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Here I would love to share with you our travels and adventures as international consultants. About living in Italy, the Veneto area near Venice; in Indonesia, central Java. Why we love the southeast of the United States and moved back from Italy. Our love for gardening, the botanical way. Sharing with you our manifold treasures from exotic places and even offering several at Spectrenoir:http://ebay.to/2xI69uc, for others to enjoy. As well as high end silver items from Giovanni Raspini, Italy |  google.com/+MariettesBacktoBasics 
I also do classes and consulting... too much to list here! Check out my google.com/+MarietteVandenMunckhofVedder ABOUT page, where you see my other LINKS and email address; you just scroll down.Thanks!
Love to bring back some romance and quality to the daily life of others... 

Thursday, November 3, 2011


Today it is 120 years ago that my OPA, paternal GRANDDADDY was born. He also was my GODFATHER. When I picked up my childhood poetry album and read his words, it made me think of him on this special day. He passed away because of a fatal stroke when I was only 14 and he 73... He was a hard working man, a plasterer (stucadoor in Dutch) and doing also ornamental and decorative interior plasterwork around ceilings and lamps. Nowadays we buy it ready made out of resin... His two brothers were also plasterers and his Dad did whitewash or lime wash walls for a living. Tough job and it sure didn't make them wealthy. My great-grandfather only lived to be 52 years old. But they were honest and very much Church going people that raised their large families by maintaining high morals and ethics. They were happy and content, something that is often lacking nowadays especially amongst the younger generations. The youth often throws away the religious part that their ancestors lived by for centuries. It was a culture, handed down from father to son, mother to daughter. Now people think they can 'have it all' with minimal efforts and all on their own. Often life does not unfold like that as somewhere down the road, there will be a bump and what than? Facing it all alone, without any spiritual support and believe, will be hard. Okay, let's see what message Opa wrote for me way back...
Just a short note
Not much in writing
But it's my wish,
That it may be long lived
And that it always
Reminds you
Of who wrote this:
He means so well!
Opa as a young man, wearing his military suit. Still having his own dreams...
He lived a harsh life through WWI; the Depression years; WWII and yet he managed to raise his large family of 12 children.
This is on their 25th Wedding Anniversary; 13 September 1943 during WWII...
My Dad is the one in the center, top.
This was on their 40th Wedding Anniversary, 13 September 1958...
Dad is again in the center, top row.
Sadly, Opa did not live till the 50th Wedding Anniversary as on February 15 of 1965, he passed away. On the birthday of his daughter, Aunt Nelly who's seated to the right.
Several of my uncles and one aunt, have followed their parents to heaven. My Grandmother passed away on November 26, 1984 at the age of 91. She was a long time friend of my husband Pieter's Mom!
Some treasures I keep from my Opa...
In the little jar is a blue stone that was once set into a little ring that I received from Opa when I was 5.
I walked home from Kindergarden and Opa met me on the road as he walked with his cane daily for exercise. He gave me this little ring and I was over the moon. Of course we had no jewelry than, nothing on my fingers, wrists or in my ears. To me it was a precious piece of jewelry and when it came apart, I still kept this little blue stone...
To the left is my very first Mass book that I received from Opa for my 1st Communion.
Going to a Catholic school, we went to Mass daily and that was marked even above our grades on our quarterly 'rapport'.
The silver charm bracelet (without any charms) was given to me when I did my Confirmation in sixth grade.
That I've kept also forever, as it is so dear to me. Sentimental value from a person that loved me and whom I loved and very much admired.
Opa went to Mass every day and he prayed for his entire family. He loved them and did visit regularly in order to keep up with everyone.
Sadly Opa never got to meet his three Australian grandchildren. When they'd boarded the ship in Adelaide, Opa had already died... sad for making the long journey over seas to show the children to their grandparents and only one of them lived to actually see them.
My little treasures... The blue stone from the ring that I got from Opa when I was only 5.
The cross is from my Great Uncle who was advisor to several bishops and living in Indonesia. Will introduce him later...
On this little 'Pochette' (pocket square), in crocheted rose filet lace, are some sentimental treasures.
Also the medallion with the Holy Mary is there, that got pinned onto my camisol as a child. Even babies had it on, for protection by the Heavenly Mother.
The blue stone has a little crack but that's fine...
By the way, the number 13 I bought in Germany and over there it is a lucky charm; Glückszahl.
Okay, the treasures are back in the authentic antique letterpress drawer. Pieter did put an acrylic sheet in front to keep (most) of the dust out. The little jar with the blue stone resides to the left, near the top under the small brown glass jar.
Did you notice my Oma roses? Yes, they are blooming now, after the heat of summer.
Remember on August 13, the Oma mystery rose got resolved by Bea from Modern Country Lady and we now know it is the Floribunda rose: Queen Elisabeth.
Paired with some ever-blooming Rosemary they look gorgeous in a small Baccarat crystal vase!
It was perfect for this post for having Oma's roses as well. They belong together...
The blue Le Jacquard Français tea towel has served me well this week!
Guess that Opa and Oma are smiling down from heaven...

