#12 Counting blessings

Pieterpad, Ommen to Lemele

public flowerbed in Ommen

public flowerbed in Ommen

For the introduction to this (hopefully)480 km journey, please click on the heading,’Walking the Pieterpad’ in the black bar above.

The third day of this walk was a Sunday, the weather was perfect and everyone was out in nature. The Dutch are fanatic cyclists and there were myriads of brightly coloured bike club members racing by. There were families and couples and groups out walking on the paths and by the river. Normally, walking the Pieterpad can be quite solitary, so I loved all the activity.

Sunday in the Vechtsdal

Sunday in the Vechtsdal

The woman who’d put me up in Hardenberg the day before was sweet. After I returned from dinner in the town we sat talking together well into the evening. She confided to me that she had lost a child of 5 to illness when she and her husband were working in Indonesia, and that 2 of her remaining children were gravely ill, one possibly with the same rare illness that the daughter had had. Her husband had died long ago, there were a few photos of them together when they were young. Despite all this sadness, she was very open and not at all self pitying. She said she had a good life there in the neighbourhood, and she had friends.  I left there grateful to have met her.

When I arrived at my accommodations in Ommen the following evening, and got to talking with my hostess there, in a strange and sad synchronicity, she, too had lost a daughter. Her daughter was an artist who became ill in her late 30s and died soon after. Her artwork was all around the house and it was good. This woman’s husband was there as well, but was dealing with cancer. She told me of the things they used to do together and what they have had to release as far as travel etc. This woman too was grateful for what she still had and not embittered by what she’d experienced.

Needless to say, I left there thoughtful, and counting my blessings that at this stage of my life, my husband and I are both healthy and can do so much together.

This part of the walk was varied and social, as I met a lot of people along the paths. While I was taking a tea break at a roadside café, one of the bike clubs whooshed in, and all these vital 20-30 year old men in their coloured nylon outfits poured in joking with each other and the waitresses. It was a pleasure to be around all that vital energy, you could see these guys were loving their Sunday and the fleeting freedom from family obligations and being in suits at work the next day.

 Below are photos from that day. There weren’t any of the usual accommodations available, but I was lucky to get a whole caravan to myself for a bargain price.

Next post will be the last about the Pieterpad for awhile, winter is closing in and the days are getting shorter. Not a problem until the evening, now dark, when I usually have to go out either walking or a loaned bike to get some dinner in an unknown environment.






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