Corie Luhrman is my grandmother and in Dutch a grandmother is called oma. So bring out those Dutch dictionaries! Corey grew up in the Netherlands, and she told me about her childhood. So have a good read, and I hope you can imagine everything from being scared in the flood of 1953 to living in her comfy little house.
Her house was small, but she liked it. She had to share a bedroom with her two sisters. One of the beds would go under the double-decker bed during the day. The house had a little yard and they had some chickens. She'll never forget the comfortable house she used to live in.
Her mom and dad both had a job. Her dad worked in a bakery, and then he worked in a factory that produced margarine. Sometimes he worked at night and was asleep most of the day. The kids had to tiptoe around him! Her mom stayed home to take care of the kids. She would clean the house and do the laundry by hand. Now aren't you glad for the washing machine that you only have to load up!? The both like their work.
Her parents did a lot of fun stuff with her. They rode their bikes and played cards. they read books and played other games. She went to watch soccer with her dad. Corie and her family would go on trips for a few days, but they always stayed in the Netherlands. What would you prefer those games or the games that you play now?
Corie grew up with a lot of animals. She had goldfish and a guinea pig, and she loved them both. The most colorful pet of all was the parakeet. Her favorite pet thought, was the goldfish because she didn't have to do a lot of chores with it. Outside she had some chickens. There weren't any farms nearby. Even though she was living in the city he had lots of pets around her!
There were friends nearby that she would play games with. There was always a kid around. Outside they would jump rope and play with a ball. There was this one man who didn't like them playing with the ball. If he was walking down the street, and the ball came too close to him, he'd take it away. Another thing they did was that they tied a rope to a lamp post and made a swing! They played baseball on the street (there weren't a lot of cars) and they used the drains as bases! She also played marbles. She didn't have a Smart Phone to play video games on all day!
Corie also played in doors. She and her friends would play things such as board games or cards, but the house was so small, they'd rather be outside. Would you want to be Corie with those games back then?
Corie was in some clubs. She'd go scouting and to a group that did arts and crafts. She also was in a club that would sing. Her favorite one was the singing group. She remembers there were some silly songs! Her friends went to some of the same clubs...She had a lot of fun at all the meetings.
She enjoyed many holidays. One of them was Sinterclaus where you put out your shoe and Sinterclaus fills it up during the night. You sing songs and eat candy. He has a white horse that he rides. There's also a holiday called Queen's Day and they have Easter. They celebrate Mother's Day and Father's Day. There's a holiday called Animal Day that's October 4. They celebrate Christmas, but not as much as the United States. Throughout the year there are many holidays for kids and adults to enjoy!
Corie had some chores around the house, but she didn't have to do too much work. She and her sisters had to clean up their own things because the house was so small you wouldn't be able to walk if you didn't. On Mondays she didn't want to come home from school because it was wash day, and she and her mom had to do the laundry by hand. The other day that she didn't want to go home was Fridays when they'd clean the whole house. Would you want to do any chores?
PLAY AND HOBBIES
Even though there was always work to be done around the house, there was still time to play. She played ball and Legos with her sister. She also had roller skates. Her favorite thing was the roller skates! There weren't any parks nearby because she was living in the city. She always had something fun to do.
She had many other things that she would do for fun. She'd knit and read books. She'd do jigsaw puzzles on the table and if they were eating they'd eat right on it. Many things she did then, we still do now.
She loved school! She and her sisters went to school in the neighborhood. She like her teachers. There might have been a few bullies, but they didn't bully her. She loved all the subjects, but her favorites were math and reading. School was big part of her life.
She like to make music and listen to it. She'd play a recorder. It was hard to learn. There was a special music school for kids that she was in. She liked classical music and easy listening music. When she was a little older, she had a lot of fun at her dancing lessons. She did a lot of things involving music.
Corie had extended family nearby, but they didn't live with her. One of her grandparents lived five minutes away. The rest of the family was living in the same town.
She went to her grandparents all the time. They had a lot of kids that were older than her, and she'd sometimes sleep there with all the big guys and girls! Her other grandparents lived on the other side of the city and she and her dad would bike there. She had some great family.
THE FLOOD OF 1953
It was the spring tide and there was a big storm in 1953. The dikes broke! Dikes are manmade hills that keep the water out. About half of the land of the Netherlands is under sea level.
The water was a meter high in the city of Rotterdam where Corie lived. She had to go upstairs to their neighbors house for ten days. Her sister was only three weeks old at the time, and had not clue what was going on.
About 1300 people died in the Netherlands. Her family was ok. A lot of the housed and farms were destroyed and many animals died.
All the people got help, neighbors and friends offered to help clean up and rebuild. To prevent the land from flooding again they started the Delta Works. the Delta Works included higher dikes and moveable barriers. I'm glad I wasn't around in the Netherlands then!
Corie is a wonderful grandmother and she had an amazing childhood. Could you imagine yourself in her little house tiptoeing around her dad to let him sleep? Or maybe taking care of her pets and going out with her friends to some of the clubs? Did you also put yourself in her place playing games, eating on puzzles and learning music? Could you understand what it was like to be terrified int he flood of 1953?
I'd want to travel backward to the time of Corie's childhood . I'd come back to 2016 when it came to the flood. Don't you think she had a remarkable childhood?