Related links:
{3 Most Prized Roses; from my Paternal Grandmother} | previous post by me
{Sad that ONLY on June 10 we had some 'Oma Roses'...} | previous post by me
{Mistery Oma Rose Resolved!} | previous post by me


  1. What a beautiful and moving post, Mariette. I so enjoyed reading about "Opa." He would be happy to know you still treasure the moments you spent with him. What a life he had, and he managed to raise 12 children with his wife. It seems people were more resilient and more content back then. My generation (and the one that followed) have such a sense of entitlement. "The times, they are a'changin'" -- as Bob Dylan used to sing. Veronique (French Girl in Seattle)

  2. Dearest Mariette,

    You have shared such a beautiful post of your dear Opa.
    I loved hearing about his life and seeing the family photographs.
    You have a beautiful family. My Father was the youngest in the family of 11 brothers and sisters.
    Sounds very much like my Fathers story where morals and ethics were upmost in their life.
    Also loved seeing your special trinkets to remind you of your dear Opa.

    Have a happy Thursday

  3. Mariette, che bella la storia
    del tuo nonno, mi piace leggere
    di queste cose e vedere le vecchie foto che hanno qualcosa da raccontare, le trovo molto affascinanti.
    Un abbraccio
    Susy x

  4. Liebe Mariette,
    du hast so liebe Erinnerungen an deinen Großvater. Ich finde, du hast auch Ähnlichkeit mit ihm. Bestimmt lächeln sie au dich herab, deine Großeltern. Sie wissen, dass du ihr Andenken in Ehren hälst und dass sie nicht vergessen sind.
    Liebe Grüße, Johanna

  5. Dearest Mariette,
    What a moving and touching post today, my friend!!!
    Oh, how wonderful to have such lovely memories and treasures with Opa. He looks SO warmhearted and brave man in the picture and sure must have been a proud times surrounded with loving family!!! My both sides grandparents raised many children like your granddad did. I feel the same way, I think I was taught some moral lesson from mine like taken to the grave yard, praying in front of the family alter inside the house and so on.
    Wow, the authentic antique letterpress drawer look really gorgeous with full of treasures. And I truly admire you keep your Treasure from Opa to this day!!!
    Wonderful tribute and I DO believe they are smiling down on you. I remember and ever never forget your sweet comment on my October 2 post.
    On this birthday for your grandfather, May your grandfather and grandmother; also 2 sisters of yours and others reat in peace.

    Hugs and Love, Orchid*

  6. What lovely memories you have. It's amazing how they managed back then with their very large families and not many 'mod cons' like we have today.

  7. I'm astonished reading about you Opa and his 12 children (God bless him) and his incredible life! Thank you for sharing and thank you for your beautiful pictures and memories.
    Have a lovely day.

  8. hello Marietta,
    so, I`ve found you finally:-))
    and I`m really happy about!
    You have a very beautiful blog and shared this time a very special story with us and your treasure. I love such old stories and have some too from my grandparents. It is enormous what they once did and went through, I have a lot of repect for them.
    I wish you a nice day with many comings as well and hope we hear more often from eachother in future.
    lovely greetings to you

  9. Hi Mariette,

    Those roses are wonderful!

    I have never seen those kind before.

    Thank you for the St. Maria Goretti card.

    My husband and I were married in a church called St. Maria Goretti.

    In a couple of months we will have been married 22 years.

    Wow, how time dances by...



