People say to me that it seems like I’ve settled quickly in Holland and that it feels like I’ve been here forever.
I’ll tell you my secret.
It’s family and friends that helped me to feel like I belong here and that Holland is also my home.
Home is where the heart is and having friends and family that love you and support you and want to drink coffee and wine (or margaritas) together, and to share meals and to play and explore together makes all the difference.
I AM home.
I’ve been so very lucky and fortunate to have family that helped us to adapt and helped us get our house furnished. They helped to make us feel welcome and came to visit us multiple times, and have invited us to their homes for dinners and birthday celebrations and this made us feel a part of this country, right away and at home.
My friends from the States connected me with their friends living close by, and their friends reached out and brought us gifts and invited us to their homes for coffee and dinner conversations. Thank you Simone, Ruth, Birgitta, and Pauline.
I’ve also been able to make friends through our school, our neighborhood and through tennis, and I swear, that makes all the difference in the world. My new friends are not only expats either, for which I’m also thankful. I love that we’ve been accepted and welcomed and have been able to experience Dutch culture and language and friendship.
Today I’m thankful for Joseine and Barbara. They are both Netherland Natives and are friends, whose kids are friends and who have made friends with Charlie. See how that works? Joseine introduced me to Barbara and Barbara invited me to her home today to enjoy a Dutch tradition of welcoming the New Year by jumping in the lake for a New Year’s Refreshing Dip – for all who are brave enough to endure! Thank you Barbara for inviting me to be a part of this fun and exciting day. I only wish Jeff could have been in town to be a part of it too.
I think you’ll enjoy the pictures of the adventurous spirits who celebrated this tradition and those who chose the saner path, bundled up on the side with warm glasses of gluhwein and warme chocolademelk, with cameras in hand. Be well, my friends, and Gelukkig Nieuwjaar!