Copyright The Cedar Journal, 2020, all rights reserved.
It was our first camping this summer here in The Netherlands.
75 years ago today the Dutch citizens danced in the streets to welcome the Allied Forces, their liberators after more than four years under Nazi rule.
Each year flags are hung to remember that day and to celebrate freedom. This year the national day off was, well less than normal.
We took the opportunity to head out on our first canoe ride of the year. We both needed to be on the water, to flex our canoe muscles, to free ourselves of the four walls of the house. I am usually on the water for weeks by May. Either in Minnesota or here but the last two years have presented some challenges. This year I am guessing most of my readers can relate to the cabin fever syndrome.
He travelled to Hillegom, NL to a place we have paddled before in the Spring. The canals lead through the tulip fields and usually are filled with color and scents of blooms.
This was the first time we have had to place Cedar on our new (to us) VW Caddy. We were worried about how we would lift her to the much higher roof of this van. In fact we talked about it most of the winter, tried to watch videos of people who lift canoes onto higher profiles vehicles (no luck on that!), and finally came up with a system that seemed to work for us.
We love the fact that the VW Caddy has so much more room for our gear.
©️ The Cedar Journal, 2020, all rights reserved
I admire how the Dutch honor this day. As a veteran who has seen the worse of the world I know that the Dutch realize it isn’t a day of celebration it is a day of remembrance of all the costs of war. Not only for soldiers who fight these conflicts for their governments but for the souls of millions of civilians who suffer and pay the cost of conflict.
This morning the Hubby and I made our early morning drive to a local US Air Force crash site to lay flowers in remembrance of the sacrifices they made to freedom. Not only for themselves but to the all European Nations that waged war against the Nazi’s of World War Two.
Millions of lives were struck down before they could really experience life. Young children taken to prisoners camps and killed, pilots and gunners of allied flight crews that flew countless missions (over 6000 flights crashed over Dutch soil). The many families that were separated and never seen or heard from again to those who returned to the home soil changed forever.
Today, the Dutch will pause for 2 minutes of silence nation wide. To remember all that was lost, gained, and to never forget!
We didn’t forget the crew of the bomber Jayhawk. Please visit the site dedicated to their Air squadron. Then remember we are here due to all the sacrifices of those who came before us. Honor them today and always.
Stay safe, stay humble, and stay healthy. Love always!
©️ The Cedar Journal, 2020, all rights reserved.
Not the most original title for this blog. I guess I am getting lazy with my blog creativity. I promise I will do better.
A couple of weeks ago I got the virus cabin fever. I just needed to be anywhere but locked in the house or in our garden! Thank goodness and the Dutch government for not completely locking us down. I got on my bike a rode like a crazy lady trying to escape the cops out of town and into the countryside. So happy to work off some of the anxiety of being locked away without the freedom to do what I want when I want to do whatever whim hits me. Immediately as I got into the countryside I felt better. The wind in my face, the flower fields full of blooms next to the bike path and air I could breathe without the fear that someone else might have polluted it with a virus exhale. No worries about the grumpy old man that lives next door, the neighbors kids that play soccer against the fence making so much noise that it pushes my PTSD to the limits and scares the heck out of my hens. Just me, the bike, the fresh air, and the scenery of the Dutch countryside.
I rode along a road I know well in Lisserbroek. Lined with large farm houses and old nursery/greenhouses owners that keep the yards as well groomed as the flowers in those buildings. It is one of my favorite rides close to home.
As I came to one of my favorite houses along the route the owner was out working on his large beautiful garden. I stopped and asked if I could take some pictures of his yard. He said sure and invited me to cross the canal that separated us and to walk into his yard to “get closer and better pictures”. I was gob smacked!
“Really?” I asked thinking how kind in this time when everyone I had met recently was full of anti-social behavior due to the invisible threat.
“Sure, walk up around the house too, there is plenty blooming there for you to photograph.” He answered.
So I started taking pictures.
The beauty of kindness is that it knows no boundaries. Knows no threats. It fulfills the emptiness of others. On that day this kindness was what I needed and the universe showed me where to find it! Thank you universe, thank you garden owner with a beautiful and a kind heart.
©️ The Cedar Journal, 2020, all rights reserved.