Hello dear Sparkfriends,
I am finally home! I always love that moment. These last 11 days in the Netherlands have been busy to say the least and it really is good to be home!
On Friday evening, to celebrate the fact that the most difficult meetings were over, I finally took the time to go for a walk on the beach near the hotel (to answer one of your questions, yes, it was the North Sea coast).
I walked in the water until I saw some jelly fish! There were actually many of them.
Then I decided I needed a break from the same hotel food, and ate some lovely salmon in a nice little restaurant.
I was in a very good mood and thinking how nice it is to have a job where I can travel when I checked my text messages. My father was telling me that my mother had been taken to the hospital and might need some emergency surgery. This is one of the things I dread when I travel... I called him and I could hear my mother next to him in ER saying: "I am not feeling very well" - It broke my heart.
Thank you so much for all your encouragement and kind messages when I shared how I was feeling that evening. It helped so much! I didn't sleep much that night and it wasn't easy to follow the meetings the next morning. But at lunch time, my father said my mother didn't need the surgery and had been taken back to the nursing home. PHEW. I was able to follow the meetings a bit better then!
After one last meeting on Sunday morning, I was able to visit a couple of very nice villages in the afternoon.
The first one, Giethoorn, is seen as a little Venice according to the people I was with. It is true that canals are absolutely everywhere, and all the houses are built by the water.
Do you like my new red suede shoes?
The houses, which were built in bricks, were mostly from the 19th and the first part of the 20th century I think. All the gardens were delightful!
It felt great to be a tourist for a few hours! We visited a pottery...
... and then had a drink by the lake, watching the boats.
We were back on time for the football/soccer match between the Netherlands and Mexico! Netherlands won and I decided to go for another walk around the village where I was staying to see if people were out and celebrating.
Apart from some youth who were listening to some music and drinking beer, the village was very quiet, but I enjoyed my walk.
Some of you have asked me how things are going in the new nursing home we moved my mother to, about three weeks ago. Well, I am VERY glad to say things are going well there. The difference with the previous nursing home is like night and day! The staff is competent, patient, and always kind to her and to other residents. My father actually enjoys his daily visits there! Now that my mother is back at the nursing home after the hospital scare, she is recovering and much less agitated and sad than she used to be in the previous nursing home.
The lesson for me is that it was well worth moving her, despite the fact that my father was scared of the trauma another move would cause her (changes are bad for Alzheimer patients). Since she moved, he has never stopped saying how glad he is we took that decision! A BIG thank you again for all your support through these terrible months when I was lost, terribly worried, and didn't know what to do.
And now, please excuse me, I must unpack and get ready for a busy day at work tomorrow! Many thanks for reading the end of my 'adventures' in the Netherlands!