This is a photo of my grandmother, she is the one in the middle between her two sisters.  They all lived during the early 20th century and I have great memories of the days when my ‘moemoe’ (granny) was alive.  She lived in her house on the Breda Baan in Brasschaat, Belgium, and her grown son lived with her, this was in the days that I too stayed with her, my grandfather had died already, it was the early seventies.  But I am thinking back of one particular lovely tradition which I would love to rekindle here with my own family and those of my relatives that are still alive and around here.  Market day would be on Monday morning early in Brasschaat, and the house of my moemoe was just opposite where the market started, all the relatives would call at her house for coffee and the that meant the coffee pot would never leave the stove, the smell was so welcoming, there would be jolly greetings, hugs and kisses, there would be lots of chat and catching up with the week’s family news, and then moemoe and I would go to the market ourselves, we would buy her usual things and we would keep bumping into people my grandmother would know and she would have to chat with them, more chat!  Meanwhile at home a chicken would be boiling away on the stove to make soup, in Belgium 50 years ago mothers would make their soup every day, they would sometimes make chicken soup with balletjes (small pork meat balls) all home made and delicious, the smell would make your mouth water of course.  I have many still older memories of my grandmother, I remember the feeling when she came to see us as children, the happiness that I felt every time this happened is a feeling I have never quite been able to find anywhere else, a particular grandmother love feeling, I was so fond of her.  Now that I am a grandmother myself I know what I can give my own grandkids, it’s not the expensive toys that they will remember or be fond of, no, it is the special feel of having a grandmother who loves you, a great feeling.  Family is important I think, and can give great joy.


  1. Reading things like this makes me lament the loss of ‘family’ here. At the same time it makes me excited and more determined than ever to be a keeper of the good and simple things and hopefully pass that same sense that you describe here to my daughters and their children. You are so right about things not being about expensive toys…


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