Tuesday, March 31, 2015

A VERY Special Story...again! ....and Easter!!!!

OK - this is ever so special and I just have to share it with you all!

So if you recall - Nick & I spent 9 months in Salatiga Central Java, Indonesia on our Asian Trip?  
Salatiga was where Nick lived had lived his first 6 years with his parents & sis, Cecile.  Nick's mother had a bread "roti" bakery in their home!  And for that reason we went to this town in the mountains of Central Java!  His parents had chosen it because of the elevation there - 3600 feet! (Having moved there from Palembang Sumatra shortly after he was born)

When we arrived in Salatiga we checked into a hotel and heard that there was an International School and that on Sunday's they hold a church service in the school auditorium...so Nick & I gladly went to visit there!  The school was called Mountain View International School  Mountain View
When we came there the first time - Nick & I  so enjoyed the fellowship there and met many people! It was such a blessing to - we felt warmly welcomed!

They asked if there was any visitors this morning?  And Nick got up and went to the microphone and shared with the people that we were traveling to "reconnect" with our heritage and that Salatiga is where he had lived with his parents and sis - for 6 years many years ago.  He also shared that he and his mother & sis had been in the camps in Banyu Biru for 3 of those years! That his father who served in the army had then become a prisoner during the war.
Nick ended by stating that we had been traveling already 2.5 months and we were hoping to be able to find something to rent for a few months!  We were tired!

After a wonderful service - someone approached us and said that a house was now empty and that there was a 3 month balance left on a 1 year lease,  because the family that had rented it were finished with the Language school course and had just recently departed to Papau!  Luke said -" I can contact these people and see if they would let you rent back for a few months for the balance on that lease?" "Oh Yes Please Luke - kindly do so!!!" He did make contact and it was a Dutch person Kris with his American wife Krissy who had lived in the house with their children for those 9 months!

Within a couple of weeks (we also had to fly out of Indonesia to Singapore to re-extend our visa to stay longer in Indonesia) we did move into the house!!!!!!!  Yeah!!!!!

Linda with Diva!
We were blessed...yes totally blessed!  We settled in and got to know our sweet neighbors, and also the owner's daughter Endah (Diva's mother)!  We got to meet a very special lady in Salatiga who was already there for over 40 years - her name was Linda!  We heard the stories- how that the school had its beginnings!  You can read the History on it!

So we became good friends with our dear Linda!  

We met many many wonderful people.  On one a particular day when had a motor bike to enjoy, Nick & I took a ride to see some sights in the countryside. We were on a busy road and decided to stop at a restaurant to have a bite to eat.  Another couple came in as well with a young girl & her little baby.  John & Marilyn - John came to our table to chat with us and gave us such a warm welcome!  
They were traveling through to Bandung and they told us they had already lived in Indonesia for 37 years and John from Eugene Oregon now had a Indonesian passport!  Wow!  They both had lived many years in Salatiga and knew Linda too!  Oh such a small world!  They had recently moved to Semarang about an hour away.  Both Nick & I felt we had had a "divine appointment" - meeting these sweet people who so kindly approached us and shared with us!  

Anyway all this is all a part of "the story" ....

So now that we are back in the States, and still thankfully in touch with our friends in Salatiga...and Linda!  Linda following us on our blog, knew that we are here in Arizona for the winter - she said "Ellen, you and Nick need to meet some friends of mine in Mesa!  Oh yes Linda we would love to!"  So we received a email and phone number from Linda and we made contact with "Melissa!" Oh that was sweet!  We chatted on the phone and Melissa said she too had been in Indonesia for 10 years with her parents!  Oh how cool is that!  And the other couple close by would also like to meet us - Ona & Ruth!
We gladly set a date to meet them...and the plan was after church Sunday afternoon...yes gladly Nick & I said - we are delighted!

So listen to this dear friends ~  We arrive there and a receive a warm welcome from Melissa and Ona & Ruth!  Oh my the stories we shared!  Many years ago, Ruth and Ona & their children,  thought to be called to India and while there belongings were crated at the harbor in San Francisco,  to be shipped to India - things changed suddenly!  Their plans were not to go to India but to Indonesia!   

Ona was a teacher and Ruth as well, and the call was to go to Indonesia (this was back in late 70's) They changed the address on their crates that were still at the shipyard (thankfully!) and departed to Indonesia where there was a great need of teachers to teach the children of the missionaries there.  Ona & Ruth were there 20 years.  And the wonderful story is that that very school & ground we attended is part of the very school that God directed should be built and this sweet couple & Linda and the friends we met John & Marilyn were all very much involved with these beginnings!  Oh how touching it was to meet them!
Linda had told me about a book that I should read - "A Saturday Child" written by an Indonesian woman Titing Sudjana.  Titing had a very tough childhood but was adopted into a family that loved on her and welcomed her into their family!  The family I had read about in the book who had lived in Bandung and then moved to Salatiga.  I saw pictures of the Cass family with Titing and was touched by this story - (which I have copies of here with us! Be sure to ask me about it the next time we meet again!)   It turned out that Melissa is one of the Cass children in the foto (2nd on the bottom)...and here we are in Arizona meeting Melissa!   Can you imagine ........Nick & I were just blown away by God's goodness this afternoon and at this very special meeting!  

