Monday, May 14, 2018

PICTURIT: A Shutterchance Love Story

For Astrid's upcoming Retirement at the end of May, 2018, I have celebrated this milestone by making a 12 x 12 book of 245 of my favorite images of her 1200+ postings on Shutterchance, the photoblog where she and I first met in 2007....

...and then married in 2010!  As Astrid often says, "Blame it on the internet!"

This is, indeed, a love story.  ENJOY.

Once you click on the "Click here to view this photo book" link above, click "view" when it opens to see the book exactly as it should appear.  To read the text, you may need to enlarge your screen several times:  Ctrl + for Windows; Command + for Mac.

You can also now find this book added to my sidebar, where clicking on it will direct you to this page.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

This is an early post for this week because Astrid and I fly to America on Wednesday,
first for a week in Michigan for my 55th high school reunion (Class of '63),
followed by 1.5 weeks in Atlanta for g'son Nicholas' high school graduation.
He returns with us to The Netherlands for 2 weeks on June 3rd.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

A Meet-Up with Jim and Laurel

How often do you get to rendezvous with old friends you haven't seen in almost 35 years?!?  Lucky for me, it happened a couple weekends ago, Sunday, April 29, when Astrid and I drove to Amstelveen (suburb of Amsterdam) to pick up Jim and Laurel Morrison, visiting from California.

Remember the Morrison part, because that'll come up later.

The "old friends" part goes all the way back to when Bill and I served in Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship, first in San Diego, and then in Pasadena, CA, back when our kids were born in the early 70s.  Laurel was the one back then who gave son Mark his Marks-n-Sparks moniker.

We all look older now, of course, but it was like we all picked up from where we last left off...with Astrid merging into the mix like she had always been there from the beginning.  Besides, she's the same age as Jim and Laurel.

After picking them up in Amstelveen, on a rainy day, we drove first to Hoorn, 54 km north.
Jim and Laurel both were good sports about the rain.  We all took it in stride.

Hoorn is a delightful harbor town on the Markermeer lake
that has become a "bedroom community" for many who work in Amsterdam.

It's hard not to be mesmerized by the place, even with the rain.

Our short walk that day took us to the Hoofdtoren (Head Tower), the city port on the waterfront.
It was built in 1532 from limestone and brick and is now a restaurant.

And yes, that's where we ate lunch, compliments of Jim and Laurel.  Thank You!
We had been to Hoorn with Robin first (2012), and later with Chris and Chad (2013).

As we walked back to the car, it was fun to watch Jim hand his camera over to Laurel for a photo...

and then to look at what she took.

In the process, I took my own photo, of course.

From Hoorn we drove east to the tulip fields to find what we could see.
Lucky for us, tulips were still in bloom.

Even on a rainy day, they are a wonder to behold.

At the second field, I stayed in the car and took pics of the coming and going.

On the other side of the road, through the car window, I caught these lookers, enjoying the rain.

After the tulip fields, we ended up in another harbor town, Medemblik, on the IJsselmeer lake.
It was time for a good koffie break with appeltaart.
But guess what!  They had no appeltaart.  WHAT?  In a Dutch, harborside café?!
But guess what!  The owner had his girlfriend go out and buy one to put on our table.
We were given "permission" to eat the entire thing...and we did!

Here's where the Morrison thing comes in.  Remember?
This café sports all kinds of music posters on its walls from the owner.
Next to our table was a Jim Morrison poster from The Doors.
So Jim took out his passport to show the owner that he also is Jim Morrison, in that café.
And that started a long conversation about San Francisco (where Jim and Laurel live)
and from where the owner himself swam to Alcatraz Island.

It's a small world after all!

 Another harbor to explore on a rainy day....

before we headed back to Amsterdam to drop them off at their hotel.

It was 7 hours of catching up and remembering why we have remained friends after all these years.
Thank you, Jim and Laurel, for the time and effort.
We'll never forget it.