Here is my favorite photo of Jan Copier, my maternal grandfather, standing on his scow. I have a wonderful memory of sitting at the other end of this barge, making our way to a farmer to collect milk.
I don't know if we had piet in the boat or not.
Opa farmed piet on bogs throughout the Vechtplassen. Actually the group of lakes that makes up the Vechtplassen were themselves made from digging up piet for fuel. Piet was used widely until after World War II. It is hardly sustainable. It takes 40 years for piet to grow back and it's dirty as far as fuel goes. People used what was available and for a long while, it was piet.
I am thinking about him right now, because I am anticipating a week in the Netherlands this spring, thanks to my cousin, Annette, and we will be staying in a B&B right on the Vecht and next door to Opa's old property.
I have said it before and I'll say it again: this is the one spot on earth, where I feel the most emotionally connected.
So 2014 is already a huge success.