Thursday, April 13, 2006

Farewell, Doortje

DSC00023, originally uploaded by CharlesFred.

Today is a momentous day in our street, because our neighbour Dor van Zoest, is moving houe, for the first time in her life. She was born in her house in 1916 and she recently celebrated her 90th birthday. Her father was the first person to live in the house when it was built in 1905 and the family have stayed there now for 100 years.

Althought Doortje is fit and well for her ae, she has decided that it is time to move on, into an old people's home, where she can live relatively independently, but also have all her meals served to her. It is a decision which she herself has made and she did not wait for any of her three children to amke the suggestion, which is a fine thing. She had a very hard time of things when we were away on our travels and became quite depressed, but she is better now. She even oredred her grape-vine to be ut down in that difficult period.

She has a great knowldge of the many things which have happened in this street over the years adn particularly focuses on time in the Second World War. Her father was a German, a shoemaker, so he was not so popular in those war years. She told us that the people living in our house were known to be collaborators. She also tells stories of people being hidden away from the Germans, in her own house, and certain people being strung up and hung. During the hunger winter, she and her sister travelled around Holland on a bicycle, sleeping rough. Fred knows a lot more about these stories and maybe he will write a blog as well.

She was married for 33 years until her husband died and she has now outlived him by 35 years, which seemed quite sad to me when she told me of this.

We wish her all the best. It will be strange to walk past her house and not wave to hr while she sist in her front room, reading a book, entertaining visitors or having a cup of tea. She will miss the restoration of the fountain just outside her house, but time moves on and she is happy with what she is doing.


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