Friday, November 09, 2007
4 -7 November 2007
We have spent several days visiting with Anneke’s Aunt and Uncle in Decatur, Al. Her uncle had his 82nd birthday on Tuesday. This time was spent learning more about Anneke’s family tree from folks who have been a part of the history for a long time.
They have a very interesting past. They were teenagers when Germany invaded the Netherlands during WWII and literally turned their world upside down. The young male family members had to hide from the Germans to avoid being sent to the labor camps in Germany. Her Uncle was on a family cargo boat when it was attacked from the air. Several other family members were wounded and otherwise thrown overboard leaving her Uncle at 14 to bring the ship safely back to port under sail. These were difficult years followed by more difficult years in post war Holland.
They made the decision to immigrate the United States in the early 1950’s without any real idea of what they would do or were they would end up. After several years of hard work, they saw an opportunity to buy a small Hotel in New Jersey and made a living running several hotels in succession over the years.
I have come to learn not see older people as just old, but rather to wonder and in some cases find out what adventures they have had in their lives that brings them to where they are now.