Sparks of Joy

It’s Sunday evening and we have been super productive today. We went through the kitchen. GG has this enormous kitchen table, I think it is easily 8 feet long possibly 10. We took everything out of the kitchen drawers, cupboards and assorted hutches area by area. I think there are five boxes and crates of kitchen stuff that are ready to have a new life at Het Goed (The Good) which is the biggest thriftshop in the area. In addition, every drawer and cabinet got reorganized. Here’s the evidence of just the glasses and cups that are moving on.

on to a new home

During the process, which I managed not to have a single temper tantrum, we realized that I remember to say “Thank you” and GG does not. πŸ˜‰ We also revisted our thoughts on even vs odd matching sets of things and color schemes. It was kind of fun actually. Which is definitely not something I ever thought I would say about cleaning up. It’s usually a case of where I am easily wound up and go from calm to super snarky in about .5 milleseconds.

We held on to the things that mattered and let go of others that mattered less. Even though there were things that came from my Mom and Oma and Opa, I was able to handle it. I kept the things that were the most important to me, that the biggest memories were part of and let the rest go to serve someone else.

Of course, all this reshuffling made the dogs pretty nervous. I think they were worried that we were going to move again. Which we are not, not yet anyway. πŸ˜‰

About 100 meters from our front door is a multipurpose building for the arts. They have a community cafe for freelancers and two theater rooms, which function as an independent arthouse cinema. Last night, we went to see the Β Swedish film “Border”. I am not going to share any spoilers about it. It was one of the most thought provoking films I have seen in a while. To say it was not what I was expecting is an understatement.

Last Sunday, we went to see “The Favourite” at another independent theatre, this one in Rotterdam near the Hotel New York – which is where the Holland America line ships use to sail from. That movie really put all the professional struggles I have had over the past year into perspective. πŸ˜‰

Moving here to Schiedam has brought an enormous amount of change with it. There’s things to get used, to like stores are closed on Sunday except for the first Sunday of the month. And everything takes longer. At the same time, there’s an appreciation for the fact that people look you in the eye and say “Hello” and that everything moves a little slower here. It’s good for me. We are 20 bicycle minutes from the center of Rotterdam, which is the same distance from my house in Amsterdam to the center, assuming you could bypass the legions of tourists and traffic.

Fridays are the office day for my employees. It’s also Market Day around the corner where the entire three plus blocks are transformed into an outdoor street market. You are also not supposed to park there as we discovered when the police rang the bell one morning at 7:20 AM to remind GG that it was Market Day and she needed to move her car. πŸ˜‰ This past Friday, I was in Amsterdam in the morning and when I came to the office in the afternoon, one of my employees said he completely understood the charm and why I had moved. It surprised him because the first time he came to the office, he couldn’t understand why anyone would leave Amsterdam, but now he gets it.

I use the train journey to Amsterdam as a reason to read. While I still have ties there, like my Banjo Buddha sessions, friends and work, living here is a place of sanctuary for me. Even when I yell “Slow down, asshole” at the people who are taking the corner at 45 mph. I can’t help it, I can’t seem to just say “Slow down” πŸ˜‰ And then I think to myself “Wait until I am the mayor.” Mayors are not elected in the Netherlands, they are appointed, which is still a concept I am getting my head around.

We’re going out to dinner tonight, to the little cafe on the corner. After all, we don’t want to mess up the kitchen’s new order with dirty dishes, do we?

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