Two and a half years we lived in this house in the East of Holland, about an hour from Germany. The house was in the midst of the forest and close to a beautiful part of Holland, called "the Veluwe" with heather fields and forests. The estate was named "Uyt Ten Bosch", which translated would be, "Out in the Forest (or Woods)."
The house in itself is not as extraordinary, as much as how it changed owners that is worth telling this story.
My apology for the quality of the pics. I took pics of pictures glued in my old photo album. After 25 years or so, the colors have started yellowing.
At that time several of the ornate big houses that were standing empty most of the time, were ransacked by drug addicts or hippies, and started living in it. The house owners could not do anything to get the unwanted visitors out, because the laws protected the renters better than home owners!
When the landlord heard we needed a temporary place to live, we both would benefit. It would take her a few years taking care of her affairs in the West, before she could move to the East of the country to take care of her inheritance.
In Europe is more emphasis on status, meaning the position in life at birth. To belong to the nobility would set people more apart than wealth or education. The homeowner's late mother had been the cook (I believe) of the baroness. The latter gave her this house when she became too old to work. (above: Rhododendron blooms)
"Noblesse obligue" comes into place here. This saying denotes that belonging to the nobility also brings its responsibilities. In this light, the gift of the house would not be seen as extravagant
We definitely had a different relationship than most renters have with their landlord. Maybe because of our educational status, she treated us more like guests, when she was checking if things in the house were working well. One of the times that she visited, she brought the Pear Torte (recipe is 2 posts before this one).
One of the features of the house which we really enjoyed was that the big living room, opened up to the sun room. One could oversee the front garden from the sun room.
Blooming Currant Tree
We loved the surroundings. When waking up in the morning one could hear the birds chirping. On the road side of the acre of land was a row of currant trees. From a distance they look a little like apple trees.
Blooms of the Currant Tree
Coming closer there are distinct differences in the flowers. Also the branches of the currant trees are smooth, while the ones of an apple tree are gnarly.
Two huge populars framed the sides of the entrance of the property. There were a variety of plants, flowers and trees, and some had grown very large. To my great delight also a pond with waterlillies and other plants. In the front garden stood a large rhododendron bush (pic, see above), probably about 7 feet. It was obvious that once there had been a full-time gardener.
We have never enjoyed the seasons of the year as much as in this house.
The day after we moved in, it started snowing. Looking out from each window we saw a hush came over the tall forest trees in the background as the snowflakes did their dance. It felt like living in a fairy tale!
The inside of the house though needed some renovations. The seven gas heaters inside the house were barely enough to chase the chill and dampness of the forest away.
This made us appreciate when the days became longer and spring arrived. This season is so energizing and full of anticipation when one plant after another comes to life and blooms appear everywhere.
The summer was marked by never ending days. We loved to sit and have long conversations in the sun room with the door open, Day light finally would fade around 9:30pm. On hot humid days it remained cool in the forest.
Sloshing through heaps of leaves in the Fall and raking, raking was the name of the game. Such an exuberant farewell of the trees which were gearing up for winter.
Only two weeks after our third child was born, we moved to a bigger town nearby.
The experiences of living in this house in the forest were treasures that we took with us in our heart.
Two years later, just before we moved to the USA, we visited the proud owners of a renovated "Uyt Ten Bosch."