If I had a column in the Delft op Zondag

(Not the real)
Delft op Zondag


23 JULY 2017

Time by the River

DELFT - My partner and I decided years ago that we liked to 'rough it' so bought a caravan. We planned to take jaunts into France, trips up north to Friesland and all about our region, like diked-in Zeeland. Much to see, much to wonder at; we did it all. After a while, we found we liked Rijnoever best.

There was nothing to do at the camp itself though something is always going on: rowing meets, sailing clubs, long-time card playing groups, and sitting under a shady tree with friends and a wit bier (white beer). One can go swimming if its a hot day. My partner and her dog like to splash in the river's edge - still too cold for me. Massive barges chug past us with grace, the motion some heavy people achieve: a way of moving confidently along, making ripples.


"Recently, we pulled the caravan from Delft to Rijnoever camp, just outside Oosterbeek, for a week away beside the Rhine river. To the left is Germany and to the right Rotterdam. Our site at the camp is usually right on the river bank. It is peaceful living on a 'porch' watching a busy waterway to see what happens along."

Returning to Delft from Rijnoever is a little shock to the system. One goes quickly from being idle to responsible: clothes to wash, gear to store and grocery shopping. Sooner or later, I sit at my pc and check on the news. Still no government, which seems to be taking longer than usual. When I ask about that, I get a shrug back. Yes, it would be nice to have things tidy but there really is no need to rush. The news from America is not nearly as benign. Is it possible to make health care there harder? Seems so.

I also read reports with the word treason in them regarding the election in 2016. That stunned me; I read articles that it was done for money: dirty to clean, public to private pockets. Several wrote this is not new and set out just how it was done.

I learned the first trip that the barges are called Aaks in Dutch. These carry bulk goods and are deep in the water when loaded. Touring boats and gimmicky yachts of the too wealthy come by going up or down river.

Now and again, a speed boat with no regard for the noise it makes will appear pulling folks on skis. More often a really fine-looking, old-fashion boat sails in then out of view. Mostly, it is just the river flowing past quietly.

To quote Paul Simon's lyric: 'I get all the news I need on the weather report'. My partner is the one who handles that along with food, coffee in the morning and cold drinks on a hot day. She is a pearl beyond price.

I used to row a lot. After each outing, I felt as if I left the clutter in my mind on the water. Insight and understanding did not spring forth, but I was easier about my lack of both. The river has that effect on me.

As an American who saw many a civil, and uncivil, upheaval in the US, I see us getting past this. What was done and why will be found out. I do not expect or want all the truth, but an answer is coming and maybe a reckoning.

G. Wiley / NLStrabo - © Copyright - All rights reserved - gwileynl@gmail.com
In memory of Herb Caen