A New Life: Great Expectations! 2023 – 16


We have seven grandkids. Most of them live far away, but we are so proud of them! They are all excelling in the age-related activities they enjoy. This May was an exceptional month for everyone. One of them made it into the finals of the 2023 American Collegiate Rowing Association (ACRA) National Championship, boat of 8, in Tennessee. Another one finished in first place of the final District Cross Country race of 122 students. They ran 1.5 kilometers. A third one graduated early from high school and will have a Private Pilot’s license by the end of this month. Number four is doing very well in college and won an internship this summer which will most likely lead to an interesting job right after graduation. Number five got ice hockey skates as a birthday gift and is practicing to join the Junior team in the fall. He is also a fantastic soccer player. We watched him score a goal from far away on the side of the field, and we loved to watch him run, faster than anyone else. Number six is a great artist and just joined a friend on the Rugby team. Rugby is like football, a close-contact team sport that originated at Rugby School in Rugby, England in the first half of the 19th century. Rugby is simply based on running with the ball in hand, without protection. I would love to learn the rules of the game sometime soon. Number seven has sung in Carnegie Hall in New York with multiple choirs, and is planning a trip to Switzerland with a group of friends this summer.

A Third Generation that creates great expectations don’t you think? And the Second Generation, consisting of three kids, well, of those we are even prouder, not only because of what they have achieved in their lives so far, but because of the warm hearted, caring, independent thinkers and doers they have become. We are truly blessed, and very happy that we made the journey from the Netherlands to California, USA, in 1972, with two daughters, a baby son and our chow-chow Roy.


After a while, we now have a lively variety of birds outside to watch. Through the window on the left, hummingbirds come and go, and other birds come for a drink of water from the bowl above the feeder. Through the window on the right we see cardinals, gold finches, house finches, North Carolina Blue Jays (smaller than the Stellar Jays we had in Lake Arrowhead and Prescott), small woodpeckers. A sparrow had a go at it, but was too large to land. And through the sliding door we see a couple of mourning doves on the patio. Lovely. I Google them all, so we get to know them.

Last week, when I was walking with Lani, a bird suddenly dove down onto my head and flew away quickly. The same thing happened again this week: same place, same bird. I must have stood too close to its nest; he kept watching us from the top of a street lantern until we were out of sight. Now I am trying to find out what kind of bird that is.

Doctors, doctors and more doctors

It seems that all our annual checkups were done in May. So we took trips to the audiologist, ophthalmologist, dentist, podiatrist, and en passant, when I was in Cary, I “did” Trader Joe’s and the Hallmark store. For all doctors, “My Charts” have to be filled out online with medical history, medications and much more. What a time consuming business!

On the Friday morning before Memorial Weekend, Lani developed a sore on her behind that she kept licking constantly. I called all the hospitals and vets in Apex and everyone was already closed for the holiday, or they would not see a new patient without having her checked and registered first. I finally called her old Vet in Cary and got a 4 p.m. emergency appointment with one of the doctors. What a blessing! We went home with a tube of ointment to be applied to her anus twice a day. “It’s a two-man job”, said the vet. I had only me! But this little Lani is a miracle. For a whole week, she came up to me, first thing in the morning and last thing in the evening, we sat down on the floor in my office, and she lifted her hind leg so I could put the ointment under her tail. Today we went back to the Vet and he declared her well again. As a special treat we walked part of the trail in Wimbledon, where we walked every day when we still lived in the cottage at Waltonwood. Next week, she will get a proper grooming again. But twice things have gone wrong with this new Apex groomer, so I have special instructions for her again.

Memorial Day weekend has come and gone

We watched the beautiful Sunday night Memorial concert again, with tributes to fallen heroes and veterans present.

Well, I was only able to post a few lines every so often these two weeks. So many things to do and think about, and arrange, and change, I hardly ever  sit down! I just thought I should find my sewing basket and do some mending of things neglected since the move. Then I will sit down and yet won’t be idle 🙂 Mending is a far cry from the beautiful gowns and dresses and suits I created, but times and needs have changed. Memories are fun though. I remember making a floor length strapless evening gown of black velvet with a yellow velvet gore from top to bottom. It was 1959, I  was a sophomore in college and there was a big event with sorority and fraternity members. I went window shopping in Den Haag, a nearby large town. I saw THE dress in the window, took a picture, went home, made a pattern, bought velvet material and other necessities and started sewing. Not all in one day of course. I had a small electric sewing machine that my Dad had bought from a Chinese in Surabaya and had fixed up. It could only sew straight, nothing else. I think it was the very first electric sewing machine! Many years later, when we lived in Prescott, Arizona, I sold it for $100, but that was only the value of the antique carrying case it came in. I don’t know what happened to the machine itself.

It was a great party, and the dress was a success. I already knew Mike at that time, and he loved the dress.

Yes, I could make  patterns. My high school friend from Surabaya had moved to Den Haag a little earlier than I did, and I came to live very close to where she lived. Her mother was a seamstress and taught both of us first how to make patterns, then to cut and baste and sew anything we wanted. A wonderful gift, which I used my whole life! (Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime!). I sewed a lot. Mike became manager of a knitting mill in the Netherlands and I had access to the most beautiful knits for many years. When the girls grew up, I loved sewing their dresses for years. And when we got a baby boy, well, we emigrated to the United States, and from then on Sears Roebuck was my go-to!

Fond memories!

And that’s a wrap!

Until next time,








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