The Self Employed Housewife – Diary of a foreigner – book2 Ch 13
A Surprise out of the blue
Her depressed mood, coming home from yet another day at the shop was suddenly wiped away when she read an airmail letter from her parents. They wanted to buy her an air ticket just for her to come for a visit and also to be with her sister who was having a difficult time. They never said why.
They were all in the kitchen. Jan was having a glass of wine and offered her one as he asked her what they were having for dinner. She handed the letter to him while preparing dinner, hoping that he would encourage her to take them up on the offer.
"Well how can you go flying away to Holland for what, two to three weeks? I do not want them to pay for an airline ticket."
Now Sascia and Jeroen both wanted to read the letter. They could read Dutch very well.
"Why not? I can ask Sonja if she would not mind looking after the shop for me.”
"Dad I can get to the shop after school, if Sonja wants to go home on the days that you can come and pick me up."Sascia offered.
Jeroen also offered to go on the days when Sascia was able to take the bus back home. She was so proud of both her children. Jan was clearly outnumbered.
After dinner she phone Sonja, because everything would depend on her willingness to take over full time while she was away. Her morning leather class students would just carry on when she came back.
"It's settled. Sonja said yes."
"So I have no say in the matter."
"No, I will phone mom and dad tonight. I also want to know what is the matter with my sister. I know that her premature baby is fine last I heard."
Later that night their lovemaking was from her point of view more to say thank you for letting her go away for three weeks. Her ticket was booked the following day. She would leave in a week, plenty of time to show Sascia some book keeping tricks and to buy herself two nice outfits on her Edgars account.
Flying home by herself
Her trip to Holland turned out to be a real treat. The weather at the end of April was truly mild, almost warm. Her parents told her what had been happening. Her sister was coping with a small baby at home, but she had been through a very traumatic time. While her baby was still in an incubator she had disappeared for two days from pure shock at first, then hurt followed by anger. She had discovered that her husband had also been visiting another woman in the same hospital, who was also giving birth to his child. That had totally crushed Jolanda.
Her sister's marriage had put her own relationship into a different light. She said very little to her husband, but he knew that her sister had told her about his affair.
Three weeks flew by. Together with her mom and dad they visited Jan's parents by taking the train. Her parents did not own a car. They both tried getting a driving license, but her dad failed at least eight times. His measurement of distance on the road compared to a ship was his downfall.
She was home for her birthday and the breakaway did them all good.She was far more attentive to Jan's needs now that she was comparing her marriage to her sister's, but he was somehow very distant, and most evenings he came home late.
A decision had to be made
Ever since her trip to Holland, being tied to her plant shop had become even more depressing. There were no customers, and it was very quiet. How was she ever getting over feelings of utter distress at being there? It had been her choice to own a shop.She had hoped it would improve their relationship, now that she could sell his plants as well as doing her leather work from there, but nothing had changed. Trying to suppress feelings of suspicions that Jan had an affair didn't help.
The trickle of the small fountain in the shop front inspired her to ask for help.
"Dear God, higher self, please show me a way to accept the things I cannot change in others, but may I be shown what my purpose is. I feel I need to change my direction in life."
The memories of that one time when she clearly had heard a voice made her wonder...
"Once I heard a voice that told me to change, but I thought it was an instruction for me to stop smoking. Now I feel that owning this shop was a mistake. Please show me how I can change my life around that will bring me happiness and fulfillment."
Her depression started to lift, as if her sincere inner request had somehow been heard.
"Show me the way and give me strength to pursue my life’s purpose. I trust and hand over what needs to happen."
Never before had she prayed with such intensity as now. It was almost as if she knew that things would change. This afternoon it was her day off.Sonja would take over, so that was already something to look forward to.
When the kids came home from high school they had to bring Trickle,Sascia's cat to the vet and do some grocery shopping, so what little money she took from the till had to do, so long as she left enough change for Sonja to work with.
Shopping in Pick n Pay
She was planning to do some leather dying and had already changed into her old jeans before going to the shops. Trickle had to stay in the hospital for a night.That would be costly but could not be helped. Kitty was not OK. Both Sascia and Jeroen would join her on the trip to the shop and to the vet.
"There must be a fire nearby" Sascia commented when they walked out of the supermarket to the car. Jeroen had to buy a cake for school so she dragged him along. He didn't want to go shopping with his mom and sister, that was not high on his to do list these days, but she was not going to be his slave.
More fire engines sped past as she drove behind one on the way home when a strange feeling overcame her. She turned into fourth avenue, which she never did, but seeing the black thick smoke ahead in the direction of their home made her very uneasy.
"Mom, mom..Oh no!"Sascia cried out loud.
The shock of seeing the roof of their house collapsing among the flames made her almost lose control of her Beetle. The policeman who was directing the traffic on Third Avenue had to jump out of the way because she drove straight onto the grass verge in front of their home.
Two fire engines and an ambulance were parked nearby. Men with hosepipes where trying to control the tall flames that were coming through what used to be the front window of the lounge. Her heart broke thinking of the budgie cage that used to hang there.
"What have I done?" she asked herself. What had she left on before leaving the house?
"Oh dear God the Spaniels" She called out
People were now been made aware that she was the owner, but all she wanted to do was get to the back of their property. They stopped her and one man was holding an injection needle!
"I do NOT need that. Please my dogs" she was now truly panicking. Sascia was close to screaming but Jeroen remained silent.
"Mom look" he said pointing at a fireman who was running towards her holding the budgie cage.
The house she never really liked was totally gutted
They were allowed to get to the back garden where the three spaniels were being kept by a strange man.
"Oh I'm so grateful, they are alive!" All three of them got down onto the lawn hugging the dogs. Their eyes were bright red, and they were shaking, but the cuddles calmed them down.
The stranger told her that once before he had driven past a burning house where a bird was burned alive. A young boy was so grief stricken, when he saw the flames coming out of the roof and the budgie case in front of the window, he ran to the back to get into the house no matter what.
It was then when he spotted the three dogs that were trapped inside. He physically removed the sliding door from the dining room wall and rushed to get the budgie case. He was out with the dogs before the roof collapsed.
Due to the crowds of people that were now all around them asking what she was going to do, she never saw the stranger again to thank him for his heroic actions.
Jan, oh gosh he would be home soon.
"When you are ready, we have a room prepared for you all." A tall man called out over the head of the crowd. She knew him. He was Dutch and lived three streets away, near sixth avenue.