 We had a lovely time of sharing!  Melissa prepared a wonderful Indonesian dish and it felt like "home" yes Salatiga! 

 Ruth is a Teacher's Aid at the nearby school, and had a fall this last week crossing the street!

She was not happy about that at all...her hand and foot!  She is "stuck" she says for 4-6 weeks!  Humbug Ruth! 
 Melissa was a sweetheart!  She would like to get together again - Oh we would enjoy that very much!  Our visit was wonderful...and Nick & I just couldn't believe how this all came to be right here in Mesa Arizona!  To have walked the grounds for 9 months at the school in Salatiga - and even see the plaque there on the wall with very familiar names and then to be re-connected here!  .....Now that is not a coincidence! .........No siree!

 Well this is our story!  We hope you too enjoy it!  Life is a treasure and God orchestrates all these very special moments and meetings with people - how fortunate that we can be a part of His plan!!!
 Melissa & Russ invited us to their home after Easter service to enjoy Easter Brunch with family and friends! 

 We had a lovely time meeting their kids Asia,  Ashley & husband with kids,  & Solomon their son & friends!

It was quite a feast - lots of good eatin'! 

Nana was especially proud of her little "Selah" and Silas!  All her children live close by!
We met some other people who had also spent time in foreign countries so we had lots to talk about!

Thank you Russ & Melissa for a wonderful Easter in your home! 

Cowboy Poetry ~ A Visit with Gerry & Barbara from Bend Oregon!

The Superstition Mountain Museum had another outdoor presentation - this time it was Dick & Jane Morton sharing their talents in "Cowboy Poetry" and it was very well done!  There was a good turn out of people and we enjoyed the hour with the view of the Superstition Mountains in the background!  Dick Morton    

We knew the Quissell's were coming to Arizona in March sometime...we had spoken before we left Bend in November!
The message came - yes they are in Tucson!

So we invited them to join us at church on Sunday!  How great to see them!  Their daughter & family recently moved to Tempe Arizona about an hour from here!  So they were traveling through!  How sweet to meet up with them.

They stayed at the very same campground we had enjoyed the first days in this area - Lost Dutchman Campground right along the Superstition Mountains - which they had enjoyed before! And was very close to us too.

We enjoyed worship together and we would be meeting again on Monday! 

Nick & I had a lunch date with new friends right after church! 
Great Smile Gerry! 

~ On Monday - Gerry & Barb came to our park - they wanted to see it and liked it very much!  A nice & quiet setting they said - on the outskirts of town.  Yes we have been  very pleased!

The "plan" was to go have a bite to eat and then go to a new shop called "Frost" a new chain which Nick & I had not heard about since coming back to the States, but they served fresh gelato! 

Frost - The Place to Be! Italian "Ice Cream"
It was a busy place and people were coming in and out of there!  There was a wide variety of flavors - very tasty indeed!  A very nice shop - and you could tell business was going well!

But then again - TODAY it is 95 degrees out there! (35c!!)

We needed to cool off!
There we sat ever so contented - in Gilbert's San Tan Village...enjoying roasted almond, and mango sorbet and coffee gelato...and it was VERY GOOD!  Cheers!
We had a nice time together and enjoyed out visit with our BendNaz buddies!  

Thanks you - you guys for stopping here to Apache Junction!  We will see you back in Bend in May! Happy Trails & Travels!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Something to Share from way back...........

 Some of you might recall that when I was 18 years old - I graduated from Oakland High School, got a summer job and went back to Holland.  I stayed with my grandparents, Oma & Opa in The Hague and also met my first husband - the father of my two boys!  I lived in Holland from 1969-1982 and enjoyed it!

When I first arrived there...I ran out of money and being in a relationship - I needed a job!  My then boyfriend, Hans', brother used to work at this bakery, Masion Kelder - and "maybe they would be interested to hire a Dutch-American speaking person?"  I came to meet the owner Mr Jonker the boss and Yes he hired me on the spot!

So I started the job on my 19th Birthday as a sales girl in the bakery store selling!

Anyway - I met my Dutch girlfriend, Tineke
who also worked at the bakery.  She was almost 14 yrs & I was 19!  We became very good friends and that friendship is still strong - now almost 46 years later!

 I was originally hired for the store - to help the English speaking clients that came to the store who worked in the nearby offices of Shell & Aramco and also the Embassies - the government of Holland is situated in The Hague (including the Peace Palace) Masion Kelder the bakery was well known for its delicious treats!  I so enjoyed helping the Americans who came in & loved to let out that "American drawl" ha!  Before you knew it - all the bakers in the bakery were teasing me and copying my American slang!  Fun!

But once I got to know Tineke better - I continued to hang out more in the back of the store, packaging everything and preparing orders.  

Together we shared wonderful memories working side by side for many years at Maison Kelder!

