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    • #17037
      Paul met Debbie

      The wind is blowing softly and provides some freshness on an otherwise hot and sunny day. We have found a bench along the water and watch the boats coming in one by one, filling the lock in order to get pushed up or down, depending on the current water level. This has become one of our favorite spots lately to drive to and have a stroll together. It has a lot of perks: water, beautiful trees (gray poplars),  no car traffic so Buddha can run free, shade or sun, boats, few people and silence. And it’s only a short drive from home.

      No boat is like the other. Small, large, chique, scruffy, long and short – almost the only thing they have in common is that they are floating and there are people on them, enjoying the experience. Since we live close to the borders with Belgium and Germany, not only Dutch boats pass by. Occasionally a boat comes along that we fancy, and we enjoy to fantasize about owning it – how would we call it, where would we want to go and for how long. After having enjoyed the fantasy for all that it’s worth, we are totally fulfilled and completely happy not owning it. There is a lot of freedom in simplicity. Who was it that said: “It’s very simple to be happy, but it’s very difficult to be simple”? Anyway, perhaps one of these months we will rent a boat for a day to see the world from the other side of things, which is always a good practice to stay fluent.

      Returning home, we open some windows to let in the cooling breeze, and prepare the evening meal. Debbie makes a phone call to her brother, who earlier today received his covid vaccine, just like my sister who received her first and last, because she already had covid last month and is only entitled to one shot. Fortunately she recovered fast and completely. All around us family and friends in our age-group are getting vaccinated lately. Most of them feel some sense of relief, while on the other hand still being careful and uncertain about the situation. That is also how we feel.

      But the most relief I feel is on behalf of the hospital staff and nurses, who currently in the Netherlands experience a steep decline in hospitalized covid patients. Unlike some politicians that falsely promise otherwise, I don’t think it is realistic to expect them to solve the backlog in medical procedures that has formed because of the pandemic anytime soon. Let’s be patient and show compassion for them. They have done an impossible and traumatic job in the past 18 months and we owe them our utmost gratefulness and respect. I will gladly postpone my yearly check-up for this and I hope they will get some much deserved rest now.

      Of course there is nothing like nature to return to the innermost peacefulness and restore the energy. I know of a great place along the water for them to relax.

      We will make room on the bench.

    • #17047
      Jenny Livingston

      “Let’s be patient and show compassion for them.” I believe this sentiment could be applied to many people in many situations right now. Always, really, but especially as we’re all navigating this pandemic together. ❤

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