A few years ago I was asked why I had stopped writing plays and my quick answer was “I had nothing to say.” And I believed that when I had something to say, I would write again. So when I moved to the Netherlands, I decided to start this blog because I finally thought I had something to share.

I created this blog for two reasons: to be able to express myself as I faced this major change in my life and it was a great way for me to communicate with my friends in the United States. The blog started on March 18, 2011 and the first post was titled UP. It was about how tall the Dutch are.

In the last few days, this blog has reached a milestone with over 10,000 hits. This is the 61st post. No one is more surprised than me. I really thought that I would run out of things to say, but that is not the case. As I live my life here, I see and hear things that amaze me, confuse me and impress me. There is this need to share what I experience. Whether that is a trip to Ikea, not getting a second cup of free coffee or learning new things about the second World War.

The blog has a life of its own. When I have gone somewhere unusual or I am talking about something, someone here will say “you can put that in your blog!” Or I will be out and about and think “how in the world can I write about this?” And usually I find a way.

Who are the readers? I know that they are personal friends in America, they are new friends who live in the Netherlands, they are members of my Dutch family, and then there are strangers or friends I have not met yet. The top three countries are the Netherlands, United States, and Belgium.

What is interesting is to see how people find this blog while googling a subject. They were not looking for this blog or me, but they had a specific question in mind. The most popular search has been about the red light district in Utrecht. I am not sure if they are looking for directions, but I have written two posts about the houseboats and they are quite popular.

I decided to name each post after a film. I did that because I am a big movie fan and I thought it would be fun for me to find the perfect title for a post based on a film. And I was right, it has been fun. I also decided to add book reviews to the blog and those are more popular than I thought they would be. I get many emails about them, and it is a great way to have online discussions about a book. I don’t think I could continue with this blog if I could not write about books.

I am coming up on my one year anniversary of living here and I think I will not stop writing. I am surprised that there are still things to write about, but the great thing about blogs is that they are not planned. You first have to have a life and then share your life with others. I cannot predict what I will write about next, as life has to happen first. But my heart and mind are wide open to the possibilities.

To all of you that have been on this journey with me, I say thank you. I have heard from so many people and I love to hear your reactions to the Dutch way of life. I am learning new things here all the time and I hope that never changes. And as long as I have something to say, I will keep sharing stories with you. Who knows? Maybe there will be a third post about the houseboats.

Recommended viewing: I have chosen one of my all-time favorites in honor of this milestone. RANDOM HARVEST stars Greer Garson and Ronald Colman and it is very British and in black and white. This tells you how beautiful Greer Garson is—you will actually believe you can see her red hair. This is an oldie but goodie. A film to watch on a rainy or snowy Sunday afternoon. Enjoy!

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  • Judy Savage  On January 21, 2012 at 2:36 am

    I’m thrilled you’re going to continue to do the blog and I look forward to your very interesting and funny descriptions of the Dutch culture, whether or not you write about the Red Light District.

  • James P  On January 21, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    Jane, thanks for sharing your exploits and thoughts with us. Hard to believe that your one-year anniversary is approaching. You are still sorely missed on this side of the Atlantic. Please continue to share. Best wishes on another year of blogging!

  • Jean  On January 21, 2012 at 6:49 pm

    Congratulations!!! 10,000 is awesome !

  • Loree Griffin Burns  On January 22, 2012 at 5:45 am

    Blijven schrijven. Ik mis je!

  • Stan  On January 22, 2012 at 4:34 pm

    Congratulations Jane! I cannot believe it has been a year already since the party at Gail’s house. Time is racing! Please keep posting your entertaining comments on Dutch life; I always look forward to them and often pass them along to others.

  • Stephanie  On January 22, 2012 at 10:25 pm

    Keep ’em coming, Jane! Your blogs are fun to read, educational and often take me down memory lane!

  • Holly Anne  On January 23, 2012 at 11:32 pm

    Hi Jane, Congrats on your 1 year blog anniversary. I always enjoy reading them. You have wit and humor. Keep it up. Am learning alot too.
    Blessings your way. Holly Anne

  • Wendy Pape  On January 24, 2012 at 5:00 am

    Hi Jane. I look forward to every post. I can’t believe it has been a year since we had lunch and said our goodbyes. I am so glad to hear how happy you are. Miss you! wendy

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