Monday, February 06, 2012

An Anniversary Gift: SNOW

Yesterday Astrid and I celebrated our second wedding anniversary here in the Netherlands! The lead-up all last week, since my last post, was snow...even if but a dusting!

As I said at my Shutterchance blog,
half a snow is better than no snow at all!

Through the macro lens (looking at moss between the bricks),
it looks like we had a blizzard with snowdrifts.

It's all about perspective.

It "dusted" enough to put everything into a snowy fog.
I was in heaven taking my walk around our citadel city last Monday afternoon.

I know what you're thinking.
Because this is Holland, snow should be ho-hum for us, right? Wrong!
Getting snow where we live in the middle of the country is like getting snow in Atlanta.
When it happens, everyone is super-crazy excited.
Even the dogs!

And the bikes, of course.
Even outdoor café tables are super happy and inviting.

It was our first week this winter with temps below freezing!

Even the Linge harbor had a thin sheet of ice.
And snow dust everywhere. Can you see it? HA!

A couple days later, the guys were out repairing a brick road.
"Take our picture!" they yelled out to me. So I did.
When I came back from my walk, they were on their koffie break.

BUT...ALL OF THAT WAS ONLY THE LEAD-UP to our anniversary weekend, which we started on Friday. THAT was the day Astrid got to blow glass with Mart Martorell. Remember? The barter. The win-win swap.

I took pictures for Mart's new shop and website;
and Mart taught Astrid how to blow glass!
We were together for 3 glorious hours, better than we expected....

and that's what my post is today at Vision and Verb: a bartering swap!

On our actual anniversary day yesterday, we drove along the canals to Kinderdijk and back, with Astrid getting out twice to skate, while I took pictures:

More Dutch you cannot get. How many times have I told you that!

My week is now cut out for me, working on all those all the others of more snow, our charming B&B out in the countryside, time with our blogger friend Wim in Zutphen with his lovely wife and 3-yr-old son, and the (unofficially) smallest town in the Netherlands, Bronkhorst, with 171 inhabitants.

As we speak, it's 18F. And as I've said a hundred times this past week, Het is Winter! Eindelijk (It's winter. Finally).

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

We finished another Jan van Haasteren puzzle, 2000 pieces:
By Air, Land and Sea.


  1. Ginnie, I envy this lovely dusting of snow. Snow does make everything look so pure and fresh. Your last picture showing the people skating could have been taken centuries ago – I can recall many paintings depicting this lovely scene – you live in such a picturesque area. The photo of Astrid blowing glass is great – she is listening attentively to what Mart is saying – he is also showing with his cheeks - happy anniversary!

  2. Vagabonde: Because we got another 1-2 inches of snow on Friday, while we were gone, there is no longer a dusting but a verifiable covering! HA. Winter has finally come and it's...C O L D. Be careful what you wish for, right? Actually, the skaters are in heaven, watching every day to make sure the temps stay well below freezing. It's wonderful.

    Thank you for your anniversary wishes. We couldn't have been happier!

  3. Lovely snowy pictures! We have yet to get any snow, though quite a lot of the rest of the country seems to have had some - hope you enjoy yours!

    I think you might like this link :)

  4. Anne: We got some more snow on Friday, enough to cover the ground...but it's our first of the season. Hopefully there's still time for you to get yours! Astrid will LOVE the tennis players on ice. Too funny. :) Thanks.

  5. OMG! Glass-blowing! I'm so envious. That's something I've always wanted to try.

    Also, I wish I could get excited about snow, but no. I prefer winters with less snow. Which is good, because we are having a very mild winter this year.

  6. Karen: I wish you could have done it, too, then! I could have done it...he asked me more than once...but all I wanted to do was watch Astrid and take pictures of the whole process.

    I must say that it is very cold right now. But the good thing is knowing it will get warmer before long. So I will continue to enjoy the snow as long as we have it. For you, stay warm!

  7. Snow and ice, the Dutch go crazy. Being able to skate is like a fever. We HAVE to be on the ice, we HAVE to be outside.
    I am glad that you have been on the ice at Kinderdijk and Bleskensgraaf.
    Being able to blow glass was fabulous, Mart is a wonderful teacher and very patient. I/we had a wonderful day, I think I had a big grin on my face for at least 3 hours. A wonderful memory. The jigsaw puzzles are amazing. So much fun to do.
    Beautiful pictures again.

