Saturday, December 16, 2017

Fields and Soup

KA ripped this out of a grocery store flyer this week. She plans to keep it forever, I think. Because real Dutch pea soup is so delicious. Even the stuff in cans!

Kevin: “It’s amazing, that in a country with so many people in it that you have all these big fields everywhere.”

Friday, December 15, 2017

Watching the Excavations

Kevin loves to hit the road every morning right after breakfast... KE, on the other hand, could sit in this window all day, watching the digging machines and dump trucks strengthening the dike.

Look at all that mud!

Direct Dutch Lunching

We were happy to finally meet another one of my dad’s brothers this week. Oom Adri and his wife, and one of my cousins treated us to a very gezellig Dutch lunch.

I feel as if I’ve gained another aunt here; Tante Ida plans to FaceTime me when I’m back home again; which will be really nice. 

Kevin is still bemused by how direct the Dutch people are. My cousin was telling us about someone, and said, “She’s not a 10 -you know- but she is a very nice girl.” I could feel Kevin shaking with laughter on the couch next to me. I find this sort of talk to the point and easy to understand. He finds it surprisingly blunt. 

I will admit to teaching our children to talk like Maritimers, but I like this better.


Finding the directions.
Decorating almond cookies. 

Tuesday, December 12, 2017


I came up just in time to hear Kevin saying, “...and people would go inside this box and use that phone in there to call people...”
I posted a picture just like this last year; ‘zact same coats and everything, and I remember my sister saying how young we looked. I’m hoping she’ll make some similar comment this year; it will balance out Mama’s frank comment that we looked so tired in our official family picture this year. 

And once again, KE doesn’t want to be rushed. “You go ahead, Mom. I’ll just stay here and watch the tram.”

Look at those wires.

OpenAir Museum II

KE found a leaf pile. 

And we found a forge. The blacksmith was making a tool for cutting shingles, I think. It was a slightly curved blade with a wooden handle at each end. 
The blacksmith seemed so comfortable with his role. Usually you don’t see this kind of competent contentment in someone so young. 

When it was time to go, KE decided to stay and watch. 
“There’s fire in here, Mom.”

Look at those flames.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Openlucht Museum

On the tram. We rode all the way around the village first, to get it out of our system, and then started through the village backwards; farm first. Sometimes the be-moustached conductor acts as a tour guide and gives you some village history. Today he told us that way back in 1912, when this museum opened, a photographer accidentally set fire to one of the barns while taking a photograph. “By the end of opening day,” he continued, “instead of five farms, we had four.”
How awkward for the photographer!

Enormous pigs. Like many good parents, Kevin always tries to make sure the children get all possible educational benefits available in each place we visit, so we went over what pigs are good for, namely, bacon. 

“Why work when the wind will do it for you?” Said the man in the windmill, switching to English so the children could understand. 

The bakery fairly pulled us in, with a fire blazing a welcome in the big open oven. We had a fresh apple turnover and bokkepotjes; not as good as Papa’s  potjes of course. It was hard to leave that building!