Monday, September 05, 2005

September dispatches, 5: Elfring days

Rien, Sept. 6--

WE TRIED TO PUT politics and the news behind us and have fun and be sociable for three days, visiting the Dutch sector of our extended family, the Elfrings, who were host to our daughter Thérèse for a year nearly thirty years ago.

We've remained in touch ever since, and grown closer over the years. It's a wonderful family. Saturday and Sunday we were in den Haag, first with Tom and Judith, who spend a few weeks in our house five years ago. (Can it really be that long?)

Sunday we visited Joost and Tanja, who were in our house for a week in July. You don't spend time with Elfrings without bicycling, and Sunday we biked maybe eight or ten kilometers out into the country around den Haag.

Sunday night there was a party, where we met Judith's father, a fascinating man who has published significant books on cerebral neurology -- it was fun to defend Mozart against his champion Bach, and to explore ideas of scientific materialism and the irrational.

We then went up to Friesland to visit Kees and Irma, who have settled in a marvelous 18th-century house there, and who took us on a leisurely cruise through nearby canals.

I've posted a number of photos from the trip so far on Shutterfly: you can see them here


And I hope to have more things to say about all this in forthcoming dispatches.


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