Sweet remembrancers

Stroll with me down memory lane at Keukenhof, Netherlands, March 2007.

Stroll with me down memory lane at Keukenhof, Netherlands, March 2007.

…Thus in each flower and simple bell,
That in our path untrodden lie,
Are sweet remembrancers who tell
How fast the winged moments fly.
Time will steal on with ceaseless pace,
Yet lose we not the fleeting hours,
Who still their fairy footsteps trace,
As light they dance among the flowers.
Charlotte Turner Smith

It was eight years and two days ago that Amy and I enjoyed an early spring day at Keukenhof in the Netherlands.  The hours there passed all too quickly, but the memories have lingered on, enhanced by the hundreds of photos I took that day.  That day, as I was snapping away with my camera, I didn’t even really know what a blog was, and certainly never dreamed of the events that would lead to my sharing so many of the photos with all of you.

I couldn’t remember which snapshots I have already used here, so I did a quick check and found I’ve already published at least a dozen posts featuring photos I took that wonderful day.  I hope they’re not getting boring.

How often thoughts of the dazzling colors and glorious greenery I saw that day have brought cheer to me in moments of sadness or exhaustion!  I couldn’t let springtime pass without featuring at least one more picture I took then, because Keukenhof captures for me the heart and soul of the season’s beauty.

“Time will steal on with ceaseless pace, Yet lose we not the fleeting hours…”  Wise words to keep in mind anytime, but especially so in spring, when nature brings us many reasons to rejoice.  I hope you will make some time to gather memories outdoors that will “dance among the flowers” whenever you most need them.



  1. Good morning, Julia! Someday I may see flowers, but yesterday I saw signs of spring that I hadn’t previously considered: hundreds of small snails moving about (yes, moving!) in tidal pools along the coast of Cape Ann in Massachusetts! What a tiny wonder!
    The cut tulips that I bought last week are nearly gone by – next I think I will get a young potted hyacinth, so that I can watch it grow.

    • WOW, that must have been quite a sight! I don’t think of snails as a sign of springtime either, but it must surely be a seasonal thing. Jeff and I went to Cape Ann a few years ago and really loved it. We just spent part of one day there as we were driving around the area, but I remember wondering why I had never heard it advertised as a great place to visit. Just yesterday I put my potted hyacinth out in the yard. It’s the only one in full bloom, but the ones I planted in years past are poking up through the ground and the flowers are visible. I love the fragrance, so I kept mine indoors as long as I could, but it was wanting some sunshine, I could tell. I’ve always wanted to try forcing some bulbs, but never seem to get around to trying it in time.

  2. Ann

    The gardens are beautiful, I’ve read all of your posts and never tire of the photographs. We have so much pollen right now that I’m hardly venturing outdoors so it’s nice to have the outdoors brought in.

    We are going on a cruise of the Rhine River soon, it ends in Amsterdam. Are the gardens near there?


    • Ann, the gardens are an easy drive from Amsterdam; their website gives more information about how to get there. I hope you will be able to go, but even if you don’t make it there on this trip, you will have a fabulous time cruising the Rhine. I dread the pollen season. It gets so thick at our York home (mostly oak pollen I think) that I have to sweep the “yellow dust” off the deck. I don’t have bad allergies but I think even a person who isn’t very allergic will get headaches and sinus pain from pollen. So yes, it’s a great time to enjoy photos and online “staycations.” I’m so happy you enjoy the blog! Thanks for being here.

  3. Cherie

    Julia, I too, love the tulips and other flowers you captured in Holland. They are some of my favorites. I pray Jeff and Matt are doing well. Of course, I have you and your family in my prayers. Have a beautiful day!!! Your friend, Cherie

    • Hi Cherie, it’s always good to hear from you. We are doing OK. Jeff is back on chemo now and it’s taking a toll on him, but we hope that it’s taking an even bigger toll on the metastatic lung tumors. He’s staying in remarkably good spirits, but I sometimes think he’s just doing that for my benefit, and Matt’s. Thanks so much for your prayers. We continue to survive on the prayers of others! You and Ron are in my prayers too. Hope you are able to see lots of blooming bulbs in your neighborhood soon.

  4. Steve

    I would venture a guess that you’ve been blogging all your life Julia. It’s a
    blessing that you decided to finally take what was within and put it down for our perusal.
    Thank you for the transparency of your thoughts and feelings. It is always one of the best ingredients to begin a week with!

    • Thank you Steve, that’s such a kind thing to say. I often tell Jeff that he should be glad for every word I write, since it cuts down on the amount of talking from me he has to put up with! 😀 Seriously, I’ve always loved to write. I like the fact that no one has to read it unless they want to, which is an advantage for someone who is so full of words as I always have been. I appreciate people who are willing to communicate in writing. Thanks for being here.

  5. Rene

    I’m not tired!

    • Thank you! I’m so happy you’re not. Happy springtime to you!

  6. Anon E. Moose

    You are fortunate to have these beautiful memories! I have very little first-hand knowledge of The Netherlands outside of Schiphol airport and the Anne Frank house.

    • You would enjoy taking the trip Amy and I took. From Amsterdam to Leiden we drove through Delft and into Belgium where we visited Ieper (also called by the French name Ypres, or “Flanders Fields”) which is a great place to see. So many fascinating little towns in the part of the world. I don’t even remember the names of all the ones where we stopped. The Van Gogh museum and the Rijksmuseum would both be great places to visit as well. Amsterdam has the distinction of being the place where I paid the most for parking that I’ve ever paid anywhere, so taking a train or walking would be easier in some ways.

