In 1962, I attended St. Montfort College in Rotterdam. During a break one day, a friend and I decided to have a day off from school, especially since that particular day was a kind of holiday. We started marching on the square of the school, while yelling: “We want a free day!” Soon a lot of students followed us and it became quite a group. When the bell rang for the end of the break, we stayed on the school square, marching and yelling. To our surprise, numerous students climbed out of the windows in order to join us, and soon the building was almost empty. We all took a day off. The next day all students received a penalty, but we two received a severe penalty, of course, but it was a lot of fun.
When I established my own company in 1982, it was not easy to get started. I had been a partner in another consultancy firm, and I had promised my partner to refrain from doing business with clients from that firm for a period of three years, so I had to start from scratch. Two employees of the old firm had decided to join me, so the little bit of money I had evaporated quickly. Because it became difficult, I decided to invest. It was the time that US-based computer firms were expanding in Europe. I did some research and decided to participate in a seminar for managers of computer firms in San Diego, California. I was the only European guy in the group, and when I went back home I had two computer firms as clients.
After Marilyn and I were married in 2005 on Oahu, Hawaii, we visited most of the Hawaiian Islands during a Honeymoon cruise. One day on Maui, we decided to go to the top of Haleakala. Haleakala is considered a sacred mountain, and I thought it would be nice to see the crater from the top of the mountain. Unfortunately, it was a very cloudy day, and the higher we drove toward the top, the cloudier and more misty it became. When we arrived at the top, the whole top and the crater were covered in a blanket of clouds. To my big surprise, Marilyn was not disappointed at all, and she said she would ask Lilinoe, the Goddess of the Rainbows and the Mists to clear the clouds away. In no time at all, the clouds parted, and we could admire the beautiful interior of the crater. It felt as if we had a private session with Haleakala and Lilinoe. When it was time to go back, we thanked the mountain and Lilinoe for their gift, and immediately the clouds closed in again. I knew that I had met a new part of Marilyn, and that I had experienced something extremely beautiful.
In the beginning of 2013, my wife Marilyn became obsessed with rescuing a dog she had seen on Facebook. The dog, named “Chance”, was a mixed breed who resembled a Dalmatian crossed with a Pit Bull, and he had been severely abused and was wounded. She felt an inexplicable urge to rescue him. I told her it was OK with me, but I did not want us to adopt that dog. Marilyn worked day and night to get him out of the high-kill shelter he was in near Long Beach, CA. She even found a person in Colorado who was willing to adopt him. Because of a variety of reasons, the dog could not be adopted by the couple in Colorado, so Marilyn had to find a solution to the new situation. She asked me if it was acceptable to me to have him with us temporarily until we could find a new family to take him. I agreed, but only because it was temporary. Well, it was not that temporary, because when the transporter brought “Chance” to our house, he ran directly to me and was so happy to see me that my heart melted. He has been with us four years now, and we gave him the name “Boofie”, which means “little naughty boy” in Dutch.
In September 2016, my son Marc, who lives in The Netherlands, visited us. We decided to make a trip to Lake Tahoe, where we would hike daily. One of our hikes led us to Galena Falls. It was a hike of 2-3 hours. After having admired the beauty of Galena Falls, Marc said that we had time enough to extend our hike with a trip to the summit of Mount Rose, which was nearby. I agreed, and we started the second part of our hike. From Galena Falls, I saw an enormous mountain. I said to Marc, “I hope that is not Mount Rose, because no way I will climb that mountain.” Marc said he didn’t think the giant mountain was Mount Rose, and besides the hike to the summit was only 2.4 miles from Galena Falls. After hours of climbing, we discovered that the giant mountain we had seen from the Falls was indeed Mount Rose. We stopped at a point where a sign told us that it was only one mile to the top. We decided to go for it, and believe me, it was the longest mile I ever walked. Although I did not know it at that time, the summit was at 10,776 feet, and I had to rest numerous times, because of the lack of oxygen. The good part is that we made it, and the best part was the panoramic view from the top into Nevada and down to Lake Tahoe. It is impossible to describe the beauty of the landscape as viewed from the top of Mt. Rose. It was certainly worthwhile climbing to the top!