Monthly Archives: March 2018


I started this morning at 5AM local time, wide awake and ready to face the world, powered by Starbucks Via instant coffee. Single handedly the best product Starbucks has ever made in my opinion. Of course, this made it 2PM in the Netherlands so plenty of time to work. Technically, I took vacation days to be here but I know that it is good distraction for me to keep working while I am here. I just stop when the alarm clock goes off, like the factory lunch whistle.

A little after 8AM and I was out the door, right into the morning rush hour and off to West Seattle. After picking up the mail, it was time to head to Dub Sea Coffee, which remains one of my favorite places in the world and an inspiration for some of the things I want to do next. Seated at the high counter in the window, with a pile of mail to open and a strong coffee and vegan donut, I couldn’t help but think of how many times I had sat in that window with my mom next to me. That was our favorite place to sit. Mom with the paper and me with my book. I would always run out of patience first and need to get up and move. That has more to do with my previously well developed sense of not relaxing and being in the moment.

Sitting in that window, there were so many things Mom and I talked about. All kinds of big dreams and ideas, usually with me being the one who rolled right into practical. I think the strength that I have in seeing big pictures and always wanting to take things to one level higher is something I inherited from my Mom and her sense of big dreams. I never realized that until right now.

After a quick stop at the house and seeing that my soon to be former tenants have a lot of work to do before they move out, it was time for a pedicure, American style. That was nice 🙂 Then off to the Junction, to get the dogs shampoo and special peanut butter treats. First, I went to the Husky Deli for lunch. Raven and I used to stop there on Sundays, after the farmer’s market. If he hadn’t spent his allowance at the market, then he would spend at the Husky Deli on ice cream. They allow split scoops of flavors, so he would always feel like his ice cream dollar was stretching twice as far, important economics lesson! We would usually sit at the counter in the window, dreaming up future flavor combinations. Today, the other people in the window were talking about the development of West Seattle.

From there, a last stop at the holistic drug store to stock up on people shampoo and vitamins and then it was time to leave West Seattle. I took the long way around, seeing how much has changed. The demand for housing is high here and in every direction, there are new buildings going up, the size of blocks. I am not sure how much of it is affordable but there’s a lot of it.

When I got back to the hotel, I took a nap for 90 minutes which will probably mess with my sleep schedule. Right now, it is 4AM according to my computer and here I am, typing away. Not to worry, I discovered something called Spiked Seltzer at Target yesterday and I think after two of these, I will fall asleep at a reasonable hour tonight 😉 There’s also all the emotions that came up today and those will definitely do their part for wearing me out!

Somewhere above Greenland…

Looking out the window, there;s nothing to see but snow fields intersected by what looks like bodies of open water. I can’t tell if they are rivers that flow properly or how they are exactly connected. It’s beautiful… I will have to upload a photo after we land.

In case you are wondering why the silence, I have to say I haven’t really felt very much like writing here. I feel like I am working so hard to contain all of the emotions I am feeling lately that if I start writing, they will come lose and then I won’t be able to re-compartmentalize myself and keep going like everything is normal.

It’s not normal. I miss Lientje. When I say that, I mean that I still keep looking for her in the house when I come home. Having the door to the laundry room closed feels wrong. That was Lientje’s hideway for her dry food, high out of George’s amazingly acrobatic reach. Lientje always used to sit on the dining room table, waiting for her wet food at night. I still want to turn and get out her food after feeding the boys. Then there’s the moments that I think I see her in the shadows.

Without her, the house doesn’t feel like home. We have her ashes, in a container next to Moortje’s. It was heavier than I expected.

Due to the fact that I am a practitioner of throwing yourself 150% into something else until I feel ready to let the tears out and mourn, I’ve been running at all top speed. On the way to Seattle today to take care of stuff for the next few days. Next week, the first version of our data science school for women starts. I am really excited to have been part of this project – hell, for the entire duration I will be one of the coaches/teachers. It’s been really uplifting to put this cohort of women together and to begin thinking about where they will land after this experience.

GG and I are still disappointed in our housing efforts. Two days ago, we heard yet again that we were not the winning contestants. This process is getting old, I am about to propose to her that we simply buy a motorhome 😉

Running low on power and there’s something wrong with the power outlets on the plane so I think I will stop here.

One small cat gone

This morning, for the first time in 25 years, I did not wake up to a cat wanting breakfast or attention. Instead, I woke up with little Lientje one last time tucked in next to me and with the awareness that my small, shy, heavy footed little tabby cat was not coming back.

Yesterday morning, in the usual madness of the morning rituals around here, she made an unusual grumpy meow. I picked her up and held for a minute and then off we went to get her breakfast, chase after the dogs and get ready to face the freezing cold and a day full of uncomfortable meetings.

When we came home last night, she wasn’t anywhere to be found. Until we looked next to the boys’ bed (the playpen that my brothers and I spent alot of time in) and there she was under the radiator, reaching out to the boys. She wasn’t very responsive. There was no other choice than to bundle her up and go to the 24 hour emergency room.

On the way, I held her close and all tucked into a blanket, talking to her the whole while. We were there for a few hours. When she was stabilizing, we were talking about what to do for her treatment. I had been talking to and touching her under the warming lamp and her body was responding at least. Then suddenly she made a big movement with her hind foot scratching at her head and her ear, with a little meow and then she was gone.

I want to hold the image in my head of my Oma and Opa standing with my Mom and Raven, surrounded by Ninja, Mikha, the bunnies and Moortje waiting for Lientje. Tales twitching and warm laps and lots of love.

It’s going to be hard to get used to the idea that I won’t hear the sound of a small cat wearing NBA player sized basketball shoes walking through the house. That there won’t be someone sitting next to my desk, staring at the computer screen and trying to walk over the keyboard when she wants attention. When I take powernaps, there will only be two now who look for space to snooze with.

My mom gave me a magnet once with a tabby cat on it that said “A cat is such a nice thing to come home to”. Coming home today after walking the boys, I realized just how much of a missing thing that is, there’s no cat waiting for us.

Goodbye, my little tabby. Thank you for the years of love that you brought into all of the places that we lived. WhatsApp Image 2018-03-03 at 10.21.38