Looking back, the exchange was simple and brief (much like our stay in Leiden would turn out to be)…
Him: Honey, how do you feel about going to Al Khobar?
Me: WHAT!!?? We just moved here and I love it! Leiden is our HOME!
The joy and frustration of being a trailing spouse. We packed up and left so suddenly, there was hardly time to say “tot ziens” to next door neighbors or to scream a heartfelt “doi” on the street…
I miss Leiden so much. The few weeks I spent there were really some of the best I have experienced. I can’t even say months, really; the middle bit was cut out due to a trip home to care for my Dad. I miss the cheese shop and the man behind the counter who would nod at the regulars and provide their cheese without any dialogue needed. I miss the walk to the local coffee shop on Haarlemmerstratat; a browse in Dill and Kamille; the hourly ringing of the church bells; the ripples made by flat bottom boats passing on the canals. I miss jumping out of cyclists’ way, the look on children’s faces as Dad peddled them to daycare. I even miss the grey skies and the cold wind. I think of Molen De Valk’s windmill blades turning the clouds, pushing them from autumn into winter. I remember the bicycles crossing the bridges over the canal, the reflection of the lights in the water in the evenings. the sound of laughter escaping from small cafe’s and pubs.
It was a beautiful time and one I’ll treasure.
Thank you for reading and for sharing the Leiden experience with me. Count your blessings if you are still in Holland and enjoy every moment!
Goodbye and God bless