In 1948 my youngest sister and her husband immigrated to Canada. We used to spell it with a "K", "Kanada", but I guess we were told otherwise at some point.
And there it happened all over again; pictures and letters from a strange and far away place. It looked a lot more exciting than what my life had been up until that point.
Not much had happened in my life at that age aside from living and working on a farm that my parents owned. We did the occasional camping trip or a bike ride into Breda, where my brother lived close to the Belgian border.
But things were about to change. We, my mother, father and myself, moved into town into a "normal" house. There was no more farm work and all the chores it entailed any longer.
Life to me is like a long train ride.
From the window you see many beautiful scenes, but we just pass them by.
We can hardly wait to reach the station because that's when "it's" going to all happen...
The house has been paid for, our pensions are all in place, so it's time to enjoy life!
To travel the world we hope! But maybe its too late for that because our health, or simply because we think we are too old for all this and don't know how to go about it. Maybe we don;t like sleeping in a strange bed or don;t like flying.
So far my whole life has been one long journey. For me it started in 1933, on June 16th to be exact, because that's when I was born. I was born in Schipluiden, the Netherlands, as the youngest of a large family of twelve.
I did not discover the world outside of there until later, much later! I do recall school, at least some parts of it, like the world map coming down from the ceiling and the teacher pointing with a very long stick to many different places in the world. Africa, China, and the great USA and many smaller countries. Some of these I have forgotten while others have had their names changed like the Belgian Congo and Rhodesia.
I also remember names like Columbus or Napoleon born August 15, 1769 in Corsica. The silk route through China with Marco Polo. Maybe he was my inspiration to travel, who knows!
My first real contact with the world outside of my "safe place" was when one of my brothers was sent to Indonesia while in the army. That was before 1946.
I recall the pictures he sent home showing palm trees, mountains and caribou's. It was all foreign to me but interesting...
Echos of one old woman's life
(née van Leeuwen)
June 16,1933 -
Memoirs of Catharina Brussé
This tale is as written by my Oma, who proudly and joyfully travelled the world in the second half of her life. It is a self written outline of her travels and life. She ended her journey and departed our family on April 20, 2018.