  8. Astrid: I love what the Dutch HAVE to do, like going outside, skating, biking, swimming. I'm learning this about you. Maybe one day we can walk the lake at the family cottage, like we used to do many years ago. That would be so fun.

    I will never forget you blowing glass with Mart. Talk about a "high." Thank you for the experience.

  9. I love a small dusting of snow, especially if there is a chance for great macro pics!

    That's so funny about the men and their koffie break - ah the dutch is starting to come out in ya. ;-) As my friend told me, you are so Canadian these days.. lol

    The glass blowing.. Oh that perked me up very high!!!

    I can imagine Astrid on the ice and I would be doing like you, taking photos..

  10. happy anniversary. i can't wait for the other photos to come ginnie.

    wow is this astrid's first time to do this? with her creative nature, i bet she was in hog heaven.

    it's very surprising to learn that your part of netherlands is not snowed in regularly. my concept of europe is that it's snowed in all the time. my friend in rome is super excited that they had snow for the first time since she's moved there nearly 10 years ago.

    have a wonderful week. i'll try to sneak a peek at both v&v and shutterchance, despite tight sked.

  11. ET: I have a feeling I'm much more Dutch than even I realize, Jen. Seriously. I often have a déjà vu sense that I once lived here in a past life. :)

    So, everything I see is such a joy for me, especially in sharing it with you. Thanks.

    PC: Thanks for the anniversary wishes, Maria. Has it really been 2 years already??!!

    Yes, this was Astrid's first time to blow glass. In fact, the Christmas market in Düsseldorf in December was her first time to SEE glassblowing.

    I continue to be surprised about how little snow comes to middle Holland. But it's the truth. When we had it for Christmas a year ago, it was the first time in decades!

    I know you are super busy. I'm just glad you can come to even one of my blogs. Thank you.

  12. I am happy for you to receive winter! I was reading about the effect of the Arctic and North Atlantic oscillations, which are not working in sync this year as they usually do, resulting in the jet stream dipping down into Europe, making it extra cold, and holding the jet stream above the US, making it unusually warm. So I am jealous of you, though I hope you don't get the extreme cold some of Europe has.

    Looks like Astrid did very well in her lesson. I am not surprised, as she is an expert at so many things. Happy anniversary!

  13. Ruth: Thank you. Today it is 10F...and that is COLD. I had forgotten how cold it could get! I can't imagine being homeless in this kind of weather...or in a home without heat. My heart goes out to those who are really suffering. Too bad it can't balance itself out across all the countries that expect winter!

    I'm working on the myriad pictures of Astrid as we speak. The whole experience still amazes me. She is such a "natural!"

  14. You managed to show the beauty of that dusting of snow :-)

    I am so glad the two of you had a lovely anniversary :-)

  15. I like your blizzard with snow drifts. :) A great photo!

  16. CP: As I said, Cherry, half a snow is better than no snow at all. Pleasure in the small things! Thank you. We had a GREAT anniversary.

    Tim: Thank you, kind sir. :)

  17. LOVE (as you already know) the miniature mosses and making a mountain out of a molehill with your macro lens... the collage with the workmen in their bright orange is really cool too!

    Of course, I do like them all... just spotted the pink umbrella in the windmill image... you are so clever to have caught that one!

    I am so looking forward to the glass blowing images... guess I will ahve to wait until next week for more of those... it does look to me as though Astrid caught on very quickly!

    Alright... off to V&V next. :-) (Oh... we were promised snow tonight... maybe 1-2 inches... but it is raining right now. UGH! Much rather have the 1-2 inches of snow.)

  18. Good heavens, it's been two years already??? Happy belated anniversary, Ginnie!

    I like your expression 'snow dust' - a bit amazing that despite coming from a snow-bound country I had never thought of a sprinkling of snow in those terms.

    when I was in elementary school we learned about Holland, and I was so taken with the idea of people being able to skate to work or school on the canals, or just for fun. In these last years of warmer temperatures, it has seemed to me that this winter tradition might become a thing of the past - it's great to see that there's still ice thick enough to enjoy!

