Re: Can't Really Celebrate

Jan de Koning (
Thu, 05 Feb 1998 10:35:05 -0500

>At 01:00 PM 03/02/98, Jen W. VanderBeek wrote:
>>Was talking with someone the other day about celebrating. The opinion of
>>this person was/is that we (meaning in the reformed circles) don't know
>>what it is to celebrate. Birthdays or weddings or Valentine's Day or
>>anything. I stood there with a mouth full of teeth and didn't know how to
>>answer. Looking back over the past year for myself... my birthday, our
>>anniversary, kids' birthdays, vacation, Easter, Christmas, graduation for
>>Katrina (grade 8), even Pete's 40th... all of them passed with lots of
>>food, but to say that we celebrated? We didn't really toast and sing and
>>holler and dance and laugh. Our decorum maybe got in the way. Or something.
>>So, I am left thinking about celebrating. With Candlemass (not even any
>>special food for that one) past and Valentine's Day right around the
>>How do you celebrate? What do you celebrate?
Celebrations I really enjoyed where the ones before the war and just after
the war. We could not celebrate with lots of food. There was not enough.
But we did a lot of singing. Mostly hymns and patriotic songs, because
those were the songs we all knew. At very special occasions we had a glass
of wine, if wine was available. Even public feasts were singsongs in my
memory. Maybe my memory is coloured, but even now we often sing when the
whole family is present, though I admit it becomes less and less. There
are so many things to catch up on, when you don't see each other daily.
Yes, and we sang loud. Not bending forward over a book. If we looked in a
book it was the one on the little "organ."

Espcially the singing of my mothers brothers and sisters was fantastic.
They were members of the "Asser oratorium vereniging", and at home they
sang together from the hymnal, Oom Kees tenor, Oom Henk bass, Tante Lies
soprano, and Tante Mach alto, while Oom Geert played the organ. And I
was sitting in a corner enjoying myself listening, (or later in the night
quietly falling asleep listening.)

Jan de Koning
Willowdale, Ont.