  10. Che bello questo post cara Mariette..parla di una grande persona e bellissimi ricordi!!! Ti abbraccio con affetto, Anna. PS- le tue rose sono magnifiche!!!

  11. The love and respect you have for your Grandfather comes through in every word of this post. The treasured memories. I found my eyes tearing up a little, as you went through some of your treasured memories, as it returned me to my early years in Portugal when I lived with my grandparents (father's parents). There is nothing more special than the love shared between grandparents and grandchildren.

    To think that today's youth is missing out on one day having such beautiful memories and treasures is saddening. I've started a little book for my brother's new baby ..Matthew .. detailing some memories I have of my brother as a little boy.

    You know I have been admiring the beautiful Limoges Angel boxes - they are most beautiful!!

    Wishing you a blessed day! xo HHL

  12. Dear Mariette,
    You are so sweet, thank you for your comment.
    Wishful thinking to publish a book, one can dream...


  13. Liebe Mariette,

    dieser Text von dir ist beeindruckend.

    In lieber Verbundenheit
    Angela und Elisabeth

  14. Liebe Mariette,
    deine Worte haben mich sehr berührt - ich finde es so wunderschön, wenn die Menschen, die uns schon vorausgegangen sind, in unseren Herzen weiterleben und die kleinen Andenken an sie wie Kostbarkeiten aufbewahrt werden - auch ich habe solche Schätze, die mich an meine Oma und meinen Vater erinnern. Manchmal ist man dann ganz wehmütig -
    ich wünsche dir eine wundervolle Zeit voller Liebe und Glück -
    herzlichst - Ruth

  15. Mooi bericht Mariette! En ongelooflijk, als je ziet hoe oud je grootouders er uit zagen toen ze 25 jaar waren getrouwd .... Zal ook wel zijn door alle zorgen die zo'n groot gezin met zich mee brengt ...
    Groetjes, Inge

  16. Lieve Mariette,

    Wat een bijzondere lieve post ter ere van opa.

    Ik heb zelf nog een opa 92 jaar, ook hij is mijn peteoom.
    Hij kwam ook uit een gezin van Elf kinderen. Toen wij naar Noorwegen verhuisden kregen wij de foto waar hij op een paard zat toen hij militaire dienst was. Dat in een hoefijzer is ingelijst. Met opa gaat goed. Ik hoop dat ik ook zo oud wordt, in goede gezondheid....

    Lieve groetjes,

  17. Lieve Mariette,

    Mooie herinneringen aan je opa. Je 'Queen Elisabeth' roos staat er nog prachtig bij!

    Fijne dag!

    Madelief x

  18. Eine schöne Erinnerung!! Liebe Grüße Yvonne

  19. Hi Mariette, this is such a beautiful post. I love all your treasures and photos and memories of your dear Opa. And your Oma roses are a perfect ending to a touching tribute. Hope your day is great. Tammy

  20. Hi Mariette,
    What a wonderful surprise to see your beautiful-ness over at my place and the joy of reading your comment you left for me on your way out encourages all that I love so about blogging with friends.

    I am so taken with your Opa! and I think every family needs a Opa don't you?
    There is a beauty in all your photos and it inspires the kind of love we all need in family.

    Thank you for sharing your beauty within your family

    see you soon

  21. Dearest Mariette:
    What a beautiful and sweet post you made. It's so nice from you to keep all those treasures that your Opa gave you long time ago, and what a brave man he was, living during those tough times and rise a big family wasn't easy at all, but he managed to do it very well. And you are right by saying that young generations do not appreciate the value of the religious part in their lives, this is very sad but true.
    Thank you for sharing with us all these beautiful memories and treasures you have.
    I send you a big and warm hug,
    your friend
    Laura =)

  22. Ciao Mariette, innanzi tutto grazie per essere passata dal mio blog!
    Il fatto di essere vicina ad Anna, che in questo periodo sta attraversando un momento un po particolare mi fa un enorme piacere...aiutare chi è in difficoltà e poter strappare anche solo un piccolo sorriso fa bene al cuore. Oggigiorno siamo sempre di corsa e diamo poco valore alla semplicità e ai valori che davvero dovrebbero contare nella vita di tutti noi...Un saluto e apresto Alessandra


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