It’s History – a letter to Lizbet

Lizbet,

It was after midnight. The house was silent. I heard an odd rhythmic buzzing sound that I couldn’t identify. After a few minutes of intense listening, I got up to try and find out what was about to explode in the house. I crept down the stairs quietly so I could get nearer and nearer the sound.

I must have inadvertently put the phone on vibrate. It was my cell phone dancing across the kitchen counter with a deep throated rumba rumble. Whoever the caller was, he had an unidentified number so I couldn’t call back. So I checked my e-mail and they hadn’t left a message. Now I was up and decided to wrap myself in a warm sweater. I had to look around my computer desk to find the instructions to pick up the message. There was nothing for it. I was totally awake again, so I decided to do a bit of computer work before I went back to bed.
I found this picture that Heather and I came across. It belongs to her but she let me scan it. It’s of Grandpa Jan’s father and mother (our great grandparents), Dad’s grandparents. When I looked at it, I wondered what they thought of this new country that their sons brought them to- so vast, so very hot, so very cold, so wide open, so wild, so isolated . After the nearness of things and the cultivation in Holland, it must have been a huge cultural shock – even more so than it is today.

Was this the grandfather that was a school teacher? There was one in every generation, Father said.

Sleep tight,

Kay

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2 Responses to “It’s History – a letter to Lizbet”

  1. suburbanlife Says:

    Kay – Lovely photo, so formallly posed. The split rail fencing is so early Canadian, bush fencing. What must Great -Grands have thought of the primitive nature of this way of sequestering land, you can only just imagine. Too bad there is no written material from these souls about their impressions of the new country. G

  2. lookingforbeauty Says:

    Thanks G.
    They look so very sweet. I’ll just see – I’ve boxes and boxes of inherited correspondence from both sides of the family now that Mom has passed away. I’m just discovering photos like these and scanning them for the record. I’m also coming across letters from the second generation – the born here Canadians. I’m surprised to see how much they moved about the globe and how adventurous the whole lot was.
    I suppose if Grandfather could leave home at 17 to make his fortune, it wasn’t out of consideration that the sons and daughters would follow in his footsteps.
    K

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