll have you know; he is a model of virility…  He is the world’s biggest bull, and I’m guessing he also has the world’s biggest pair of testicles.  They almost touch the ground.

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His balls are bigger than my child for Pete’s sake. And Finn is tall for his age, I’ll have you know.

Seriously?  Is that necessary?

By the way, I am silently cursing myself for not taking a picture of them so y’all can revel in their so-called glory.  They are even painted flesh-colored.  Eeeww.

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I am ashamed to say these are the two pieces of information that will stick with me after a week of learning about my Danish heritage.  Giant balls.  Widows walking across Iowa.

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Nevertheless, here we are.   We are playing a modern-day version of Oregon Trail…  Slowly inching our way westward, hoping to discover the splendors of the American West.  I should don a calico bonnet, put my hair in a bun and channel Laura Ingalls…  I’ve come to a river… Should I caulk the wagon and float across?  Oops, I lost a head of oxen and now Finn has come down with Typhoid Fever.  LET’S GET READY TO HUNT!!

I’m hoping I’ll get to Colorado Springs with all our dry goods.  I’m thinking that there is a pretty good shot at Nathan being alive and well when I get there, though one never knows.  But if anyone expects this broad to walk across the state of Iowa if he isn’t, they have another thing coming.

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