© The Cedar Journal, 2021, all rights reserved.
Ahhh…yes! In all the chaos, the Dutch greenhouses continue to pump out these beautiful flowers.
© The Cedar Journal, 2021, all rights reserved.
I read one of my fellow blogger friends blog this morning and my heart goes out to her. She lives in Southern Minnesota in a rural community and they have lost yet another community leader to COVID 19. This flower is for her.
The news, from where I read it here in The Netherlands, looks looks bleak in the United States. Not that the virus has disappeared here, our numbers hover at over 10,000 cases per day, but the heartbreak I have heard and seen coming out of the USA is almost too hard to think about most days. Unemployment, families being evicted from homes, food insecurity are all very depressing. I pour myself into other things. I try not to think about the upcoming election.
There are still good people doing good in the world and we all have to make sure we keep that focus.
There is a section in The Washington Post that highlights personal stories of survival the current crisis. Featured over the weekend was a fellow Minnesotan, a fearless woman who has almost single handed tackled a huge inner city problem of poverty. What she has accomplished in Minneapolis without the funds from the government or the United Way is close to miraculous. Mary Jo Copeland is one of those community heroes who selflessly tackles helping others to get through the difficult days. Years ago she founded Sharing & Caring Hands in Minneapolis. Determined, she started to help all in need even when she knew the task seemed impossible. I am sure it has been heartbreaking work and yet she doesn’t let the virus stop her from continuing her work, her passion. A true community leader, a lady who is determined to change her world one step at a time no matter how many people tell her it is not possible. Everyone could use a friend when they are in need of assistance and Mary Jo has been a friend to many in my home state of Minnesota over the years.
These late fall flowers are for Mary Jo and her endless determination against all the odds and obstacles.
Life inches slowly along.
Today, I got an unexpected video phone call from Frankfurt, Germany. My youngest son is on his way through Europe for his job. He proudly told me that he helped an older German lady. He carried her bag up the four flights of stairs at the airport. My heart warmed that he showed kindness to someone and that he was willing to share it with his mother. I was sad that I was not able to greet him on this side of the ocean as he passed through. Sacrifice is hard.
I heard also this last week my oldest son, he was able to find employment, he had been unemployed since April. I have always been happy that he has his part time government employment to fill gaps but full time employment was welcome news. His wife, my daughter-in-law, is still working crazy long hours at the St Louis Hospital with limited staff to fill in their gaps caused by the crisis.
The friends who I have made over these last few years of blogging and volunteering have continued to be a source of strength. From wonderful food creations, to comments on my blog, to navigating the new world of zoom together through several time zones, I thank each of you for your kindness, help, comments and for continued friendship.
© The Cedar Journal, 2020, all rights reserved.
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
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.