Tuesday, December 12, 2017


I came up just in time to hear Kevin saying, “...and people would go inside this box and use that phone in there to call people...”
I posted a picture just like this last year; ‘zact same coats and everything, and I remember my sister saying how young we looked. I’m hoping she’ll make some similar comment this year; it will balance out Mama’s frank comment that we looked so tired in our official family picture this year. 

And once again, KE doesn’t want to be rushed. “You go ahead, Mom. I’ll just stay here and watch the tram.”

Look at those wires.

OpenAir Museum II

KE found a leaf pile. 

And we found a forge. The blacksmith was making a tool for cutting shingles, I think. It was a slightly curved blade with a wooden handle at each end. 
The blacksmith seemed so comfortable with his role. Usually you don’t see this kind of competent contentment in someone so young. 

When it was time to go, KE decided to stay and watch. 
“There’s fire in here, Mom.”

Look at those flames.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Openlucht Museum

On the tram. We rode all the way around the village first, to get it out of our system, and then started through the village backwards; farm first. Sometimes the be-moustached conductor acts as a tour guide and gives you some village history. Today he told us that way back in 1912, when this museum opened, a photographer accidentally set fire to one of the barns while taking a photograph. “By the end of opening day,” he continued, “instead of five farms, we had four.”
How awkward for the photographer!

Enormous pigs. Like many good parents, Kevin always tries to make sure the children get all possible educational benefits available in each place we visit, so we went over what pigs are good for, namely, bacon. 

“Why work when the wind will do it for you?” Said the man in the windmill, switching to English so the children could understand. 

The bakery fairly pulled us in, with a fire blazing a welcome in the big open oven. We had a fresh apple turnover and bokkepotjes; not as good as Papa’s  potjes of course. It was hard to leave that building! 

A few more pictures from Het Loo

On the way.

Colouring in the stables.

Would you trust this little man with your palace furniture? 

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Looking Ahead

On our way home from the Palace, we stopped to pray in Utrecht. There, we were surprised and happy to find someone who knew the minister from our church at home. If I was Cornelia from the Anne books, I would say he is of the race that knows Joseph. 
The children are smiling so well because they are proud to have found purple in the church, and they know its meaning - the colour of royalty; to remind us of the coming of our King.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Outside Het Loo

We walked almost to the end of the formal gardens. KE lowered himself into a fountain (dry for the winter, happily), and walked along it to the end.
When Napoleon made his brother king of this place, many years ago, he ripped out the formal gardens, preferring a more natural woodland look.  Today the formal look has been restored, and it is certainly impressive. I’m conflicted in my thoughts about this. I don’t want to identify with the french revolutionaries, but I do like my gardens with a little more mystery and privacy; with curving pathways that lead to unexpected meadows, and wild tangles of roses bordered by orderly shrubbery.
A sign near the 84-horse stables said that, in order to maintain their status, royalty must always observe protocol. I think that this has never been more true than today, as many people now have the opportunity to be as wealthy and powerful as kings and queens, and class and caste have been discarded in favour of democracy. Maybe the only difference between Mr Jones and His Royal Highness would be the liveried guards, the crown, and the protocols.

 We didn’t get to see the boathouse, but I read that there were two pools in the stream; an upper and a lower. The royalty swam in the upper pool. 

Palais Het Loo

We found Juliana’s room, so we took a picture for Aunt Juli. The girls’ enthusiasm waned when they found out we wouldn’t be seeing any real live princesses. Holland does have three, but they don’t live here. 
O liked this bear rug.
A cake shaped like a swan.

Inside the palace, it was dimly lit and opulent. There were a lot of things that really shouldn’t be touched, and guides everywhere to watch your children almost touch things. 
It was better outside.