On Monday the entire family drove out to Dawson, Minnesota, a small farming community west of Minneapolis. There is something very soothing about driving across rural America.
I love seeing the big farms, the tall corn, the open landscape. Some of the my photographs are hazy because the steam from the humidity was affecting my camera. It was a hot and humid Minnesota summer day.
Dawson is where the Swedish immigrants from Doug's family set up a family farm in the late 1800's and where Doug's grandfather farmed the land and where Doug's father was raised. It is also where Debbie was born and desired to be buried. The burial itself was a moving occasion, attended mainly by family. It was noted that Debbie is the 5th generation of Fondell's buried in the cemetery. No one from the 4th generation is buried there yet but Doug's parents do plan to have their grave sites there as well.
|The gravestones of Doug's father's parents|
|You can hardly see it but it does say Född and Död: Born and Died|
Dawson, Minnesota is definitely a place of prominence for the Fondells. To see the generations of people who have lived and died there, to visit the home of Doug's grandparents, to interact with the family and hear stories of their life there was a special part of the experience for me. Debbie wanted to be buried in the place where she was born, near her ancestors. It all seems uniquely appropriate for a history teacher.
Our immigrant history came back into full focus once again and left me with warm feelings about our own return to Sweden in this generation. I may have to read William Moberg's Emmigrants once again. His story is our story in so many ways. It was a day filled with the sorrow of burying a sister, the joy of embracing a family, remembering a special past and the awesomeness of seeing how generations of folks have touched that land.