Born in 1944, somewhere in March, I happen to have a birthday in common with my husband, who is known by  intimae as: Ton, Tony, Antonio, or Antoine, depending on their mothers tongue. He is a real vicar, a bit older, a lot wiser, and brilliant, charming and interesting besides. And once in a while rather irritating as well ;-)

The family where I was born in was sound an religious, but with a lot of tongue in cheek. Dutch reformed officially, but with quite a lot of heavier stuff in the ancestral part. And though we were not really poor, we soon learned that al work is decent work, unless the intentions are wrong. For us it was a normal thing that one resoles his or her own shoes. :-)  

The family was completed with a sister five years my senior, and a sister five years my junior. Both have two sons. Those of Gima are married and have two sons (each).  

We ourselves have four beautiful children: Parel, (Pearl), Betty, Tonio and Laetitia. Three of them are marries, one lives in blissful sin, <grin> and since February 2004 all of them have one or more children. That is to say: the married ones have one or two, and Betty has four, all born in one year. Yes, triplets were born on Cathy's first birthday.  And no, nothing medical came into it. Pearl and René have Mik,  Betty and Ferry have  Cathy, Tisha, Carlos and Alessandra, Tonio and Diana have Amber, and Laetitia and Barend provided us with Charlotte. and in 2007 with Pieter.  Quite a handful!  
Born and bred in the little town of Alkmaar (Juliana primary school, and after that Gymnasium beta at great cost) I went to Amsterdam for my studies in biology at the VU. (the famous Free University) where I was to meet my future spouse. 
That is how it all came to be. The consequence: four gorgeous children and a study that never was completed. Years and years later I worked as a typist at the Utrecht University, because of the costly music lessons for the children, and somehow the good Lord was pulling at me, but I was a very unwilling calling...
All things I undertook in order to escape from that course however were taken away from me, one way or the other, so that in the end I gave in. For only a year, I said, fooling myself. That is how I entered reading theology on the Saturday course, here in Utrecht. 

To my utter surprise it clicked. I even liked it. And working very hard, (which I had done before!) I even got better marks than ever. And after some time a nice, warm bond with the good Lord. We got on better and better. :-)

Alas! Tony had a nasty accident  in '80, and choices had to be made. One of that was the putting on ice of my studies. A year later I seemed to be ill. Overwrought, everybody thought. After all it must have been a series of small brain bleedings. Result: no energy, lack of concentration, lack of memory, some aphasia,  and lacking parts of my foreign languages. A nuisance! Officially I was labeled  minimal energy syndrome, ME.

No more studying for me. But since I had begun preaching already the doctor allowed me to go on with that. It helped me to stay afloat. 
Next to that there was Haas, (Hare) and his wife, who both helped me beyond belief with pills and powders, (homeopathy) acupuncture and love and patience, and procured thus a very acceptable life to me. Praise be to them. 
Such a unreliable memory meant a computer. A terrible help, which gives me great joy, and is upgraded bit by bit. The point is just: where did I leave that file, and what was its exact name?

As a family we became, when we moved to Utrecht in '72, members of the French talking Eglise Wallonne. Ton had old ties there. At a certain moment I myself became in addition a guest member of the Lutheran church, partly because the French I had last from my brain, and because I could not get up that early anymore.

From that Lutheran church in Utrecht surfaced the Workgroup Church for the People, with which I share a lovely monthly service. We are small, but there is a warm bond without being clinging.
Since 25 May 1998 I became secretary of the society The Gospel in Spain, (Het Evangelie in Spanje) of which my love was president for many years. Now he is part of the board, and still a fountain of wisdom and knowledge. 
When one lacks energy , time is the most costly one has, after health, and a nice relation with Up There. So I hardly have time for things like writing, poetry, music, and painting, things for which I got a tiny talent. Enough to enjoy personally, to small to please others, except for some family members. ;-)

Well, it is great that it all is there. And life is delightful. We are so privileged. 

So, now you now almost everything, except my pin code and passwords, but I could not remember them either... 

Bless you! 



updated: 06-03-2010