the Netherlands

In October of 2014 Audrey and I made a quick trip into the Netherlands

between two nearby venues (Verdun, France and Cologne Germany) where I had business meetings.

My goal was to go and see three of my cousins.  We were able to see two who happened to be home.

We gave them very little notice since the trips were only approved three days before we left home!


The first cousin we visited was Henk Van Luik and his wife Ans in my home town of Nijmegen.  Henk is my father's brother's son.  The last time we had seen each other was almost 60 years ago!  He contacted me when he ran into a photo of my parents on this website.  Is that cool or what?

Henk and Ans are good-looking, very pleasant, and in good health (I don't show people on this site, sorry).  We were quite fascinated with their backyard which is a little work of art (a little work but a lot of labor):


And their tropical bird collection, over 20 animals of several varieties, was also interesting.  They have an amazing knowledge of these critters and their lifestyles, and when it is time to be put away for the night they actually listen when they hear the taps that are their signal and move inside from their outdoor cage.

Because of my interest in the history of my parents Henk took me to the local museum about the part of the liberation of the netherlands that took place in Nijmegen.  I found it very interesting and at the same time very sad to see how inhumane humans can be under the right circumstances so did not take pictures.  Some of the displays about how people survived years of brutality and deprivation reminded me of my mother's stories about surviving the war.

Henk and Ans took us for a walk to my childhood neighborhood, about 20 minutes from where they now lived.  This walk is something I appreciated very much. Here is the house I lived in until I was 12:


Walking my old street and giving my old house another look brought back some memories, mostly good ones.  

We hope to be able to visit with Henk and Ans again in the near future.

The second cousin we saw was Aad Goedings and his wife Jose.  Aad is my father's sister's son.  Aad and Jose came to the US several times in years past so it was perhaps only a decade since we saw them last.  They are looking well and living a good life with travel still in their blood.  We were lucky to have encountered them, a few days later and they would have been on their way to Munich for Octoberfest.

Aad and Jose took us on several rides into the countryside, including a good look at the Maas river which we also encountered in Verdun (Meuse in French) a few days earlier!


It doesn't get more Dutch than these scenes:


We visited two more locations, but they will have to go to the next page.  

We would also like to see Aad and Jose again soon, of course.

The third cousin we would have liked to have seen, made difficult because the lucky birds were on a cruise in the Mediterranean, were Frans and Nolda Schuurink.  Frans is the son of my aunt Agatha, my mother's sister.  We will be sure and go visit with them the very next opportunity.


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