Nope, I am still in shock from what happened last week. Which makes the fact that for two days I have seen the following even more spectacular.
The rainbow can only be seen when conditions are just right. Light, water, angle, and being in the right place at the right time are all elements to being able to witness such a thing.
From a dark sky full of gloom to be suddenly blessed to see all the colors that are contained in each rain drop, a spectrum of color. What a simple joy!
So many only want to see only the dark sky, the rain clouds, the windy conditions that keep them inside (ok, a virus is also keeping many inside), or only see what is binging on their phone. As we all put down our phones, and look at the sky I hope we all see are rainbows in this darkness that has invaded our world in the last year.
My hope is that each of my blog followers will also enjoy a rainbow of any sort in your travels today. Be kind to one another and be safe.
Another rainbow from my walk this morning 12 January 2021.
The hardest part of the year was not kayaking. This blog is about how on Wednesday I had my first kayak paddle of the season and most likely the last kayak paddle of the season.
I don’t have a Dutch drivers license. I am at the liberty of the Hubby’s time availability for getting to a kayak location. After our weekend canoe paddle in the Weerribben I knew needed to find my way into the water in my kayak for a day. Kayaking was my first love and it was part of my PTSD therapy recovery plan. The healing properties of water and nature are well documented and amazing. I needed some “me” time.
I arranged to be dropped off at my favorite local lake, the Westeinder in Aalsmeer. We have featured this lake several times before on this blog. It was the training lake where the Hubby and I spent several days paddling in preparation for our BWCA trip, three years ago.
The fall days are getting shorter. The Hubby dropped me and my equipment off at the beach before the sunrise.
As I waited I had a very friendly goose approach me.
I had enough equipment for a five day trip but the plan was only to paddle to the Historic Garden in Aalsmeer where I volunteer. My first visit to the garden since April.
I always get a bit of a thrill when my kayak hits the water for the first time in a season. I am always a little nervous. The weather, wind, and muscles all have to once again tune into each other. It is like meeting an old friend after not seeing them for awhile. Excitement and also caution as you know it has been awhile since your last solo paddle. Plus, kayaking is not canoeing.
As I paddled from lake into harbor the sun was changing the reflections and sky as the seconds ticked passed. I pulled around the corner to find the sun putting on a spectacular display of color as it crested above the horizon.
In my own special place, alone on the water, I thanked the heavens for health and ability to paddle. To be able to experience this special place in this time, even though it has contained such heartbreak and misery for so many all over the world.
As I entered the canal that takes me directly to the Historic Garden I was reminded of my mantra… Carpe Diem.
I silently slowly paddled my way closer to the garden so my arrival time at the garden would be timed perfectly. I knew the garden bridge over the canal opened at 8 am. My timing was perfect as I was greeted by one of my co-volunteers lowering the bridge.
Pulling my kayak onto dry land my co-worker greeted me and jokingly asked if I paddled all the way from the USA.
I laughed, “nope just from the lake beach“.
I sat and had my coffee then toured around the gardens. I trimmed and deadheaded the roses for the first time this year. Then the day outing was over as the Hubby returned to pick me and the equipment up.
Sadly, this might have been the last day this year I would have an opportunity to kayak. Who knows what the coming days or weeks will bring?
My last thought on First and Last…today 28 years ago my first son was born in the shadow of Mount Rainer in Washington State. Happy Birthday son!
We have accomplished another short escape from the Amsterdam area. This time we headed to Limburg.
Normally we stay at a wonderful B&B (Meens B&B) in Schinnen but this time of the year, most vacation lodging is booked far in advance. This year with Covid running rampant in European vacation locations outside of the Netherlands, many Dutch have decided to stay and vacation here inside the country. This has made getting accommodations (even camping spots) challenging.
We decided on very short notice to go to Limburg. We were very lucky to find a farm camping location in the outskirts of Landgraaf.
I worked in Limburg for a couple of years prior to my retirement and knew that Landgraaf has a downhill ski facility and hosts a summer music festival (that didn’t happen this summer). As in most locations where I have worked sometimes I didn’t really explore as much as I would have liked due to time constraints. It is nice now to really enjoy the areas around where I spent my last two years of employment with the US Government.
We were nicely surprised at this camping location. Large roomy bathroom facilities. Trees between the camping spots that provide some much needed shade as the temperatures creeped towards 30C. A expansive view of the Limburg landscape reaching into Germany. The German border is only 2 kilometers (approximately 1 mile) from where we camped.
The differences in Limburg from Amsterdam area are vast. Hills instead of flat land make it great for bicycle training. The Dutch language also changes here into something that is part German, local Dutch and influenced also by the Belgium speakers of French, making hard even for my Dutch hubby to understand.
It was a nice getaway. Biking in the Limburg area, relaxing at the campsite. Too short in duration, different too from other vacations as we can’t just shop without a mask or are constantly thinking is this or that safe. It was a time to regroup, reconnect, listen to nature and re-energize.
Loaded down with the last of my American shopping for the year we head home to Amsterdam.
With all that is going on in the world it seems some things and companies are dependable. At a cost, of course.
I never would have guessed that it would ever cost me personally $74.00 to vote in a US election. That is only the primary, I will have to do the same for the general election this fall.
I don’t usually mix my blog and my political views but many who follow my blog know how deeply I feel about the trends in my mother country.
Shock…when I saw attacks by leadership towards the US Postal Service earlier this year. I joined the thousands of other Americans who purchased postage to show our support for a system so many rural Americans depend. Support for the US Postal Service that hires thousands of military veterans.
Shock…once again as the leadership placed someone in charge at the US Postal Service to make it more profitable. Instantly, I experienced change in the US Postal Service and how it approached customers services. Prices to send packages jumped, letter mail and packages to get to me here in The Netherlands now takes weeks and months to receive. Can we blame the delay in service on the current pandemic?
Last week that US Postal employees announced that their hours have been cut and undelivered mail is now piling up at facilities. How is that possible in these times where everyone is depending on package delivery to avoid shopping in stores?
The final straw for me was hearing that our US election would not be valid due to mail in votes this year. A shout to delay the US election went out.
I couldn’t believe it!!!
For the first time as a voting adult I chose this election cycle to pay to place my vote. I don’t care what it costs me. I know I can still exercise my freedom to choose who I want in office.
Hopefully, we (American citizens) will experience some change of leadership with the next round of elected officials.
Are you frustrated? Have you voted? We would love to hear how you are dealing with trying to vote this year. Please send us a personal message via our contact page or leave your comments below.