My Grandmother was Dutch. Emma Johanna, Jacoba, Krannenburg. She came from an Aristocratic family-Scholars, dignitaries, some of whom were considered "wealthy," and prominent in the Dutch culture. They were Merchants, Scientists and risk takers. They bought goods in South America and sold them in Europe.
One of My Great Grandfather's ships (bound for Europe) sank. Leaving him poor and destitute. He ended his own life. My Grandmother,,,,,,,in her teens, was sent off to assist her Uncle and his family.
My Oma-Emma,,,,,my grandmother was sent off to care for her Uncle's Children. She travelled with them to South America, Africa, the Dutch Indies,,,,,and once again back to Holland. I'll have to share her adventure's at another time,,,,,for this is about her Romance and love.
She was with Family on the Rhine,,,,,,at a popular yachting spot....visiting a Resort called "Der Schwann" (The Swan) when she met with my Grandfather, a German, no less, for the first time. I wish I KNEW what transpired between the two of them,But I CAN say, eventually, she left her Dutch family and married this "little German."
(During their Courtship and the first years of their marriage, my Grandfather purchased "Meissen" China for my Grandmother,,,,,,,,,,,,piece by piece) You might notice the "Swans" neck" on this teapot...........symbolic of their meeting, at "Der Schwann.")
My Grandfather was Always a Romantic, yet practical and survivalist.. A survivor of WWI. He went through the Trenches, returned home,-assessed the political and financial "temper",,,, prior to WWII and after he'd met and fell in love with my Dutch Grandmother,,,,,,,So? In his 40's......He moved his family (and his beloved "Em") out of European conflict,,,,And, Eventually around 1928 (See the timeline here) to start again, in the US,,,,,,,,Washington State.
To say that they left EVERYTHING behind, is inconceivable. Their family's, their culture, their history,,,,,,,,and yes, their Monies. My Grandparents married "Late" ,,,,,well at least by American Standards. But they thrived together for over 50 years. They re-established themselves in a new Country.....they established their immigrant children in American Schools. My Grandfather grew grapes, for wine,,,,,although the Prohibition prohibited that............
Their Farmhouse, in the meager parts of Washington, allowed their children a NEW life, an opportunity for their Children and Grandchildren. I will Never forget them. The opportunities they created for their family by leaving Europe,,,,,,after literally Centuries of Culture and History,,,,,,,to provide a NEW life for their offspring.
This, truly is a love story I will cherish for the rest of my days. I only hope that I've shared it sufficiently with my OWN children. And, also, in sharing with you all, that you'll get a glimpse of the compassion/history and knowledge of my family.
I'll never look at a Swan without emotion. Whether it is priceless Meissen China from my "Oma" or a Swan I pick up at a Flea Market..............
Love and Hugs, and a Romantic/nostalgic BUS!
(Have a GREAT Valentines Day! I'll be spending it with girl friends...........You TOO can be romantic without a partner!)