Tineke told me last Aug/Sept  when we were visiting in Holland that there would be a book coming out about the history of the bakeryshop!  It's 81th anniversary!  Oh Tineke how fun is that!  Please send it to me!                                    
  ........And today, I received it in the mail!!!  What a treat!

   The "book" and a sweet card, and a picture of her pal "Ben" her Lab,  and a book mark!
Ben is a "big" baby and spoiled too by his mother - ha!

                    A Lovable & a wonderful pet!

Here is a page out of the book.....

Do you see where I am?  Ha!  19!  ...and Tineke is right behind me, and to the left of me her brother, sweet "Hansje" who was also working there!  Tineke's father was a police officer in The Hague, but came in the morning early before going to work to delivery pastries!

All these people were so dear to me and I so enjoyed my years working there! A very special time!   I worked there Mon-Friday 8-6 pm.

So here is the book "Masion Kelder The house of the Hazelnut" - which was the specialty cake - even our Dutch King & Queen & family who live in Wassenaar enjoys the delicious treats! 

The bakery & 3 stores are doing well - and business continues to prosper for Maison Kelder!  While we were visiting in Holland we also saw many other shops that are selling items from this bakery!

Just recently, the owner & son,  Lucas Jonker (who I knew and was 4 years younger then me) who took over the business from his father - sold the inventory and business. 

There are still some old timers there who I had the pleasure of seeing again last September!  Not that many left though.  many have retired already.  But my girlfriend Tineke is still there..... already 47 years!  Can you believe that?

A little insert....a sweet story I want to share with you....

Letty another sales girl was hired, shortly after I was  - she's the mother of Milou, my daughter in law!  Yes, Letty married Hilco the baker and they had Milou!  Talk about a small world!  And here my son Jas goes to live in Holland with his father and meets Milou!

It was pretty neat, Letty & Hilco had their baby  - Milou,
and so Tineke & I went with our babies to Letty's house to  congratulate her when she came home from the hosptial .....would I ever have thought "that day" that our babies/children Jas & Milou would come to know each other!!!!
.......talk about a small world!

And just look at the beautiful grand daughter, Skyler they gave me!

This "mama" just had to share that with you!
   The Best !

Monday, March 16, 2015

Power Point Presentation "Our Trip" at the Ladies Luncheon at Church

 Nick & I are enjoying the church here in town - East Valley Church of the Nazarene.  Several weeks ago while enjoying a evening service there - I was asked to come and share at the upcoming March Ladies luncheon, about our trip to Asia!

"Oh I would be delighted!" I said!

 So Nick & I took a power point class at the local library here in Apache Junction and got to work!  It was a lot of preparation going through pictures and pictures of our trip to Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand then into Cambodia and then to Indonesia. And quite emotional too...going through all the pictures again!  WONDERFUL!

But Saturday 12 noon came and I am thankful to say it all went well...thanks to the Lord!

I had brought along a display of things to share & gifts we have received!

Also the jewelry made of magazines by the ladies in Salatiga, Java  "Beads of Java" 

Beads of Java 
 I was so pleased - a few were sold!  KC-04-150x150-baru
 Outside of a few mishaps on the power point - it went well - and I am thankful to have had the opportunity to share it!

"Boy I sure get excited about our trip!'

Those 16 months have filled our hearts with such precious memories of people and places!  Oh it was such a special time together!

Next time I hope Nick & I can do a presentation  together - that will be fun!

So we will continue to work on it and be prepared to share it back home in Bend when we return in May!

I am very grateful to have had the experience this week! 
Thank you Susan & Gladys for asking!

A true blessing! 
 the women are cutting the paper
Girls back in Java making the jewelry from magazines!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Taking a Hike & drive to Saguaro Lake and Roosevelt Lake

It has been exceptional nice weather here so' let's pack a lunch and find a good trail to hike?
We found the Butcher Jones Trail at the Saguaro Lake turn off. 
This hike would be around 5 miles along the lake - sounds nice!
 The Salt river is dammed.  Making Roosevelt Lake, Canyon Lake and Saguaro Lake.

 Hiking Butcher Jones Trail
 Saguaro Lake ~

 Lunch Time...Tuna fish sandwich!
The trail was narrow and climbed from one cove over to the other part of the lake and cove.  We passed a few people along the way, stepping aside so they could pass on this trail.

Just a few people were fishing.

We stopped at the Marina for a snack before heading back to Apache Junction!
Roosevelt Lake ~

 A Sunday drive out to Roosevelt Lake by way Superior, Miami, Claypool and Globe.

Many of these towns are mining towns.  Old towns with old buildings from the early 50' & 60's.  It must of brought a lot of business.


 The rock formation on the way to the lake was high and rugged. 

We stopped several times as we drove through the canyon towards Roosevelt Lake.

Lots of people were out today - enjoying the gorgeous weather we were having.  

 Roosevelt Lake

Roosevelt Lake has many camping places for the boaters & fisherman. 

It was a very large lake too.  We drove along it and stopped a few times.