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Archive for the ‘Holidays’ Category

In my latest blog post, Intermezzo, I wrote of taking stock of 2013, a year which for several reasons I’m glad to see in my rear view mirror. That’s not to say that many wonderful things didn’t happen last year, they did. But there were some unexpected challenges on top of some tough moments, and […]

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Over the past couple weeks, I’ve been taking it easy. Really easy. As in not doing much of anything other than what absolutely, positively needed to get done. For example, that time spent pulling together receipts, filling out reimbursement claims for our international health care provider, making photocopies of the entire stack and then standing […]

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It’s been so long since my last post, I feel as though we ought to get reacquainted. Let me introduce myself, my name is Linda and once upon a time I wrote an expat blog in which I posted regularly. You might have heard of it – Adventures in Expat Land? Seriously, I can’t blame […]

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Today was Queen’s Day, the biggest national holiday in the Netherlands. They’ve been celebrating the monarch’s birthday since the late 19th century, and this marks the fourth Koninginnedag festivities we’ve observed. I mentioned in another post that it’s a lot like a mix of New Year’s Eve, Fourth of July and Mardi Gras (with more […]

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I know that everyone is either partying hard, out and about and thus not reading blog posts, or already in bed. I’m not one to judge, so whatever floats your boat… Or you’ve been busy and only now are finding your way to reading this. So I’m going to keep it short and sweet. When you […]

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It’s been quite a holiday season this year, in oh so many ways. Nothing about it has been ‘normal’ or ‘same old, same old’ or even vaguely familiar. Given a whole range of circumstances, some of which will go unmentioned out of respect for others’ privacy and most well beyond our control, my family has found itself […]

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Yesterday was Halloween, and it was a smashing one indeed. It began dry and sunny (two big pluses during autumn here) and remained so throughout the day; Halloween night was, well, amazing. Halloween is HUGE in the United States, and every year, more and more Dutchies and other internationals join Americans in celebrating this fun-filled holiday. Cross-culturalism at its […]

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Today is the first Monday in September. For many, it’s merely the start of yet another work week. Whatever ‘work’ means for you. Getting the children off to school before running a long list of errands and volunteering in the classroom. Pulling into the factory parking lot with a double shift ahead. Trading stories at […]

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Everyone wants to know, deep within, that their time on earth meant something to others. That their being here mattered. They mattered. It is human nature to want to leave your footprint on the world for others that come after you to see. For some, it is through their betterment of the immediate world around them. Think Mother […]

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When this week began, little did I know that by the end I would be writing what has essentially become my own personal Trilogy to the Dutch. I’d enjoyed all the excitement and revelry of my third Queen’s Day, stuck again by how virtually everyone gets involved in what is essentially one big party. There’s something about an entire […]

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Never let it be said that Dutchies don’t know how to party. Seriously. Never say it. I’ve written about Queen’s Day before, and having celebrated the Dutch national holiday for the third year running, I can only say that it continues to amaze me. There’s something about it that makes me happy, and I’m not even […]

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Recently I caught up with a couple expat friends, enjoying koffie while sharing the latest on comings and goings. Spring is in the air, along with blooming trees, blossoming flowers and plants, and the necessary but dreaded pollen. Students are getting antsy, ready to break free of their daily grind (oh, if they only knew!) of classes, course […]

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  If you’ve come looking for a succinct list of New Year’s resolutions, you’re in the wrong place. I wish I could be of more help, but unfortunately I’m not quite there yet. Believe it or not, this is actually one of my favorite times of the year because to my mind, it truly is a […]

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  It’s Christmas Eve day. The aroma of my Jamie Oliver-inspired gravy wafts gently throughout rooms regaled in ornaments, decorations, pine boughs and tiny lights. Another half hour and I’ll start lighting some candles. Carols are playing softly in the background while Daughter and Husband work diligently on a holiday puzzle. But this is not the […]

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    It’s been a fairly typical ten days for Yours Truly’s family here in Nederland in the run-up to Christmas and New Year’s. By that I mean lots going on: some of it getting done, some on its way to completion and woefully behind on a fair bit as well. Given that Christmas comes on the […]

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    It’s always interesting trying to explain the important holidays of your culture to others.   Some carry over easily, such as religious holidays like Christmas, Easter, Yom Kippur, Hanukkah and Ramadan, even if the specific ways in which they are personally celebrated differ a bit from country to country.   Many countries recognize various aspects of society on […]

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Have I ever mentioned that Halloween is one of my favorite holidays of the year? Outrageous costumes, pumpkins, witches, trick-or-treating, chocolate, candy corn, ringing doorbells, accumulating a candy haul of momentous proportions, little boys and girls proudly displaying their costumes, bobbing for apples, dried cornstalks, dressing up, jack-o-lanterns, deciding who you want to ‘be’, parties, […]

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  Twenty three days. Twenty three short days. That’s the amount of time left until Son reports to university and begins his college career. He won’t be living at home and commuting to school. Nor will he be moving out into his own place to attend college nearby. He’s not even moving across the country. […]

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  It’s the end of July, which means summer is more than halfway over (gasp!). More importantly, at least for purposes of this post, it means that we’re more than halfway through 2011. If we go by months, we have only 5/12 of the year remaining. Damn. Dag. As I think about 2011 and what this year has brought, I’ve found myself […]

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Today in The Netherlands it’s Monday. Just an ordinary day, the start of a new work week (or vacation if you’re fortunate). For Americans, it’s much more. July 4th is Independence Day, the day we celebrate our nation’s birth. We recall the sacrifice of our forefathers in throwing off the chains of tyranny to become […]

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