MY MOTHER's ORANGE NOTEBOOK

While packing for my Balkans tour this morning, I happened across my Mother's Orange Notebook.

Looking through its surprisingly varied contents, ranging in time from 1956 to 1965, all kinds of memories came up.
Most of this time I was in Thailand (1954/7), Canada (1957/60), California (1960/3) and South Africa (1963/5) but in the intervals I spent several months at home. I noted that my younger sister Carla was living at home, worked and paid weekly for her share in board and lodging. She also got married during this period, as reflected in the pages dealing with her "trousseau."

There was a boarder, too: Mr Vos, a traveling salesman about or with whom we hardly ever talked. By contrast, the memories I had were of his predecessors in "his" room, in the late 1940's: two sisters , Joep and Miek, both working for the KLM, the former as link-trainer. That intrigued my cousin Lo Deys who came for extended visits during weekends, played the guitar and courted both Joep and Aunt Tine (holding a lock of her hair under his nose, he would say: "I always wanted to be a man with a moustache!" which tickled her pink.)
In my memory Lo was a giant, who had to go underground during the War, and who once gave me a Swedish "tonnetjes - mes" in a leg-holder and demonstrated how to use it by proceeding to sharpen a 6 inch pencil till a mere one inch point was all that was left. He later emigrated to New Zealand where I visited him and his 26 offspring twice for a wonderful time, at which occasions I was most surprised about the fact that I was rather bigger than he.
Back to Holland and specifically the nice long August evenings when the whole family and Lo and the girls would sit and eat cherries from a bag till the very last - whosoever got that one had to pay for the next lot.
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