    Wonderful photos, Ginnie. I particularly like the way you cropped the bicycle picture at the left of the mneu photo.

  19. Happy, happy anniversary to you two!

    Lots of beautiful photos here - I love the wintery fog in the pics.

    ...and that puzzle is as amazing as his others. Love them!

    (Commented the glass blowing at vision and verb instead)

    Wishes you two an upcoming fabulous weekend!

  20. Victoria: Thank you, again, for taking the time to stop by here. You are one crazy woman! HA! I have almost finished the glassblowing pics and hope to have a new YouTube ready for my next post. I fell in love with Astrid all over again. What a gifted woman!

    Deborah: Two years, yes! I know. How is that possible?!

    I am learning how important skating is to these Dutch people, let alone to Astrid. She's planning to do a 30km skate on Saturday, assumming she'll not have the chance again because of temps warming up on Sunday. This is in their blood...kinda like riding bikes. Except bike-riding isn't dependent on if the temps get cold enough!

    Thank you for stopping by, as always.

    LCT: Thank you for the anniversary wishes. And thanks for stopping by here AND by V&V!!!

  21. I'm so happy for your snow, and hear from some of my other bloggie friends in the area that the skaters are going crazy with a sense of possibility. Perhaps this year will allow for the Elfstedentocht to take place again! There's a nice article here. I love reading that the chairman said "We can't set a date. It depends on the weather." That's the way I live most of my life!

    I'll bet both you and Astrid would enjoy seeing these photos of canal skating, too. I'm sure there are photos aplenty over there, but we don't get to see so many, and I was just entranced.

    Your puzzle amaze me. I don't know if I would have the patience, but I must say - they're a whole lot more interesting than most of them I see!

    And if I haven't said it (or even if I have) - happy anniversary! I can't wait to see the photos I know surely are coming.

  22. SA: It's so fun to hear when you know about these Dutch traditions, Linda. It so happens there were two weak links in the Elstedentocht race/tour this winter (thus far), with 2 cities not having deep/strong enough ice. Thus the entire race hasn't yet happened. And now that the temps are going up again, it doesn't look good. Astrid says the race has occurred only 15 times in the last 100 years! That tells you everything.

    In the meantime, we've been out on our canals near home! Astrid skated 25km of the Molentocht tour yesterday and had a blast. I'll talk more about that a week from now. More Dutch you cannot get!

    We're starting a new Jan van Haasteren as we speak. Totally addicting! :)

    Thanks for your anniversary wishes. We are so happy to be alive...together. :)

  23. So I see you have finally received some of the white stuff. Here in my corner of Canada we have had a mild winter with, wait for it, NO SNOW! But this past weekend the temps dropped to -12 and we had a couple of cm of snow, not much compared to our usual level, but it's all white out there now.
    Nice to see the Dutch canals frozen over and the people skating. I will never be able to skate, I think you have to learn when you are small, and I grew up never seeing ice large enough to consider skating on! However, yesterday I spent the whole day at a Scottish Country Dance workshop, and this morning I have been making marmalade from Seville Oranges, so I'm busy as usual.
    I will be in England in April.... any chance of you taking a break there?

  24. Sham: It's been such a weird winter almost everywhere, right? Starting tomorrow, temps will again be above freezing 24/7 here. The canals will thaw and there'll be no more skating soon. It was a 2-week winter for us...unless we get another freezing spell. We'll see.

    The fun is that you keep busy in your own world, which I always enjoy hearing about.

    England in April? Any chance of you flying over to Amsterdam? We will be leaving in May for 2 weeks in Michigan, so the chance of going anywhere beforehand will be out of the question, especially for Astrid getting off work. Let us know if you'll have time to fly over for a couple of days? One day we'll meet, by hook or by crook.

  25. .... it's all about perspective! I love that

    The photo of the bicyclist and the dog is wonderful (I love the basket with I THINK a little dog in it - I clicked and enlarged)

    Congrats on two years! Happy Anniversary.

  26. Margaret: Yes it is all about perspective. :) I love it.

    And YES, that's a little dog in the basket. The image will be on my Shutterchance blog this week. It's so Dutch.

    Thanks for your anniversary congrats. Time has just flown!