Thursday, August 16

Remember This

My parents arrival to The Netherlands was not without fanfare and circumstance. They traveled from Dallas to London without a problem, but upon arrival on this side of the pond they found themselves trapped in that never ending loop of travelers' woes:

Delayed plane. Broken plane. Deplane. Replane. Take off quickly before the flight must be cancelled for personell time restriction regulations. Don't wait for the luggage to load on the new plane. Leave the baggage in London. All of it.

That kind of woe.

What should have been the easiest part of the journey--a one hour flight from London to Amsterdam--turned into the longest, most arduous hours we all had to pass. They, in the Gatwick airport being juggled from plane to plane, bad news continually being delivered in polite British tones. Me, in the Schipol airport pacing the corridors between arrival halls with three kids in tow, watching the update screens with horror as the flight arrival time clicked forward once, twice, thrice making the expected arrival time 3 hours past the printed schedule.

Once we were certain that their airplane had arrived we lined ourselves up at the announced gate and waited. We waited and waited and waited. At arrival gate 4.

They came into gate 3.

It was a great reunion in spite of the fact that it took hours longer to get our arms around one another than we had anticipated. After another hour given over to track down the office to leave an address for luggage delivery, we were finally on our way to our home in The Hague.

At least we were all together.

Saturday morning, after a night's sleep, Andrew insisted that the entire clan take a walk--carrots in hand--to the neighborhood farm where we could feed the goats, pet the chickens and chase the pigeons.

Saturday afternoon included another trip to the airport to personally track down luggage and bring it home. (The delivery of said bags by the airline was woefully behind schedule) Then, the mad fest began as my Mom unloaded suitcases filled with U.S. goodies for us. Peanut Butter, Starburst, PB & Toast crackers, Reeses Peanut Butter cups (is there a theme here?), jeans for me, shoes for Andrew, shirts for Andrew, medicine, books for Don. The living room floor was soon heaped with treasures. It looked a little like a Christmas morning and felt like a holiday indeed.

Unbenownst to her, my Mom couriered over her own birthday present and I loved watching her open the gift, first giggling and then tearing-up over the mother's necklace we had designed for her.*

That evening we took a walk through the area ultimately headed for a stroll along the boardwalk at the beach. The weather was clear, the temperature warm, and the company perfect. As we strolled we talked. And laughed. And cajoled. And shared stories. We inspected the textile fine art currently on display. Then we watched a perfect sunset over the North Sea. Light danced on the water and blanketed the sky in vibrant color as Earth's star slowly dove into the ocean.

There is a Dutch word that takes in the all encompassing feeling of being comfortable, peaceful, settled and cozy. When a moment is all of those things you call it gezellig.

With my parents in town, teasing and laughing with my kids as we lingered in end of the day light and love I can definitively declare
gezellig is just the word.

*My Mom's Mother's Necklace designed and handcrafted

by the wonderful Crystal at Two Belles and a Bead.


  1. Fantastic definition of this great Dutch word! English just doesn't have an equivalent with the same meaning!

    Oh, and BTW, YEAH MOM!!!

  2. This seems to encapsulate all the joys and sorrows of having loved ones living far apart. I'm glad it's been gezellig!

  3. I was getting so caught up in the excitement...So glad you finally got their bags. Bet the hugs were the best when you finally reached them.

    Take care,

  4. Gezellig indeed. Now there's a word I'm glad to add to my vocabulary. What an immense joy to reconnect with loved ones.

    I love this picture, too. But what's that structure/sculpture in the corner?

  5. There's nothing like living on another continent ot make you appreciate being together as a family. I remember that well.
    Things we take for granted become suddenly so important, like getting to watch a loved one open a gift in first person!

  6. Ahhh, the joys and pains of living across the ocean from those you love.

    Did your mother bring your the video camera? When we talked about it a few months back I thought you had said that was the plan.

    It sounds like you had a wonderful visit.

    I love the photo btw. Now I see why you want a photoblog. :)

  7. YIKES about that last flight of theirs!!!! Glad things eventually worked out!

    I like gezellig!!! But I need you to tell me what to do with the "z"--I already know what to do with the final "g", but I need that "z" so I can make sure I'm saying it right. You know how I am about these things...

    I'm glad you had such a fabulous time with your parents. They knew just what to bring and how to spoil you all!

    Was this their first trip over there?

  8. Thanks for a great word.

    I'm glad you and your family are having a gezellig-y time.

  9. Oh yeah, gezellig is such a great word with no real English counterpart. I smile just thinking of the feeling it conjures up.

    And, oh my, your parents' nightmare trip reminds me of a similar pond-jump that happened to me; just throw in some freezing rain, fog, and a bus trip from Heathrow to Gatwick and it would be identical. To be so close, yet still so far!

  10. Ugh, the nightmares of flying! It sounds like you had a wonderful time. It makes me want to have a family reunion! When I visited friends in Northern Ireland I stuffed a suitcase with Fruit Rollups and Levi's jeans for everyone.

  11. Sounds just wonderful and the photo is lovely. There's no feeling like that of having the people you love most nearby.