A New Life: Great Expectations! 2023 – 36

Festive Plans

This week, all our family members are home for Christmas, including two girlfriends. That is a wonderful opportunity to go out – eight of us, to see The Nutcracker. And, because my 85th birthday only happens once in everybody’s lifetime, I am treating! Mike will not go, and one of our friends will keep him company.

On my actual birthday, the day after Christmas, we are planning to go to the matinee of the new movie The Boys in the Boat. The book is fantastic. When I started reading it, I could not stop, and just made time an hour a day to finish it.

After the movie home for a festive sandwich supper and birthday cake, of course with a glass of champagne for those who want it. Dennis will take care of the meal and our daughters in Canada and California are planning a cake. The whole family will be celebrating with us, and I am so looking forward to it. Each birthday is special, and 85 only happens once!

Dinner and a show on my birthday has been a long tradition, way back to the years we lived in Pasadena. The highlights that I remember are ET with the whole family, after standing in a long line on Hollywood Blvd., and Ghandi with Annemieke. The last one, in Prescott, was Unbroken, which I saw with Mike. When we came out of the theatre, Emma, journalist with CCTV from Washington DC was waiting with a film crew for an interview about my reaction to the movie. It had brought back memories and I was in  tears. You can find the interview and more on my Youtube Channel, and the translation on the Publicity Page right here on my website.

Christmas is here!

We are having such a wonderful time. On Saturday night Dennis took Mike and me to his home to drop off our gifts under his Christmas tree and he took us on a tour of the neighborhood with the most wonderful Christmas lighting everywhere. We went home with a large Christmas bread, professionally baked by Stephanie: a Dutch tradition on Christmas Eve. It has almond paste inside and it will serve us for breakfast for three days. So delicious that freezing half of it and saving it for New Year’s will not happen!

On Christmas Eve morning we watched two church services of our old Prescott church and saw a delightful pageant with songs to match the story. After that Dennis ad Stephanie came over with lunch, and two of the grandkids came later with gifts. We had phone conversations with the portal TV, and all families were close by for a while.

Many Christmas cards and e-cards went out the door, and that was a joyful job for me: close contact for a few minutes with old friends, hoping to find them in good health and wishing them well in the new year.

A corner of our living room and the largest gnome I received for my gnome collection. I use him for a hat stand. In that corner you also see the painting of my great-great grandmother, painted on wood in the late eighteen hundreds and still in good condition.


I want to end this chapter with the warmest wishes to all of you for joy at Christmas time and a Happy 2024

Until next time,



2 thoughts on “A New Life: Great Expectations! 2023 – 36”

  1. Merry Christmas to you both! We are currently on a month-long driving trip. Went from Prescott up to Seattle, WA, into Vancouver and are now coming down the 101. Stopped a couple nights in Astoria and are in Coos Bay for 3 nights. It is a gorgeous part of the country. Lovely drive. So different from our Prescott. Rainy and mossy. Smells delicious. You both sound well. So glad. Take care and a wonderful New Year to come!!


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