November, 2014 browsing by month


Saturday November 29. First snow of the season

Saturday, November 29th, 2014

I woke up this morning to the first season’s snow fall. I am staying at the home of Rose Marie and Donovan in Federal Way. They will be returning from Baker, Oregon tomorrow, where they spent Thanksgiving with Donovan’s family.

Lisa and Harry cooked my Turkey and Beef roast dinner on Thanksgiving day. My youngest son Seth came up tot Tacoma to join us accompanied by his mom, Laura. I am working hard on “Soloman”, in a nice warm home. I’ll stay here until I leave for Virginia on December 15.

Somebody, please, take a picture of “Fleetwood” covered with this snowstorm.   Don’t forget my presentation on Sunday the 14th in Gig Harbor.


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Wednesday, November 26. Thanksgiving Eve. And an invitation for you.

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014

Wishing all a very Happy Thanksgiving Holiday. Even though  I did not grow up with this celebration, it has become my favorite family holiday.

There is no end to the long list of blessings, particularly this year. A year ago I was licking my wounds on the island of Ibiza. I had lost everything in the November 16 shipwreck.  A miraculous rescue. If the boat would have come to rest just 20 feet from the spot it did, I would not be writing this. God had a new plan for me. I walked off the boat with the clothes I wore and a week later I was the best dressed shipwreck survivor. Help came from everywhere. Thanks to people who cared and their generosity. I was homeless but soon I had an oceanfront furnished flat for $18 per day on Ibiza. Later the free use of a friend’s  luxurious condo on Mallorca. Then three months in Holland looking after a friend’s home, with the   use of a car and weekly cleaning lady. Then the unexpected opportunity to replace “Fleetwood” with  an identical boat, that happened to be well within my savings and a better boat than the one I lost. The list I put out for the items I need to continue my off shore adventure shrunk steadily with donations from dock neighbors in Gig Harbor and beyond. I have been spoiled by old friends here in Gig Harbor and made many new friends. The recent surprise to bestow honorary membership in the Gig Harbor Yacht Club. The list goes on and on.

I have mentioned it in this blog before but this happens to be the reason/season to repeat it. Knowing Who your Donor is and directing your gratitude makes the experience of Thanksgiving so much more meaningful. Thanks be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.

The Invitation: go to :

I am giving a presentation on December 14th from 1 p.m. in the parish hall of the St. Nicholas church. Check the above link for details. You will not have any regrets that you missed the Seahawks game against the 49ers. Guaranteed. The next day I fly to Virginia to spend Christmas with daughter # 3, Jeannine and her family (three grandchildren and three great grandchildren…) I expect to be back in mid January. I will staying with Rose Marie (daughter #2) and her husband in Federal Way till my December 15 departure and celebrate Thanksgiving with Lisa (d.#1) and her family and son Seth and his mom. I look forward to share my story and slide shows with you on December 14. Spread the word!. You can print out the flyer or forward it to your friends. All are welcome!



Wednesday November 26. I lost a dear friend.

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014

Roger Rue passed away on Monday after a long struggle with cancer. We met in 1978. The beginning of a long memorable friendship. One of the reasons for coming back to the Northwest from Holland last April was to be able to celebrate Rogers’ 80th birthday. We knew for some time that the end was near but he surprised everyone for longer than the predictions with his wit and firm handshake. But still I, apparently, was not quite prepared for the reality. He has been such a good friend. He encouraged and supported my adventure. His generous gift paid for my Monitor windvane. He made me part of the “Old Salts” crew that went out with him on “Grand Central” on Thursday evenings sails and a stop at a favorite drinking hole on the Tacoma waterfront. I crewed with Roger to sail the boat from Tacoma to San Francisco and on an other occasion we buddy boated with Larry Burcars’s “Siren” to San Francisco. I could go on with the anecdotes and adventures I have had the privilege to have shared with this man and his friends.

To know Roger read his obituary at: 19id=173287595&fhid=23431

May Roger rest in peace, the winds be gentle and his final moorage be secure.

Roger the Pilot

Roger the Pilot

Sunday November 16. On my way downhill again.

Sunday, November 16th, 2014

I have brought my things back to the boat, with the car I have been able to use these two weeks. I’ll miss my three four legged friends and a nice warm house. The animals survived and the house did not burn down, this will be a star on my resume. Put the word out. There have to be others here in town who are going on a winter vacation. As you can see from the below picture not only did the animals survive but I trained Calley to be affectionate with Lily the white bibbed cat.

