What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God, not on account of the position and work, but on account of the word and faith from which the obedience and the work flow. ~ Martin Luther

Monday, July 09, 2018

A Dutch Girl Goes to Holland: The Last of the Bunch

A few shops down from our Air B&B was a homemade ice cream shop.  A dangerously delicious situation to be in.

My two flavors: stroopwafel and caramel sea salt 

I am not a seafood person.  I kinda loathe the stuff.  But after much prompting, I tried each of these three things from Oom Arjo's plate (one was eel!)  and to my great surprise- they weren't disgusting.  In fact, dare I say it?, they may have actually been good.

Look closely and you will see a teeny tiny person in the left which may help you to feel just how grandiose a hall this was.
It was in a hotel.  Certainly not one *I* was staying at- but people do!
Popcorn on cheesecake?  Why yes!

Finally, I have come to an end of my Holland trip blogging!  It has taken quite a lot of time to blog all these photographs!  (I am really bad at showing restraint, as you now know!)

I'm sure I've bored you all to bits by now- even I am ready for a change of pace!  I took a lot of photographs of things that I saw so that I could help my family to experience some of what I experienced, to show them the things that I saw.  I also took photographs, often, of things that made me feel or think certain things. And one of the things that I kept coming back to as I explored the Netherlands, is that no matter where you are, where you live, what means you have access to or the circumstances of your life... people seek beauty and wish to be surrounded by it.  And how beauty is often defined by nature and living things and life.

Overall, despite their circumstances or means, people work to create beauty to surround themselves with.  I saw it in the white-haired man sitting under an awning of roses, and the old lady who filled every square inch of sidewalk with plants and in her inner holy of holies- a chair to sit in the midst of it all.  I saw it in the orchids lining windows, in the window boxes of flowers on even the humblest of homes.  I saw it in the apartments, 15 stories up, with their balconies overflowing with potted trees and plants and lights and I saw it reflected in the pools of water in the fishponds built on top of sidewalks and shaded by lush rhododendrons.

We surround ourselves with these little remnants of Eden and, whether we realize it or not, we commune with God there.  God formed these good things from His breath and His imagination, knowing we would take pleasure in them.  He created us to be creators like Him and when we do, we are.  The most staunch atheist can say there is no God but be like Him when satisfaction rises in his nostrils at the scent of a rose.  Like the little boy, sitting on his Papa's lap who slaps him in the face- we need God to hold us up in order for us to reject Him.

We are His and we are like Him.

We can pretend all we want~ indeed, Amsterdam is a a well known place of pretending there is no God~ and yet, here we are, little children all around God's Good Earth, universally loving the things He loves, doing the things that He does, all while sitting right in His lap.

Friday, July 06, 2018

A Dutch Girl Goes to Holland: The Open Air Museum

A day spent with Anja and her husband Huib at the Arnhem Open Lucht Museum (the Open Air Museum), a place where period homes/buildings/windmills were moved for preservation.

This home, I was told, held 11 people.  The brick portion on the right is the home, the black planked portion was the attached barn.  And I complain about not having two bathrooms.

speculaas molds

Poffertjes making

Poffertjes- A bit like a puffy silver dollar pancake, a bit like a flattened doughnut hole drowning in butter and loaded with confectioners sugar.  It's rough trying new things.

Oom Hans was given a good gift of art that was made by Oma's brother that died during the war, his namesake.
The laundry house

I climbed to the middle of a windmill and looked out the window- and even half way up we were in the canopy of trees.

I don't know which photo I like better, so here's both.

oh my.

This is a bit of an trick on your eyes as you will see.

Another trick was just how REAL these wax people looked!

For the maple-syrup making men in my life, I took these pictures.  These are the syrup making tools of the Netherlands- but not using maple trees, but apple trees.  They make Appelstroop- a sort of thick, molassesy syrup made from apple juice.  It's delicious.  We would eat it on toast (big surprise!) growing up.

Yet ANOTHER trick for the eyes- the facade in front made a home look grandiose but behind the walls...

the small house was separated from the small barns by a small courtyard.  I love it!  

When someone suggested we stand by the antique car and we all stood in FRONT of the antique car, covering it up entirely.  

We stayed until closing and caught the last train to the entrance.