Those regular readers of my blog already know to be amazed at the items that the universe places in my path.
This week is vacation week in The Netherlands for most people. The Hubby only has three days off but we decided to escape to one of our favorite camping spots at the Biesbosch. Then I would try to get my hiking feet to pound the kilometers I still have to complete the Floris V Pad hiking trail. Oh, how I digress, this is a Hummm blog. Yes, I found these at our camping and along my route.
March filled my folder of Hummm, today it spilled onto my desk as April Fool’s joke from Mother Nature.
When I texted it to the Hubby who was waiting at another door for my friend. He sent me this!
While walking in Gouda this one appeared from a rooftop.
Then came the snow on April Fool’s Day. One last joke on us before Spring really sets in. Hummm… something is just not right with the world when Mother Nature dumps snow on poor blooming tulips. Hummm… I wonder what the rest of April will bring.
The folder is empty here at The Cedar Journal. Have you seen a Hummm… recently? Share your recent finds in our comment section below.
For my regular followers you will be happy to see that the Hummm… is still in me and that I can write about it. Maybe it will bring some smiles to those of you who have been too much in front of all the current World events. As I now have a strong following from China I hope that they understand the Hummm files and can see the smiles on all of our faces as we read these strange and unusual sightings. Welcome to my new Chinese followers!
We made a short trip this last week to an undisclosed location here in Europe to enjoy the sun and see some local sights. The weather was unusually warm for this time of the year and it brought the local citizens out in grand European style to enjoy the sun collectively and enjoy a nice cup of coffee with friends. After two years of COVID we are all very happy to get back to normal!
Hummm… normal? What the heck is that? Well, I didn’t think I would be enjoying a cup of coffee and have to worry about nuclear attacks! That is NOT normal!!! So what other not normal things did we see… here is a bit of the sights.
Hummm… how am I doing? Sleep, crappy! Worried…NO! Prepared for whatever crap comes our way…YUP!!!!
I do not fear Putin and as any coward usual does, he is hiding in Moscow while his troops are dying on the battlefield. Hummm… is NATO prepared for him if he crosses the line they have set into place. I can say in the most unofficial terms YES, YES, YES!!!! 💙💛🙏
Will the Hubby and I have to escape via our beautiful Cedar canoe if things get really close? Possible. We were asked to wipe our muddy feet when we get to where we are going to paddle. No problem! 🛶🚴♀️
So for all you out there that worry about us we appreciate your prayers and support here at the Cedar Journal, but please send most of your support to those in Ukraine as they need it more than we do at this moment. 💙💛💙💛🙏🇪🇺🇪🇺🇪🇺🇪🇺
Spring here is usually a time of joy. Flowers start to peek out of the warming soil. Tourists fill the restaurants and our roadways. People make money and enjoy life.
For the last two years, the flowers still peeked out of the soil even when we were in COVID lockdown. we could enjoy the spots of color in the natural World. Life continued although altered in masks, vaccines, bogged down with protests and conspiracy theories. But, life as we experience it still remained.
Now in the last eleven days the reality of life as we know it has come into sharp focus. There is a thin line between life and death. What we do each day will determine how we view the next day or the day after next or next year or the years of our children and grandchildren. Carpe Diem!
War is not anything new.
Horrific and brutal.
Destructive and violent.
The human race has never lived without war…but we could!
WE as collective of humans can each enjoy the Spring flowers, the fresh air, the smell of laundry coming off the clothesline without the fear of attack, without worry that our neighbor might shoot us. Without the need to have a weapon in order to “protect” our property. But, we must stand and say enough violence is enough!
I was so moved over the weekend when so many thousands of people marched to ask for NO MORE WAR! In support of the Ukranine people who have suffered from this brutal attack from the Russian President.
No matter what you feel about how the American or European leadership or NATO is responding to this situation we all should step back. Look at the human toll.
As a collective of humans should we allow this to continue?
My answer is NO! I feel (after three combat zones of experience) that as a human I want to let other humans experience peace! No more blanket bombs, weapons of any sort! What a nice friendly World that would be…
No, we won’t be able to change human nature of being pissed off when the chickens you have in the your yard make a bit more noise than necessary, or being pissed off at the guy on Sunday who runs a chainsaw thus destroying the peaceful day everyone was having but… we could move forward in a more peaceful way without weapons. Hard to accomplish, yup it sure is.
Are we there yet as a human race? My guess is that we are not, but I can sure try my best to be part of the solution and not part of the problem.
Spring will come no matter what to us here in Europe.
Flowers will bloom.
Tourists may or may not come.
I will survive and so will my will to be a better human through kindness. Carpe Diem.
Warning from the local Great Blue Heron should have been my first clue that we were heading towards another limited lockdown.
After my return from the United States I was finally starting to feel like we were returning to some pre-COVID normal here in The Netherlands.
I was off to my volunteer job at the Historic Gardens at Aalsmeer every Friday. Taking the bus from my house each time and pushing down some anxiety the bus was full of wall to wall people riding to and from their daily jobs. Masks were still mandatory in the public transport, and the Dutch (who don’t normally chat on public transport) seemed liberated after so long of being sequestered at home, passengers chatted with everyone. On once such bus ride I chatted with a lady who works at the airport who was going back to her sales job for the first time in a year and half. She told me she was nervous but happy that she still had a job. I felt the same way about my volunteer job!
Never a lack of work at the Historic Garden, I was put to work weeding, planting and separating plants for the next season. I always doubt my abilities of my work as I am surrounded by giants of the plant industry. Mostly men who owned and worked the soil of the Aalsmeer plant industry for years before retirement. Now volunteering their skill sets to the preservation of old horticultural skills. I look forward to learning so much each day I volunteer.
The thing I realize each time I volunteer is that work, hard manual work is how humans existed for centuries before the modern age. That those skills are being lost with each passing day when those skills are not learned by generations who have only grown up in the modern age, in front of a computer or TV.
Then COVID hit here once again knocking us all back into a limited lockdown. We are all strongly encouraged to work from home, limit our social contacts, wear a mask everywhere again.
I know that COVID has been hard for most people. The mental anguish for most people of not being able to gather with family and friends at any given moment is difficult.
But, maybe it was a message from Mother Earth that we all needed. That our 24/7/365 world is not sustainable.
What to do with all this time now that we have been given? Here it is three weeks. 3 December, if anyone is keeping exact track of the timeline for this current outbreak.
I am thankful in many ways of my agricultural roots I grew up with. In times of distress on a farm, you just pick up and keep going. Life and death is part of the farm cycle. The change of seasons and the hard work that continues. I never remember having much time to sit and worry about what was next. Heaven forbid if we as children uttered the “I am bored…” words as we instantly found ourselves not bored doing some really crappy task.
One of my Dutch friends thinks I grew up like Laura Ingalls Wilder, she isn’t far from the truth. No running indoor water or toilet with only wood heat for the house. The one thing Laura Ingalls didn’t have was over 100 head of sheep to care for during the year. The year long work even in the -40 temps of Northern Minnesota! Plus, I don’t ever remember Laura Ingalls being told to go clean the crap in the barn due to the fact that she was bored.
When the government announced our lockdown again due to the explosion of COVID cases I pulled out one of my old skill sets I learned as a young person, spinning. Filling my days with making wool yarn with the ancient drop spindle.
The result was something I can feel and see with my own hands. A sense of accomplishment in the world of COVID chaos.
Not a huge accomplishment. It won’t replace the joy I get in volunteering at the Historic Garden, but it is a good filler for the time I now have to stay at home.
I hope that each of my readers are also finding ways to move forward in all this chaos.