KSIFETUL (Pronounced ‘Ka sif e tul’)

Every year during this season, I put up with verbal insults.  The other day I said to a friend, “This is my favorite time of the year.”  When I told her why, she got a strange look on her face and replied, “I’ll pray for you.”

Ardell Rae Stafne-Nelson

In comparison, I normally make Scrooge look like Santa Claus because I am such a miser, except at Thanksgiving and Christmas (sometimes Easter too) when I splurge on myself.  Heading into the store, I met a shopper who questioned what I was buying.  After I told her, she grimaced, “You have my deepest sympathy.

Little things like that don’t get me down.  I marched up and down the aisles, with a silly smirk on my face and a gleam in my eyes, knowing just where to go.  Serving as a beacon, drawing me home, my gift to myself was lying in wait for my hands to caress and hold.

As I paid for my” buy” at the check out counter, the store owner asked, “Would you like it in paper or a plastic sack?” “Ya, vel it don’t make no difference,” I replied.  “Do you haf and armed guard dat could accompany me, ‘cause I don’t vant it stolen?” I continued.  He peered at me as though I was a little strange, but reassured me with the statement, “You need not worry, because once a normal thief gets wind of it, he would return it with haste.”  He did have this peculiar look on his face, as he commented in a weak voice, “We sell a lot of it, but I don’t know why.

Arriving home, my dog, Misty, came running – tail wagging to and fro and tongue hanging out.  What a greeting!  As I carried my package to the house, she suddenly bolted for the trees and pasture, yippin’ and howlin’ like she had been shot.  I thought, `Now that is a nice howdy do.’

As I entered the garage, I saw Heathcliff, Sebastian, and Jinx, three adorable cats, just waiting for me.  As I reached down to pet them, the fur on their tails stood out as they arched their backs and howled and hissed as though I was a stranger.

As I entered the kitchen, “Okay, so my pets don’t understand me, but my children will,” ran through my mind.  “You are gong to put where?” screeched my 17 year old, with eyes as big as saucers. “You are going to ruin the nuke machine and we will have to throw it out?” said my 20 year old, with a look that obviously questioned my sanity.  “We need to preserve our environment.  Think what you are doing to the ozone layer!” They fumed in unison.

As my daughters escaped to visit their friends, I heard them muttering with disgust, “To think she is college, and doesn’t even know her ancestors in Norway don’t even eat the stuff.”

Alas the nest is empty for a few hours.  Feverishly I unwrap my package and. put it into a glass-covered dish, to preserve all the flavors and set it in the microwave.  At the sound of the bell, I have my seasonal treat, with a dash of salt and pepper, (some even like cream and butter).  It is well worth the annual torment.  I can’t wait until next year when I can have some more Lutefisk.

(NOTE:  KSIFETUL is lutefisk spelled backwards.

  © 1992 and cannot be printed or published without written authorization of the author Ardell Rae Stafne-Nelson.

ADDED NOTE:   this is a true story that was birthed at the Jack N Jill, Hettinger ND and culminated at the farm at Reeder ND.  The only embellishments in the story are the actions of the animals, Misty, Heathcliff, Sebastian, and Jinx who came to greet me and did get a little huffy because of the odor – Ardell Rae Stafne-Nelson.  The Adams County Record, Hettinger, ND has permission to print this story in a December 2018 issue only and cannot not be copied or reprinted without permission and cannot be changed in any manner or form. This foolishness is  part of my autobiography “The Locked Doors.”