Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Choosing HOPE

De Hoop (Hope) windmill about 15 minutes' walk from our apartment here in Holland.

The week in between Christmas and New Year's Day is one of those weird weeks of the year one hardly knows how to describe. If you have to go to work, you wonder why. If you get to stay at home, you hardly know what to do with yourself.

Since the camera never lies, you can see (above) that we did indeed have snow here in Holland, even on Christmas day, for the first time in 30 years, Astrid says. I think it snowed just for me! Now it's all gone, after several days of warmer temps...but Hope still stands tall.

This is the same De Hoop windmill from above, taken a week before the snow fell. It faces the setting sun of the Old Year.

While saying Good-Bye to a tumultuous 2009, I am reminded of a Christopher Reeve quote: "Once you choose hope, anything's possible." I'm living proof of his words! And so, once again, I choose Hope for the new year, 2010. It's possible. I wish it for us all.


  1. Stunning pictures! (I just love your quote from Christopher Reeves...2010 is a dream come true for the both of you and will be so wonderful!!)

  2. So glad you got your snow, even if it didn't last. :)

  3. Well, I choose hope, too. We both had a bumpy 2009, but towards the end of the year, we were both "rewarded". Now off into 2010 and here's to HOPE!

  4. Ginnie & Astrid:

    Your photos are gorgeous! We raise our glasses to toast a peaceful and prosperous 2010!

    Jane & Ted

  5. Boots, how perfect. That says it just right.

    Both photos are wonderful, but the second is just gorgeous, what a scene, and you know I love those colors.

    Happy New Year to you and Astrid!

  6. Hope is what we are choosing, we believe in everything IS possible.
    2009 was for the both of us a really tumultous year and we are not there yet, but I hope that 2010 will give us all what we hope for, knowing us, we only hope for two things.
    One more day of 2009 and than with a big step in 2010 with lots of confidence.
    IHVJ MAWIIMH and yes I choose Hope too for 2010.
    It is hardly to believe that those two pics are 7 days apart, I was there and saw it with my own eyes.
    You did a great job on both pictures, the one in the snow was a real challange.

  7. I totally agree with that first paragraph. You just put my feelings into word.

    I think hope is major word for me this coming year/decade. Along with work, move, and go.

    Happy New Year.

  8. Bob: So much of what happens to us in our lives is of our own choosing, and that's perhaps the secret, after all is said and done. Thank you.

    Karen: You'd think Holland would get lots of snow, and apparently it used to, but in the last years, like so many other places, snow can be a rarity. So we really were lucky!

    CS: Yes, Sandra, we both chose Hope and I'm so glad you did, too. Look at where you are today compared to when I met you in Basel over a year ago! WOW!

    Jane: Thank you so much, both of you, for your toast to a new year. Just think back to Prague and how we have stayed in touch all these years since! :)

    Ruth: Thank you, thank you, dear sister. I miss you.

    Astrid: We both can see things through each others eyes and now, side by side. That is the blessing of how this year has ended and the promise of a new year to come with less struggle/challenge, I hope. And yet, look at how struggle has made us stronger than ever. Look at who we've become and who we're becoming. We are so lucky! And yes, just two things...that's all! :)

    PC: Then for you, too, Maria, I wish you all the Hope you need for the year ahead!

  9. It was one of those lucky miracles meeting you in Prague and discovering shared sympathies. Your observations on the strange midweek slog between Xmas and New Years is one of these, but I go further. Retirement always feels a bit off when the rest of the world is vacationing too. Is that totally selfish? A very happy new year to both of you from both of us.

  10. Love the blue - yes our little island paradise showed some blue a few days ago and I finally took a few photos of it!!

    Hope you can see the moon today! :-)

    Happy New Year!

  11. Love those windmills! :-)

    Wishing you and Astrid every happiness in the new year, Ginnie.

  12. You really can't go wrong if you keep hope in your heart (Hart!) and I know you have a lot of it. Along with faith, grace and joy! You always count your blessings even in the sweeping tide of any difficulties.
    Happy New Year!!

  13. Ted: I totally know what you mean about those vacationing days when the retirement schedule gets thrown off-track. HA! Selfish or not, it's the truth. :) And yes, I just love how such odd meetings have the potential for long-term friendships, like ours. We're so lucky.

    ET: We did indeed see the Blue Moon, Jen, but took no pictures. One day I will, for sure. :)

    Christina: If I ever get a tattoo, it will be of a windmill!! :) Seriously. To think I have one in my backyard, so to speak. Thanks for your wishes for the New Year! To you, too.

    Mad: Yes, I do have a lot of Hope...maybe more than most. I tend to be an optimist by nature. Let's see what happens in this new year. I have lots of Hope! No one else will count our blessings for us, that's for sure!

  14. I love the week between Christmas and New Year's, and even the first few days of the New Year. There's such a sense of possibility, and fresh start.

    My grandmother was a great one for clearing out before New Year's day - almost a religious obligation for her. She felt if you hadn't used it in the past year,and it wasn't a family heirloom or such, you should let it go.

    I think her wisdom applies to our spirits, too. Old attitudes, fears, hesitancies - out with them!
    A little empty space never hurt anyone - leaves more room for new hopes!

  15. Ginnie, I just remembered a wonderful entry about skating the canals posted by Ian in Hamburg.
    I know you'd enjoy his photography as well as the story - the photos are just stunning. When I read the entry all I could think was, "I want to DO THAT!"

  16. SA: We have a friend in Germany who wrote us yesterday that she was doing some cleaning in her house, similar to how you described your grandmother, Linda. In the same way we've been clearing space for my TPs to come and wonder if even then we can do some more clearing. We know of people who have a "rule" that for anything new they buy they have to get rid of something old. Makes sense to me. I don't ever plan to collect things like I did in the past. I will collect memories, and that will be enough!

    I have just sent you the link to the ice skating at Kinderdijk last year. It's heaven to me:

  17. I have HOPE in my heart too... HOPE for a good and productive 2010 for me, for you, for everyone. Happy New Year to you and Astrid, may your lives be filled with happiness, good health and energy.

  18. Your second picture of the windmill looks like a calendar picture, but I like the first one because of the snow. You do live in a beautiful setting and with such beauty, hope is always there. Have a wonderful 2010 and that the new decade brings everything you hoped for.

  19. Sham: Thank you kindly for your good wishes! I do trust 2010 will be a better year for both of us after all the bumps of 2009. Things can only go up, right?! :)

    Vagabonde: Thank you again for stopping by and for your 2010 good wishes. I really do have great expectations for the year ahead. For you, too, I hope.