Traditional Tidbits: Leif Erikson Day

“Leif! Leif!” Will you stop creating tidal waves in the kitchen sink long enough to actually wash the dishes?”

“But mom! Don’t you get it? The sponge is my twelfth great grandfather’s, Leif Erikson’s, ship! And I’m trying to see just how unsinkable it really was.”

Mom walked over to me, put her hand on my shoulder and said, “When you’re old enough to grow a beard like your twelfth great-grandfather’s, then you can take a real ship out on to the ocean and test how unsinkable that is. But for now, just wash the dishes.”

It was customary in our family that when a young boy began to grow facial hair he could then take the family boat out on the water for a sailing trip. I guess it was a tradition started because of our ancestry.

“And mom, just how long do you think it will take for that to happen?”

She laughed and answered, “Oh, another five years or so.”

I looked at the sponge and sighed, knowing that for five years the only thing I was captain of was a sink full of dirty water and nasty dishes.


October 9 is Leif Erikson Day! Celebrate today by learning about his discovery of America, reading about viking history, or exploring something new and mysterious.