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She wrote to me to tell me her story.
It was such a beautiful and little story, in such Expressive English, to my surprise it made me cry. Maybe because I had been brave all day, doing hard things: the gentleness of this letter from Holland must have done something to wash over one of my inner embankments. I wonder what it was?
Here is D.L's story:
Thanks for your reaction. It took some time but in spite af my age I have a full life. I'll try to answer your questions. That will not be easy for me; my knowledge of English is rather poor. Many times my sister-in-law living in Australia bursts out in laughter (she wrote me!) when she reads my letters. F.e. After a message in the the newspapers about big fires (because of the heavy dryness) I used the word: "woodfire" instead of forestfire...stupid me..
But I'll promise you to do my best and see how far I can come.
In April 2003 when my husband and I removed to this senior-appartment, I found a complete empty balcony (5-th floor) of 1.40 x 4,50 meter. The very, very last thing I took from the former house was our birdbox...Maybe crazy, but I thought: no house for the birds..than surely no birds will come. So I better hang it and wait... And see, we were still unpacking and arranging and what happened? I entered the livingroom, where the door to the balcony stood open. I called my husband: "hush, hush, look what's going on here in the room!" We saw two little yellow feathered "burglers", steeling little threads from the fringe of our carpet! One even flew to my husbands chair and picked in the woollen cover and pulled threads out, the naughty bird! It seemed our titbirdfriends had moved wíth us. Some weeks later we could hear young birds pipiting in the birdbox! After that I started dreaming of "Morningglows",of sweet smelling Roses, of little ranking Nasturtium... If the birds could make a nest that high, why couldn't I try to make a little garden that high???? So I started with black buckets, my husband got sacks of soil on his bike (we never owned a car..) I bought some plants, put seeds in little pots, let Sweet Peas sprout and so on. My husband enjoys very much what I do but his thumbs show a different colour green from mine, ( in former years he used to have a "vegpatch".)
A year later we pleaced a bench on the balcony, and I dreamed on about a rosebow, Clematis and Passionflowers... And I worked and watered the plants, put dried cowmestgrains, grumbled about the little slugs that ate the very young petals,
and I enjoyed working and sitting in the early sun in March....
Another year later I put a avocado-stone next to a plant in its bucket and forgot about it.. And guess, some time later a tiny little stem grew with some petals; in 3 years it grew out to a fifty cm. high plant. Oh, those wonders happening under one eyes.. so amazing! Slowly, slowly, the Paradise arised, Our little Paradise!
One of your questions: how many hours a week do I work in my "garden" and: how many hours do I sit down and enjoy my "dreambalcony" ?
Its hard to say, working on it is enjoying it in the mean time. And sitting on it is sometimes: "Oh, that plats needs some pruning!" Then I stárt prunung or whatever.
On silent Sundaymornings, at six for example, I try to count my pleasures on that vey moment, well, it takes too much time now. If you like I can write on later about my guirky garden. And eh... about my English..... do I hear sneaky laughter......??
Sorry dear, I'm only a simple Dutch 77 years old lady.
Enough for now, maybe later some more (if you like).
Kind regards from D.L, Holland
P.s. I am going to sent you a picture of the winterbalcony and some recent pictures. Not by e-mail but by airmail, okay?
D.L, you are a treasure.