"What a wonder life I've had! I only wish I'd realized it sooner." Colette

Jul 7, 2014

A Crazy Quilt Life

Today would have been my 20th wedding anniversary, had Tino lived.  That’s been a bitter pill to swallow as I count (did you ever realize how nasty that looks if you miss the ‘o’ on the keyboard?) the years since our wedding and in a few months, his death, like a ghoul.

I hope you were laughing as your read through the ghoulish part, ‘cause my purpose today is to commemorate one terrific fellow by sharing some of the idiosyncrasies of being married to someone from another country; in my case the Netherlands.

Tino’s name always throws people when I say he was Dutch, until I explain his Mom was crazy about some Italian opera singer at the time.  Anyway, I’d been transferred to Ridderkirk in the early 90's and rented a Dike house in Krimpen, along the river Ijssel.  We'd take excursions each weekend; my favorites when he'd call on Friday and say,

“Let’s go to Paris for the weekend.”

Tino drove like most Europeans so we'd be there for supper.  He showed me around his neck of the woods, and I returned the favor when we moved back to the United States.  We took a trip around the country, looking for our next place to live, and eventually settled in Portland, Oregon.  Superstore Fred Myers was within walking distance,  which gave him a great excuse to get some exercise.

“I’m off to Fred Myers for some Cedar Cheers.”

???  = Cheddar Cheese

“It’s the thumb of rule.”  The immigration attorney chuckled.

“Now don’t go pulling old cows out of the ditch.

???   = Stick to the point of the argument.

“Your coffee tastes like sloot-vasser.”

???  = Water which runs in the ditch alongside the road.  I do make it weak:  one-and-a-half-scoops per 12 cups of water.
Musical mistakes:  Strange Fruit” = Strange Brew, Derek and the Dominos; “Red Hot Love” = Radar Love, Golden Earring.  I’ll die before I reveal which was mine.

He rolled his own cigarettes, also requiring explanation.  I must admit, his imported tobacco was the nastiest-smelling stuff, causing complaints when smoking was still permitted in the workplace.  But I loved him so it didn’t bother me; must be like Mothers changing diapers.

“Are they wild rabbits, or the kind that you fok at home?”  the word pronounced exactly like the one which gets you the slap in the face, or used to.  It was Easter and we were at my Sister’s holiday table.  Everyone stopped and stared, and even I couldn’t fathom what he was talking about.
What???  He repeated his question.

“We don’t (whisper) f__k rabbits at home…what in the world are you talking about?!”

In Dutch, fokken is the verb to breed; therefore, breeders are fokkers, farms are fokkereis; it goes on and on, but don't laugh...there's a Dutch Rabbit Club.

It was quite entertaining while it lasted, and the memories will last my lifetime.  Fortunately that’s because I created this crazy quilt while reeling from his untimely death, and it’s been packed away every since.  It’s a monstrous thing…weighs a ton…and I’ve nowhere to display it when I’ve finished the binding.  But I’ve vowed, during this 20th Anniversary year, to get it done in any event, only this time I won’t be weeping through every single stitch.

“Who doesn’t appreciate the small things
Isn’t worth the big things"

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Original gourd art designs Copyright 2020 Andrea Jansen Designs. Please write for permission.



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