|Elisabeth van Lidth de Jeude - van Wely|
Grootmoeder was unflinching and unbending, and fought to teach me the stupidity of washing my hair too often almost as hard as she worked to promote accessibility and housing for disabled people in her community. It was Grootmoeder who, in a restaurant, encouraged my cousin to line her pocket with a plastic bag, stuff souvlaki on skewers into it, and then discreetly pour the leftover sauce into the pocket (it dribbled out on the way home). It was Grootmoeder who told me not to steal pieces of brick from a monument before stuffing a couple in her pockets to bring home for me. It was Grootmoeder who got up in the middle of the night to prepare tomato soup so that when I awoke with jet-lag it would be ready for me. It was she who made sure I came to visit when the quinces were ripe so she could teach me how to make my father's favourite quince jam and jelly, and to eat quince mush on toast while the rest was cooking, because... it's tradition.
Grootmoeder was the keeper of my family's tradition, and in some cases she was the creator of it. She practically made a tradition of everything, including grilling us about the names of the rivers around her home, and facts like which river comes from Germany, and which do we cross with the ferry, and which of those did she swim in as a girl because it's the only clean one. (The Waal, the Lek, the Linge.) Now we have added to that mental list which one she drowned in, nearly fourteen years ago when she accidentally drove her car backwards off the ferry and into the Lek.
|Pit spitting in a previous year.|
|Measuring the over-shot spit distance.|