I would have made a lot more progress with the book if it were not for the frustrating loops Windows-8 makes me jump through. Went to 8.30 mass, the best place to cure my digital frustrations.

my work area for the last two weeks

my work area for the last two weeks


Friday November 14. Good Cold Morning America.

Friday, November 14th, 2014

I got up early this morning. It is a cold winter’s day. My new lens for the NIKON has not arrived yet. But here is what Gig Harbor looks like this morning, from just a short walk below the house I am staying.

The storm covered the grounds here with tree branches and leaves. I got my exercise  yesterday raking, supervised by the dog and the one (good) cat.



Wednesday, November 12. Arctic blast.

Wednesday, November 12th, 2014

The temperature has dropped to just under freezing at night and stays in the thirties Fahrenheit ( around 5 Centigrade) during the day. Accompanied by an ice cold strong wind. The driveway is covered with broken off tree branches. The power went out briefly yesterday at mid afternoon. Some parts of the state are still without electricity.

I found a simple camera here with which I took the below pictures. I expect to have a back up lens for my Nikon in the next days. Last night there were five of us at “El Pueblito” for Taco Tuesday. This evening is the monthly Gig harbor YC meeting. Every time I put my shoes or coat on Calley expects to be taken for a walk now. The cats amuse me. The sweet one “Lily” wants to jump on my lap while I am book writing. The other cat only comes in for her food and then she/he? hisses at the door to be let out again. Probably has other addresses for desert or love.

“The Mastmakers’ Daughters” is now also available in English in Kindle in Holland for € 7,21 incl. BTW :

for the Dutch version go to: 

I am working hard at trying to have the Dutch version of “Soloman” on Kindle by Christmas.

view from my workplace at the kitchen counter

view from my workplace at the kitchen counter

view from my bedroom

view from my bedroom




With a little imagination this could have been the place where Herman Melville wrote his books. The house was built in 1892 overlooking the Gig Harbor Bay where tall ships came to load lumber to ship to far away places.

Sunday Morning November 9. Life is good

Sunday, November 9th, 2014

I am listening to the 11 o’clock  sermon of the irreverent reverend Garrison Keillor on NPR’s Prairie Home Companion. Father Mark Guzman and my fellow St. Nicholas parishioners filled me with the spirit at our 8.30 service. Today is the feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica in Rome. This is considered to be the very first church of the Roman Catholic faith founded in the 4th century, after the Christians emerged from the Catacombs in the reign of the first Christian Roman emperor Constantine.

I had the privilege to sing in the Lateran Basilica in the Saturday evening mass on May 11  last year, with my church choir of the Augustinus church in Amsterdam. See:

I am house, dog and cat sitting a friends’ home, while they are vacationing in Mazatlan for two weeks. Calley is a part Rhodesian Ridgeback. Sweet dog. yesterday I took her for a long walk and a run in the park. Since it is difficult to cook dinner on my boat with the one burner stove I took the opportunity to invite my two daughters and their worse halves for dinner last night. It is cold and wet outside. The boat is covered with its full cover but this comfortable home is a refuge on a day like today. I have picked up where I left off last April writing “Soloman”. It took a while to switch back to the Dutch version but “Le goût vient en mangeant”.

WIN_20141109_104104_edited-1 “Calley”‘s Sunday Brunch. One spoiled bitch. My Nikon broke, again. This taken with my laptop.

Sunday November 2nd. All Souls

Sunday, November 2nd, 2014

The weatherman is forecasting a wet week. Let it rain. The boat is under a full cover and I am house sitting as of today for two weeks. Kristine and Mike are off for a two week vacation. I am looking after an adorable Rhodesian Ridgeback dog, and two cats. The house was built by one of the first pioneer families here in 1893. As of tomorrow I will be writing furiously to complete the Dutch version of “Soloman”. The perfect spot for it in this warm comfortable quiet setting.

The past week was also very wet and October broke the rain fall records for this area. But fortunately Friday afternoon and evening turned out sunny and mild. While I was waiting for the bus I watched the young children dressed up in costumes trick 0r treating along the main bay-front drive. The Yacht Club had their TGIF (for my overseas friends: Thank Goodness Its Friday) party and practically everyone was in a costume of some kind.

With Sheila Schultz Mordue at the GHYC

With Sheila Schultz Mordue at the GHYC