Day 14

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Europe » Netherlands » Overijssel » Giethoorn
May 15th 2013
Published: May 16th 2013
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It rained again off and on so we decided today would be the day that we visit the places where I was born and lived. I had previously contacted my old friend Jet (Henriette) and she agreed she would meet up with us. We drove to De Krim in Overijssel and tried to find my old school and the place where one of my uncles and aunts had lived, couldn't find either although some of the neighbourhoods were still familiar. In front of my old home Jet was already was great to see her again after 45!!!! ..years, as we talked it felt as though the years fell away slowly and we both remarked on how great it was to have grown up here (photos), it was wonderful to see her again! Our old house no longer has the storefront area and the butchershop annex is removed, see photos *then* and *now*. We were allowed to walk behind the house and all the cherry and apple trees are gone, but the meadows with cows are still there behind all the houses on the Hoofdweg/Main Street.

After the visit we drove to the city of Emmen to see the home from which we emigrated to Canada in 1974. This visit was emotional for me, this was the home and place I did not want to leave back then. It did not really change much, the trees and the fresh woodsy smells. Ofcourse it was still raining, perfect! We walked through the woods a ways and took some photos of my old home and reminisced. A woman came up behind us when we were walking away from the street and she asked why we had been taking pictures of her home so I explained to her that we had been the first family to live at that address and offered to delete the photos but at that point she seemed satisfied that everything was ok, she told me that they had moved here in 2006 From Russia.

After dinner at the hotel Steve and I drove out to Drachten in the province of Friesland, to visit some of my cousins. It was really great to see them again, re-connect and to hear their stories and what they remembered from coming to stay with us when they were teenagers and how much we fun it was and how my Dad always pulled so many pranks. They also remembered the big pots of Nasi Goreng my Dad used to make every Sunday! I cannot really describe in words how good it felt to be with them this evening. It does make me a bit sad to know we live so far apart.

Steve really enjoyed the day as well and was able to converse in English with everyone today.

We drove home in the dark with our British voiced GPS lady, I have named her Eunice.

Additional photos below
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17th May 2013

Beautiful pictures and story, Alie. Such a treat to be able to follow you daily (I really missed you when you didn't have Internet access!). I cancelled my sailing trip so that I can be with my dad. I am with him in his room now (he's napping) feeling intense gratitude for good friends, and WiFi (that's two for the day right there, Steve). My cousin Shannon came to visit from Nova Scotia and I hadn't seen her since she was an infant, so really felt the connection with you visiting your cousins, Alie.
17th May 2013

hi Derek
it's four years already that I lost my Dad, and that you and Steve lost Jim. As we spend time here in the Western provinces I can feel my Dad again and it brings back so many memories of him especially. goodbyes are so hard but the memories that we build thankfully bridge the loss somewhat in due time. I am glad you like our blog, it has become a great way for us to track all we have done and encountered, I find it fascinating to focus back on the day in such detail and find little pearls in it that I would have missed otherwise. I feel i am starting to live the day more through this process, something Steve was already doing. We are thinking of you Derek while you are spending time with your Dad and sending hugs, Alie

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