Posted by: ourtravelingcircus | July 25, 2012

25 July, 2012 09:36

Sunday morning Margaret and Elizabeth indulged my insatiable desire for ancient churches and pipe organ music, and accompanied me to church while Tim and the older kids packed everything up at the hotel.

The Hoogland church is an enormous one, but there were fewer worshippers inside than the number of people attending church last week in the small farming town near the rental house. But they were a cheerful group, and once again, it was worth sitting through a sermon we couldn’t understand to hear the music. The last hymn they sang was Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, which has always been one of my favorites. It was one of the ones Tim and I chose for our wedding, so even in Dutch it was a special treat to hear it soaring through a building that’s half a millennia old.

After we left, I stopped to take pictures along the canal and Margaret said, “Mooooom! Enough with the pictures!”

“But I don’t know if I’ll ever be back in Leiden,” I said.

Margaret said, rather confidently, “Oh, we’ll come back here.”

“Well, we haven’t gone back to the places we stayed in Switzerland, or Austria,” I pointed out.

Margaret said, “This is different. We’ll come back.”

Elizabeth added, “Mom, of course you’ll come back to the Netherlands, because I’m going to live here. Remember?” She’s been fascinated by the houseboats we’ve seen along the canals and wants to buy one someday. She’s offered Tim and I our own room on her boat, which is definitely a deal too sweet to refuse.

Our other trips have been fantastic, but I don’t think it diminishes them to say that this one had a little something extra. I’m sure part of it came from having the bikes, which allowed us to visit so many of the small towns around the one where we stayed, and to get to know the area there in a way we wouldn’t have from a car or bus. But since we have more Dutch genes than anything else in our American Heinz 57 make up, it was hard not to feel that the Netherlands was just a little bit ours, and that was what made this trip extra special and a time we’ll never forget.

So yes, I will be back. In fact, I can’t wait.

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Responses

  1. Beautiful picture. Beautiful post.


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