I find inspiration in the old adage "big things come in small packages". I have always taken it to mean that one didn't have to be big and ahem, tall in order to make a difference. From my hardly-over-five-foot vantage point, I have taken the proverbial statement to heart.
Because it does indeed matter.
As we approached her house, it became very clear that she was residing in what once was a cloister for a convent there in Dordrecht. The snatches of Dutch my husband was understanding and translating confirmed this theory for me. We wandered through the gardens which were indeed lovely and arrived at the front door of her domicile. She eagerly invited us inside for some refreshment.
Placing her skeleton key in the lock, she swung the door inward and we all filed in. Into the tiniest house in the world. t.i.n.i.e.s.t.
Her living room was possibly a 10x10 foot space, crammed with furniture--a reclining chair, an end table, a round dining table with 4 chairs, an armoire full of books, a sidebar for storage, 2 or 3 lamps, a tapestry foot stool, a wooden chest under the single window--and knick knacks stacked on every possible surface. She chatted away to us about the photos prominently displayed around the room and insisted that we make ourselves comfortable while she served us some snacks. I turned to watch her work in her kitchen area. It couldn't be referred to as a room proper. It was literally an alcove in the side of the living room which had been updated to include plumbing for a sink, electricity to run the hot plate, a single small counter along with one small shelf above the sink for storing dishes and a tiny refrigerator in the corner. From that minuscule space she produced coke and cookies which she placed on the round table, and then bananas, and some grapes. Then little cakes. It was great, so great to be there and to be taken in and taken over by her hospitality. I only wish we could go back now and find her again, so that I could actually converse with her, rather than only being able to offer my paltry Dank u wel over and over again.