Uma and Ave (grandma and grandpa) Sigurdson were two of the sweetest people I've ever known. They are the couple who sold my parents their property on Bainbridge Island.
John (Ave) was a carpenter, and he not only sold the land to my parents, he helped them build their cabin. My parents were newlyweds who were living in a rented, one-bedroom apartment, had no money, and knew nothing about building; John taught them what they needed to know. He also brought them a pot of hot coffee and a plate of fresh buttermilk pancakes in the mornings, before they started working.
Uma and Ave had 6 children and many grandchildren. We were treated as if we were their grandchildren, too, with freedom to roam through their property, swing on their swings, drink from their freshwater rain barrel, catch frogs in the rhubarb patch, and generally visit the house at any time. We would knock on the door and wait for them to call, "Come on!," and we would sit down to talk and eat some of Uma's delicious kleinur (twisted, deep-fried donuts) or sweet brown bread.
The men in the neighborhood would gather often to play cribbage or have a drink together; the women would drink coffee and talk.
My memories of Bainbridge Island, and the Sigurdsons, are the happiest ones of my childhood. Which brings me back to pancakes. My father always made "Mrs. Sig's Buttermilk Pancakes" on Sunday mornings when we were young. I decided to treat Zoe to the same experience, and she helped me to make the batter. They were delicious, as always.
The ironic thing is that the Sigurdsons were immigrants from Iceland. So, while the volcano in Iceland is preventing her departure, Zoe is happily eating one of their "signature" dishes.