Together Again

I came across these wonderful black and white photographs while researching my newest novel, “Chasing Shadows,” which takes place in the Netherlands during WWII.

The pictures clearly show the joy the Dutch people felt as they celebrated the liberation of their country after six years of war and enemy occupation. The Dutch still celebrate that day, May 15, 1945, each year.

We’ve experienced just a small taste of that darkness and uncertainty and the sense of captivity to an enemy this past year during the pandemic. And while life hasn’t quite returned to normal yet—just as life in the Netherlands wasn’t normal for many months to come—most of us are already looking forward to what we hope is “the beginning of the end.” Now that my husband and I, along with our middle son, daughter, and son-in-law have all been vaccinated, we’ve decided to celebrate with a (masked) family reunion trip to our favorite cabin near Rocky Mountain National Park. I invite you to join us through these pictures.

Here are two views from our front deck.

Being able to spend time with family again seems richer and more meaningful after so much time apart. FaceTime kept me in touch with my two granddaughters, but how wonderful it is to be able to hug each other again! This is Lyla and me, hiking one of the beautiful trails together.

I’m also savoring the freedom of being outside in the wonders of God’s creation after a year of at-home quarantine. I hope I won’t ever take the freedom to travel for granted again.

The mountains are reminding me of God’s awesome power and might. The God who created the Rockies holds all things under His sovereign control. Including pandemics. Including my life, and my loved ones’ lives.

He also knows what the future holds. Like my granddaughter, Ayla, we can set off down that road to the future, safe and secure in His love.

As I look back at this past year, I’m searching for more ways to celebrate what I’ve learned and how I’ve grown and changed. Like the Dutch people will do on May 15, we also need to reflect and remember our own challenging times. What are some of the ways you plan to remember and commemorate the pandemic year?


  1. We in the Netherlands remenber each year on May 4th the fallen soldiers of WW2 with special Memorial services. On May 5th, we celebrate our freedom since it was on May 5th the Netherlands got liberaler.
    I personally during this year with Covid I do much more enjoy the small things of life. A cup of coffee, a walk, a visit with one friend etc.

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