This title sounds selfish, but it is not meant to be. You see, I don't usually buy expensive things for myself, but when I got the opportunity to buy something I have wanted for many years, I justified it by thinking of it as a birthday gift for me.
It all started in sixth grade when our teacher assigned us to pick a foreign country to follow in current events during that school year. I chose The Netherlands. Consequently, my eyes—even to this day—stop to read whenever I see it in print. Then in 1968 I got to go to Holland, Michigan, with my Aunt Liz and some cousins, for their annual Tulip Festival. I fell in love with every aspect of this unique little town.
We went to the parade at which the mayor of the town declared the streets were dirty and ordered them to be cleaned. About 500 high school students, some dressed as milkmaids in traditional Dutch clothing, poured water from the buckets held on their shoulders by yokes. Others brushed the water to the edges of the street with big brooms. Then the klompen dancing began—wooden shoe dancing. It was so much fun.
Dutch Village in Holland, Michigan, really spoke to me. It has a working, authentic Dutch windmill—the last one permitted to leave The Netherlands. There are canals, lift bridges, and Dutch stores. It was at one of the stores I purchased my first piece of Delft, this large plate.
Around this time a franchise of Dutch restaurants called Pannekoeken opened in Minnesota, They served the famous Pannekoeken (Dutch apple pancake) and were decorated with Dutch Delft chandeliers, and I fell in love with them. They also sold Delft vases and other Delft knick knacks. Over the years, I have returned to Holland, Michigan, and have also been privileged to visit The Netherlands on several occasions. It still draws me.
This past December I hosted a few of my co-workers for supper. One of them, after seeing my Delft collection, mentioned her grandmother was selling her home and had a Delft chandelier. Wow! This piqued my interest. I asked her what it looked like and she described it. Could this be like the ones the Pannekoeken restaurants had? Would her grandmother be willing to sell it? She had her father take pictures of the chandelier, and I agreed to purchase it. Today it was hung in my dining room. I love it!