Wednesday, February 6, 2013


January has  come and gone. We were away for two weeks in early January to visit family in the Netherlands. Toward the end  of the month we went back because my father in law passed away. He had a long life of 87 years. They do things differently in the Netherlands with funerals and visitations. Everything was at the home of my husband's sister. Everyday we received  visitors from the village at  her home. It was very nice to connect with so many people in an unhurried manner. 

He was a small farmer of bulbs, mainly tulips, and other vegetables during his working years. The wreath below was very fitting for a long time "tunider" who loved planting his veggies every spring.
He employed many young nephews and village youth during their teens to help with the farm. Many of those youth are now in their 40s and 50s now, but remember his kindness and generosity when they worked for him. They also talked about how pivotal it was for them to be outdoors, in the quiet, with opportunities to run, play and swim in the great expanse of country space rather than the constrains of the city. Up to his last days he was preparing his greenhouse for spring planting of potatoes and carrots.
 The view from his land and into the village.
The boat above is what he used to transport his farming supplies to the fields farther away. I remember the sound of all those diesel engines starting up at 6am sharp in the summer. He left a legacy and will be missed by many.

I am slowly getting back into my routine, including exercise and healthy eating. While in Holland, I ate as best as was possible and exercised some by walking. I even rented a bike over the last couple of days and was able to meander through the old town of Hoorn on the old Zuider Zee.

It was lovely to be back on a bike.

It is very snowy here in the upper Midwest. I will walk again today. I look toward to getting my cross country skies out and even riding on my trainer. 

De groetjes and stay strong,


  1. Welcome back, Michele, and thank you for sharing that lovely remembrance of your father-in-law. It sounds like they have very nice customs. My great-grandparents were from Putten in the Netherlands, so I grew up with a feeling of a connection to their country of origin. We will be spending a brief time there in the fall when we travel to europe. Take care...

    1. I don't know why I was published as "unknown." It's E. Jane. Sorry.

  2. Thanks for sharing your father with us. I'm sorry for your loss.

  3. So good to hear from you Michelle and sorry about you FIL. I'm sure that wasn't easy for your husband or you to be so far away. Am thankful you were able to go spend time with his family and celebrate his life. Hope that didn't put you too far behind in your academic year.

  4. Great pictures, Michele. Sorry to hear of your loss. Interesting ritual. I like the term "unhurried". Imagine those bike rides in the Netherlands must have had some great scenery.