Three of my four grandparents were Norwegian. I grew up with Syttende mai and Norwegian flags on the Christmas tree, stories of the farm in Jølster and immigration to Wisconsin and North Dakota. Two of my novels are set in Norway. It's just part of who I am.
To say it's a beautiful country is obvious. To say Norwegians are strong and resilient is too. And to say we all grieve for Norway right now is an understatement.
I was lucky enough to visit Norway in May 2004, in time for Syttende mai in Oslo; here are some photos we took on that trip.