Tuesday, March 26, 2013

My parents met in church

Dirk Anjwierden left, Mother, her sister Riet, Jans Anjwierden, Gov above her head and Dad

Dirk Anjwierden on the left, Dad on the far right, Riet next to him with Mother behind Riet

My parents met in church, a thriving branch in Utrecht.  She joined at age eleven when her mother joined.  My father joined when he was eighteen.  He was five years older than Mother, so she was twelve when he joined.  This is 1939, presumably summer, so they would have been 16 and 21.

The first time my father stepped into church, he was reluctant, and stood outside.  Finally, he tapped the top button of his suit jacket, "I will go in," and the next button down, "I won't go in.  I will go in, I won't go in" and the last button, "I will go in."  Did he already know he had five buttons?

Anyway, my parents socialized in church groups long before they dated.  There are many photos like the first one, where it seemed like a good idea to take a Dutch oven into the woods and eat.  And, of course, swimming was always a good idea.

My father was baptized in a swimming pool in Utrecht.

Once, my father played Sinter Klaas at the church Christmas party, and my mother was Zwarte Piet, his black slave.  If you were naughty, Zwarte Piet would put you into his bag and roll you around a bit.  Mother was strong enough to do this.  Mostly, they gave out candies, small gifts and even poems.

I can still see my father's gaunt face on the day he died, staring without blinking, at the ceiling.


  1. I need a tutorial from you on how you get the writing below the pictures. Do you scan them in atop a piece of paper? What do you think your father was thinking as he stared up at the ceiling?

  2. Love these pieces, Louise. Carry on.