cinquo cinquo cinquo

Kleenex don’t go back in the same way they come out. That’s just a little public service announcement from Your Truly and the Peanut.

When I moved to Grand Rapids, I was expecting Detriot. Five years later, I still have never been to Detroit save the airport and the IKEA, but I know that Grand Rapids is not Detroit. I was picturing clouds, grey buildings, factories, alleys, industrial… Batman-ish. [I have since found that is actually describes Muskeegon very well, but I digress.]

We live in West Michigan. Dutch Country. Vermeer Influenced. Christian Reformed. Tulips. Windmills. Wooden Shoes. Frugal-ness. Furniture-making. Farming. I had absolutely no idea there was such a place, such a culture. Italians and Chinese and Irish… they are famous for immigrating and living ‘the old life’. But, The Dutch? Who thinks about the Dutch? Admit it: you think about the Dutch as much as you think about Delaware. Not in West Michigan. Everyone here is Dutch. They are blonde. They are tall. They are stinkin’ good volleyball players. And, they love a parade. I like these people (and their elephant ears) very much.

It’s Tulip Time. And you know me… I support anything involving traditional costumes. I was absolutely dying to put Ry in a little dress and take her out on the town- this, afterall, is why I had a child in the first place: to dress her up and take her out. We spent Saturday in Holland with the VanderKoois hoping to make it to the fireworks that night, but rain dashed all our hopes and dreams. Perhaps we’ll try for this weekend. The younger girls did dress up and dance, though… in the living room. Aren’t they cute? I mean, puh-leeze. Jami knows the specific names for these costumes. I, being a married-in transplant, am still in Dutch training. It’s a long process. [I’ll put up a video of the girls dancing on my YouTube after I publish here, but be warned: girls dancing involves much laughing, non-dancing, and possibly the youngest child rolling around on the floor in the background.]

The mothers dressed up, too… Girl with a Pearl Earring style, but I don’t think there are any photos of us [Oh wait… here I am. My jacket is not Dutch. It’s Patagonian.]. Please do not cry… we’ll dress up again. Jami was a rich farmer’s wife and I was a peasant. I’ll say this: those dresses make the most of Dutch/Polish/Czech hips, God Bless ’em. They know how to do it right.

I am personally very much looking forward to Cedar Spring’s Red Flannel Festival, as well. Crazy country people so near and dear to my heart. Does your town have some culture you need to share?

About texasnorth

TexasNorth is a little farm in Western Michigan. It's home to 5 chickens, 25 longhorn cattle, a coonhound (Banjo), 1 barn cat, a husband, and 3 ridiculously funny children. The mom of this zoo has been known to mow the lawn in a skirt and roast marshmallows after dark. View all posts by texasnorth

14 responses to “cinquo cinquo cinquo

  • diane

    Bless you for honoring my town, people and heritage with this post. πŸ™‚ I am 100% Dutch. My mom is the first generation in her family to speak English First. Believe it.

    I have a pic of you in your Dutch Costume from Saturday….

    I am so ready for Tulip Time. I am taking the day off from work on Wednesday to go to the Parade. Plus going to see the Klompen Dancers Tuesday night…Oh, and the Parade on Saturday. AND, the Bier and Muziek Tent Saturday night.

    I love it.

  • Miss Christine

    Hahahahaha you might have the cutest child EVER! Just look at her little bonnet and her big grin. πŸ™‚

    I regret the lack of pictures of your Girl-with-a-Pearl-Earring-inspired costumes for yourself, but at least you got some of the little ones. πŸ™‚

  • Jessica, Myron and Rylie

    Oh my word. I want to see a picture of the mothers dressed up!

    Sweet Rylie doesnt know whats going on in that video does she! hahahaha, silly daddy is what we call it!

  • Jimmy

    I just want to know where the wooden shoes ended up. By the way Denise is Dutch and Polish. I am English thank you very much.

  • sunday

    yes we must see a picture. for some reason all this is reminding me of the movie groundhog day. they sure loved a festival too, maybe b/c it was repeated 8000 times, but now i digress! i wish that there were many more italians here and many more italian type things. i feel as if i have lost my people some days. a lonely girl, i am!

  • janna

    well here’s something you may not already know about me: i’m half dutch. yep, my dad’s parents are both dutch. and the other half-a-me is mutt. did ya know that already?

  • KatieKate

    I did know that somewhere deep in the depths of my mind…

    your heritage needs to be celebrated. Move here now.

  • janna

    k. same deal applies. 1/2 the year in dutch-land (non-wintertime) for us and 1/2 the year within driving distance of fredricksburg for you and yours (wintertime). πŸ™‚

  • Miss Laura

    People around here don’t believe me when they tell them I don’t have a drop of Dutch in me. I think they don’t understand how that’s possible.

    Loved you in your getup…never would have guessed that you’re actually a Polish girl from Texas!

    My hometown started something up about 10 years ago called the Holt Hometown Festival (re-named by my BFF’s dad to be the Holt Hometown Hodown). This is a great cultural event, consisting of hot dog stands, firetrucks for the kids to climb all over, and a parade featuring the high school marching band and floats made by local businesses. I’m not convinced that it isn’t merely an advertising gimmick for the businesses, but whatever.

  • thekooiet

    Goodness gracious – even though I was here for the live event, those videos completely cracked me up! Especially Curt with his square dance style Dutch dance. πŸ˜€

    I want a fatball or an elephant ear!

  • KatieKate

    I know! I know!

    And is my voice not the lowest Amazon-woman voice you’ve ever hears? Wow.

  • Lisa and Gary...

    Oh my gosh, this is like my fourth attempt to finish reading and commenting on your post. But for the interference of one tiny person who is a constant state of, “Hey Mommy,” I’d have had something really witty to say. But now? Now all I can think of to say is….darn, Rylie is so dang cute!!!

    Love the dress. Did you make it?

    Ok, I need to get back to my playmate. She has little tolerance for me doing…um…anything but playing with her. Oh, and remember this day started at 5:30 a.m.!


  • anna

    I love, love, love the bonnet! Rylie is too cute!

    I have to tell you, one of the best things about putting on Czech Feszt last year was seeing all the costumes. So beautiful!

    And thank you, Miss Laura. I am so going to make the fire trucks come to the festival this year for the kids. I don’t know why I didn’t think of that!

    By the way, I was watching Matt Lauer in Amsterdam last week, and decided I needed to go. Who’s up for a trip?

  • KatieKate

    Anna, Laura is going to Germany this summer… and I know there is room for you!!!

    And also, you two are intellectual twins. It kills me every time I am with either one of you.

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