Last night, as Cedric left to walk back to his hotel, snow started falling! I was excited since this is the first time it has snowed in Amsterdam since I have lived here. This morning, there is still some on the ground. George went out first and did a series of elaborate steps to keep himself from touching the ground.

Cedric and Dylan leave today to go back home. We all gathered together one last time yesterday and had our Dutch family with us. It was sort of a day long open house, we started officially at 1PM. It was a good day, we even took a group photo thanks to the selfie stick that I won at nerd camp two summers ago. It came in handy and since I never use it, it was a lucky thing that I knew which corner it had been gathering dust in. πŸ˜‰

Thinking back over the past 9 days, I feel like I can say that this trip has been a really good one, especially in terms of creating more and different memories. On New Year’s Eve, it made me really happy that my family could be outside and amazed by the fireworks display. It was something they had never seen that closely before and certainly not together. We haven’t been together for a New Year’s celebration since we were under 21! GG’s sister came up for that celebration and stayed with us the next day to go to brunch. I am sure that other people experience this in their families as well, that at some point, everyone is an adult and there are no parental figures at the table anymore. Which means there’s no one to tell you to mind your manners and it really is up to you to make of the experience what you will.

While I am tired and wishing I wasn’t going back to work on Monday – because that’s been a other chapter of drama while I deliberately took this week off and did not travel with any screen bigger than my e-reader – I am so appreciative that we had this time together. I am hoping we will do it again. That we know that we can do this as siblings. It helps, of course, to have the chill out twins of Meredith and GG balancing us all out. I would also like to think that the four of us siblings are learning to bend and work with each other.

This time of the year is always when I want to hibernate and miss my Mom. That’s not going away any time soon. What did come out of this time together was a reminder of how much she is in each of us, even if we don’t recognize it in each other right away. As long as I can keep seeing that, I think it will be easier for me to figure out how I can best build this relationship with my brothers as adults.

Colgone was a great city to visit πŸ™‚ Heartily recommend it.

As for today, we will take a walk to the Albert Cuyp Market to get Meredith her stroopwafels fresh from the cart and spend some time in Amsterdam itself. Tomorrow, depending on the iciness, we make take a day trip. According to the weather service it is “bacon slippery” out there. Not sure why bacon and not sausage slippery for example, but that’s the literal translation of the Dutch expression for you πŸ˜‰


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