      • Anon E. Moose

        Like an Ed McMahan / Johnny Carson moment: How much was it? (The parking fee)

        • I think it was around $36 — but the most hilarious part is, we had driven around looking at so many parking lots that had higher prices, that my immediate comment was “Hey, $36, that’s not bad!” I immediately realize how absurd that was and I told Amy, “nothing like a little perspective to change your standards!”

  7. Julia,
    Beautiful photos like the one above, in which can be seen God’s favor for us, is always worth a rerun.

    • Thank you Alan! I’m glad we agree about that.

  8. Julia, I could look at the photo repeatedly and never tire of the beauty, such vivid colors, and that you captured it and shared. I am using it for my wallpaper screens now and love it. I did share with the Vann clan and shared the origin of it. I hope you don’t mind. We have sunbeams….. “dancing on sunshine”! ☀️Sheila

    • Sheila, I am always flattered when you share these things with your clan. (I love that – “the Vann clan” – It could be the title of a TV show or musical group or something.) Thanks so much for your encouragement here! We have sunshine this morning, and K and I are about to head out for a stroll in the district. Hope you have a wonderful day!

  9. MaryAnn

    She “waxes poetic”, as she sums all the beauty into words! I love your writings & your photos, Julia!

    • Thank you Mary Ann!

  10. Beautiful, it’s what I imagine the path to heaven looks like. :o)

    • Patricia, I agree! Thanks for being here.

  11. HarryS

    🙂 Touch My HEART 🙂

    • Thank you Harry!

  12. Beautiful picture. Never boring. Thanks for sharing. Happy Easter, Julia!

    • Thanks Merry, Happy Easter to you too!

  13. Kathy

    These photos would be welcome even if they would be repetitious. The beauty you captured in the pictures testifies to the glory you must have witnessed. I know that a camera cannot capture what they eye can behold, so it’s no wonder your thoughts linger over that day.

    And, by the way, I attempted, along with my son who is a ‘native,’ to take my grandchildren to the Kite Festival on the National Mall this past Saturday morning. Spring was no where evident! The wind chill seemed colder than the reported 20 degrees F. and the kites were smart enough to stay home 😉

    • Kathy, I’m so sorry you caught the bad weather here. I have international guests here this week and I’m so relieved it’s finally warming up a little bit, but I’m disappointed they will not be able to see the full glory of the cherry blossoms at peak bloom. The weather has truly been wacky lately but as the cliche goes, “it’s all good” and we will be that much happier to have a real springtime. I’m so glad you liked the post! Hope you are doing well.

  14. Amy

    As the wind is blowing quite briskly out my window today I hope it is taking winter away. I was sorry to not get back to Kuekenoff again. It was such a beautiful place to spend the day. I love each photo so keep them coming. I am ready for bright colors and green grass. That entire trip was such fun. We must do another. 🙂 Remember going to Domremy and the man at the rest area telling us there was nothing there but a “klein kirche” (tiny church) so glad we didn’t listen to him. 🙂 Hope you are having a wonderful time with your friends. My love to the boys.

    • YES we must do another. I had forgotten about that man telling us about the “klein kirche” but maybe he thought we were expecting a great cathedral — which there was one, just down the road, now that I remember that gorgeous basilica. Domremy was as much fun as Keukenhof; I even fondly remember our little mishap after dark in the middle of nowhere in Lorraine. Easy for me to say, since it wasn’t my Mercedes. 😀 Can’t wait to see you and have some tea.

      • Amy

        Funny you should mention that. I was just telling my mothers “friend” about our trip. Love to the boys. WE MUST GET TOGETHER SOON.

        • We do really need to get together. I’ve had some date changes this week so I think the dates we had considered are out for me — but we’ll keep trying and I’ll let you know if anything changes. Love to you and your family!

  15. Judy from Pennsylvania

    From your photo of these gorgeously beautiful flowers, I have picked several virtual basketfuls and piled them into all manner of virtual vases and containers for you and Jeff to have throughout your house to encourage him as he undergoes more chemotherapy. Sometimes you’ve posted virtual greeting cards by a lady who has the digital artistic skills for doing that sort of thing, and today I’m pretending that I can send a houseful of digital bouquets to you. Thank you for sharing your lovely photo and springtime thoughts!

    • AAAWWWW, thank you Judy! I just love virtual flowers! When I finish with these comments I will try to remember to send you one of Jacquie Lawson’s cards that allow the receiver to create and save a digital photo arrangement. I just love those, and could play around with them for hours if I had the time. Your beautiful digital bouquets are adding digital fragrance to every room in my home and especially in my heart. THANK YOU!!

  16. I see why you took so many photo’s, every one of them stunning. It’s hard not to want to capture every moment of a wonderful day. Having just got home from our very own ‘Spring Bloggers DC Palooza’, I’m already thinking “I should have taken more photo’s”. Now whenever I see a blooming tree, I’ll think of this trip. Whenever I hear someone quote The Wizard of OZ, I’ll think of seeing those ruby slippers with you. I’ll keep all these memories on a back burner, ready for little moments that come along. They’ll all be there to put a smile on my face. xo K

    • I’ll have to be sure to send you my photos whenever I get around to uploading them all. Watch for a few of them on Thursday!

      • That’ll be great, thanks Julia. I can put all my photo’s online into a file you can draw from. It’s a Google thing, I’ll try and get that organized this coming weekend. xK

        • Good, I might copy your method. I still haven’t settled into a good cloud photo sharing routine. I’ve tried several but not often enough to get the hang of which one is my favorite. Mostly I just don’t do it often enough to get the hang of any part of it, so I have to re-learn each time I try it. But I really, really need to focus on getting my photo collection fully organized and stored. I’ll be looking forward to the pics! I have lots of good ones too, but I’ll bet Laurie’s are the best. I want one with Mason in it! 😀

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