Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Farmer Hofstra

When our children were still small I did some supply teaching and one day the librarian gave me a small book to read. It was called " The cow, who fell in the canal" The drawings were very well done and showed scenes of years gone by in Holland. When I opened the book and started to read I had to chuckle. The cow belonged to farmer Hofstra. Now my maiden name is Hofstra and my father was known in the area as farmer Hofstra. I could not find a copy in the store and the librarian was kind enough to get me a copy, which our kids loved to read. But as they grew older, the book was stored with the other childern's book and forgotten. Now forward about 30 years and we are in Amsterdam. On one of our walks a few weeks ago we ended up the old "Nieuwe Kerk" I guess it is the newest of the old churches. It was close to closing time, and we could not go through it, but the store was still open and since it was cold outside and we were tired we popped in. My cousin came up to me and asked me, if I had ever seen this small book about a cow, who fell in the canal.It was the same book I had at home! And it was in English I don't think that it was ever available in Dutch. I could not pass this up and bought a couple. They would make nice stocking stuffers. The next day we went through the Rijksmuseum, where we saw all the fantastic paintings and pottery and so much more. At the end you come to the museum store. And there, in the kiddy corner was another copy, this time 2/3 the size of the book at home. Had to buy another copy! By that time I had bought quite a few books, so I had to keep in mind, that I had to take all this stuff with me on the plane. Now to the real farmer Hofstra. He did wear similar work clothes as you see in the book, but I do not have a good picture of my dad in his working day clothes. My mother was the kind of person, who made you change in your "good" clothes before a picture was taken. But here is a picture of my father at a favorite activity of his, a show of his beloved Frisian horses.

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