Thursday, October 24, 2013

Back in the Saddle

Trying to Get Back in the Saddle Well, we are back home after a wonderful three weeks in my homeland, the Netherlands, where it seems much has changed since we were there last, four years ago. Mostly, the urban areas seem all the more urban, with new and ugly high rise buildings going up, yet the city centers and the rural areas are as charming and beautiful as ever. Like most places where people get in the way with all those “people needs,” Holland has to accommodate what is the most densely populated country in the world, as measured by people per square mile. And yet, the amazing thing is that there is still so much land upon which human beings have not built high rises or anything else. In fact, when you travel through Holland you get a feeling that this place is so well planned out that the only thing that will wreck permanent green belts is global warming – excuse me, climate change – and the ensuing rise of ocean levels. More on our trip in upcoming blogs. Here I promise to try to be much more dedicated to daily blogging. I have had several readers tell me to get back in the saddle, so to speak, and I find myself compelled to make the time. Thank you all for your support and interest. I also will try to be cheerful and talk about the joys of my life, of which there are almost too many to count. I know politics will creep into them once in a while, but what can I say about Washington not getting things done that others cannot say more ably? I will say this: while we were away the government shut down. It re-opened the day after we returned. Obviously, America did not know what to do with itself while we were gone! One last note for this entry: Diane rode a bicycle in Holland, the first time she had attempted anything besides a stationary exercise bike since she was seventeen, and she didn’t kill herself! It was a momentous occasion, one which she repeated in the woods and on the trails of east Holland. She and Annemieke even crossed the border into Germany. neither lady had her papers, but no one noticed, and they slipped back into Netherlands territory without international incident. There must have been some advanced word about the transgression, though, because when we left Holland through Schiphol, Security searched her a bit more thoroughly than we would have expected. She looks like such a terrorist! They also searched her luggage – twice leaving that delightful printout that says: For your protection, we searched your stuff and neglected to put it back as carefully as you originally packed it; thank you and have a nice day. Indeed, we did.

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