Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A Visit Inside a Windmill

We  traveled to a suburb of Rotterdam where a windmill called "The 4 Winds" is located.  It is a working mill owned by the Kluit family.  At this mill they produce flour, mixes for pancakes, muffins, cookies, etc., plus homemade jams and other delicious products.  It was a busy little shop - people were coming in to make purchases all the time we were there. 

This is the outside rail of the windmill, one story up from the main shop.  Sister Kluit (in the apron) was nice enough to take the Andersons and Elder Beckstrand and I on a tour of the windmill.

Following our tour we went into the living quarters of the matriarch of the Kluit family.  Sister Kluit was a member of the church when Elder Beckstrand served his first mission in The Netherlands.  She remembered him and the Mormonse Vier.  He had a very enjoyable time talking about mutual acquaintances and how the church has changed since he was here in the 1960's.  Sister Kluit was amazingly alert!  Her mind was as sharp as a twenty year old's.   She didn't speak any English, so I occasionally needed a quick translation on the side.  She invited us to come back for lunch sometime soon.

Her small apartment was on the main floor of the windmill.  In the living room she had many antique treasures.  This china hutch contained beautiful delft china pieces as well as pictures of her loved ones.  Elder Beckstrand knew Brother Kluit (in the picture on the right) as a young missionary.

The view outside her living room window was absolutely breathtaking!  The river is very close, and we could see small boats  going up and down it as we visited with Sister Kluit.

I couldn't resist getting a picture of this very, very old sewing machine.  Now this is a genuine antique!

More beautiful delft china.  The genuine article is quite pricey, but only found in The Netherlands.

The following day we took a walk through the centrum (downtown area) of Dordrecht.  We learned that this city has the oldest charter in Holland - being the first city to be officially recognized in 1220.  It was established in the 12th century because of its sea trade in wine and timber.  It then developed into a lively mercantile city.   It seemed strange to me that this city had access to ocean trade, being quite a ways from the coast, but at that time the rivers and ocean inlets came right into the city.  Much land reclamation in The Netherlands has changed the original landscape beyond recognition.
 This is a beautiful garden on the outskirts of the centrum

We enjoyed watching a city crew repair a section of the street with bricks in downtown Dordrecht.  They still find this kind of roadway very durable in the excessively wet climate here.

The architecture of the buildings in the old section of town is so beautiful.  It was a wet, cold day, but we loved being here for the first time.  We want to come back when it is warmer and we can spend more time.

Some of the buildings have dates on them.  It was common to see 1600 numbers on the buildings.  Our ancestors were just arriving in America during that century.  We really don't know about 'old' in our country.  The Dutch have done an admirable job of preserving this lovely old buildings.


  1. I can't get over Sister Kluit! How amazing for her and Elder B to remember each other and be able to catch up after all this time!

    Can you imagine making your quilts on that sewing machine? I'm assuming you turn the handle on the side... you'd get some pretty sore arms.

  2. You put the pictures of the amazing antiques on here for me didn't you? They are wonderful!! What a beautiful place you get to live in. I've got to get over there before you come home!