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Friday, December 31, 2010

Thursday, December 23, 2010

A Christmas Memory

I don't remember how old our middle daughter was when she learned a Dutch song from an elementary school teacher at Christmas time.

We didn't know what the words meant, but we enjoyed listening to her sing the verse as she skipped around the house that year.

We sang many of the familiar holiday tunes in the car as we drove over the mountains that Christmas Eve to celebrate with family at my brother's house in Gig Harbor.

We stopped to have lunch at a little restaurant when the road made us hungry and weary.  In passing, I noticed that the pretty young woman who took our dinner requests had an unusual accent.  However, we were distracted by our young daughters and entertaining them while we waited for our meal and hadn't chatted with her.

It wasn't too long before the little song was forming once again on the lips of our little singer.  She sang it out clear and sweet:

Sinterklaas, kapoentje
Gooi wat in mijn schoentje,
Breng wat in mijn laarsje,
Dank je Sinterklaasje.

It was not until after she finished the verse that we noticed that our waitress had walked over to our table and was standing close to our daughter.  Tears were rolling down her cheeks.

"How do you know this song?"  She sniffed.

Our daughter proudly responded, "From my teacher!"

"I am from the Netherlands," the tearful server explained, "and, this is the song I sang so much as a child. You have made me remember my home and how much I miss my family."

Then she asked our daughter to sing it once more time.  She got down on her knees and sang the words along with her.

"Oh, thank you!" she exclaimed. "What a wonderful present you have given me today."

Then, she rushed away to get our food.

Hope everyone of you get to remember something special this beautiful Christmas season.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Conversations with Grand Children

At lunch time today the conversation took a strange turn when we began talking about cows.

Grandma:  When I was a little girl we raised cows.
5 year old Z-bub:  Who won?
Grandma (confused):  Who won what?

Z-bub:  Who won when you raced cows?

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Tis the Season

IMG_3710 IMG_3718

Leavenworth Washington is a small village that has “reinvented” itself as the place to visit to get into the spirit of the season. 

I was enchanted by this magnificent Percheron, Jackson, that took Santa on a tour and was also available for tourist’s rental as well.

One hundred years ago there were lots of horses and wagons still carrying the majority of people on their journeys to and from town, as well as handling the freight and agricultural demands.

My mama told me about riding to school on a buckboard behind a horse called Old Nell.  Grandma would take rocks heated on the old wood stove and place them in rags around mama and her siblings feet to keep them warm.

Her other memories of the ride include a loud and effusive burst of gas escaping from the old mare every couple of clip clops. 

Mama said that one day on the way to school she herself was guilty of a small aromatic ester.  Even in her early 70s my mama would blush when she told me that her social blunder earned her the nickname “Old Nell.” 

I thought of that story when Jackson clopped past me later that day.  Pugh!  Jackson was quite the stinker!