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Amersfoort, Netherlands

Amersfoort, Netherlands

The magic of distance and friendship.

This is a photo taken by my penpal/friend of many, many years, Heleen. It’s from the terrace of her home in the old double-walled city of Amersfoort.

Growing up, my mom always made sure I was in the Brownies and Girl Scouts since I was quite shy. At one meeting the troop assistant asked if anyone was interested in a penpal. Well of course, everyone clamored for a name. However she only had one.

You see, she had requested a penpal from some service at her college, but received a little girl instead of a college-age teen like herself. Since our troop was mostly ten year olds, the assistant decided to raffle the name off. She had us guess a number between 1 and 30. I picked 21 and luckily “won” Heleen.

We have had the remarkable good fortune to stay in touch and even visit each other quite a few times. She is a well-known architect in the Netherlands. Being an artist myself, we get along very well. In fact, even if we haven’t seen each other in years, we can just pick up like time stood still. It’s a very rare gift that I feel privileged to enjoy. I’m very fortunate.

Wishing you magic and a very merry Christmas!