Fly Away Home
A memoir about the ups and downs in life and the back and forth travels of a multicultural family.


This is a preview to the chapter A WINDOW OpENS from the book Fly Away Home by Maggie Myklebust.
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After living fifteen years in Norway and with only two children left at home, I was starting to feel weary. The boys were both in school and thanks to a good team and months of preparation, the crossover from Nursery to Elementary school went relatively smoothly for Brian. Jan Christian was already seventeen and going to a trade school for auto mechanics. The three oldest were done with college and busy climbing the ladder of their success. Harry’s job would often take him away from home leaving me to fend for myself. My lack of confidence and education held me back on the job market, although I continued working at the school a few hours a week. I had also worked a trail of insignificant part-time jobs along the way, mostly babysitting and cleaning. I worked with Ingred for a while as a daycare assistant and behind the counter at Marita’s bakery, but except for my role as mother, I never quite found my calling. Caught up in the winter doldrums of 2005, I had no idea my quiet life in Norway was about to temporarily end.

I sat at the kitchen table feeling tired and somewhat fragile, staring out the window. What I saw was not the view laid out before me like a picture on a postcard but the white salt, in which my windows were clouded. Thinking I must get Harry to clean them and knowing that if I didn’t write it down, I’d most likely forget - it didn’t matter. It was another dreary day, which I guess was to be expected in the winter when the sun was busy elsewhere. I gripped my teacup in an effort to warm my cold hands and spotted two snowy white seagulls with their wings fully extended, as they gracefully hovered in the air. A gust of wind suddenly swept them high into the sky and they seemed to almost beam with delight, before blowing back down towards the water again. My eyes glanced along the shoreline where all the little red boathouses stood quiet and abandoned during the winter months. Beyond the boathouses, on the horizon, the dark gray mountains appeared ancient and lifeless. An opening between the mountains allowed the fjord to join the North Sea and even from this distance I could see the mighty waves furiously pushing against the weathered rock as I’m sure it’s done for thousands of years.

I checked the time, the boys would be home from school in an hour. With effort I forced myself over to the sink and started peeling potatoes. I always tried to have dinner ready when they came home, this way they wouldn’t fill up on junk before we ate. Besides, what else did I have to do? Winters here were so damn long and the months between Christmas and Easter were the worst. Harry always called it Maggie’s hibernation period.

I was suddenly startled when I heard the dog, who’d been fast asleep on the sofa, scurry across the floor on her way to the front door. It was too early to be the boys and I wondered who was there. Much to my surprise it was Harry coming into the kitchen with the dog following close behind, whining for attention.

“What’s wrong?” I asked, getting nervous because he seldom came home early.

“Nothing,” he quickly answered as he came over and gave me his usual kiss hello.
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