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May 22, 2003

Our Dogs Travel In Style

In the RV, of course.

I recently got a new cell phone that has an embedded camera. On a recent trip in the RV, it allowed me to take these pictures showing how our dogs travel ...


Helen travels on the dashboard. She actually sleeps most of the way.


Vera spends her time on the center console between us.


Guido spends his entire time on Kathy's lap. All trip, every trip.


Oh, and after I get up in the morning, they all get their turn in bed.

Posted by Leo at 12:00 PM

May 04, 2003

Elisabeth G Notenboom

February 22, 1921 - May 4, 2003

Elisabeth Gerarda Notenboom

The Rainbow Bridge

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together....

... Author unknown

February 22, 1921 - May 4, 2003

Elisabeth G Notenboom

Age 82, of Kirkland, died May 4th 2003. Survived by her husband of 55 years, Leo, her son and daughter-in-law Leo and Kathy, sister Truus, longtime friend Marja, devoted caregiver Kathleen, loyal pet Sassy, numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and friends both here and abroad. A lover of animals of all kinds, there are many awaiting her at The Rainbow Bridge. She will be missed by her family, her friends, and her grand-dogs.

Services will be held 11AM Saturday May 17th at Holy Family Catholic Church, Kirkland, reception to follow.

In lieu of flowers, memorials to your favorite animal welfare organization.

Eulogy

Custom artwork by PaintedSnapshot.

De Regenboog-Brug

Gewoon aan deze kant van de hemel is er een plek die de Regenboog-Brug wordt genoemd.

Wanneer een dier sterft, dat heel dierbaar is voor iemand hier, dan gaat dit huisdier naar de Regenboog-Brug. Daar zijn grasvelden en heuvels voor al onze speciale vrienden zodat ze samen kunnen rennen en spelen. Daar is een overvloed aan eten, water en zonneschijn en onze vrienden hebben het warm en behaaglijk.

Alle dieren die ziek of oud waren worden weer gezond en vitaal, zij die gewond of verminkt waren worden weer heel en sterk, net zoals wij hen herinneren in onze dromen van de dagen en tijden die voorbij zijn. De dieren zijn blij en tevreden, behalve voor een kleinigheid, ze missen allemaal iemand die voor hen heel dierbaar is en die achter moest blijven.

Allemaal rennen en spelen ze samen, maar er komt een dag wanneer er plotseling een stopt en staart in de verte. Zijn heldere ogen staan gespannen, zijn enthousiast lichaam beeft. Plotseling begint hij weg te rennen van de groep, vliegend over het groene gras, dragen zijn benen hem sneller en sneller.

Jij bent gezien en als jij eindelijk je speciale vriend ontmoet, omhels je elkaar in een vreugdevolle hereniging om nooit meer gescheiden te worden. Gelukkige kusjes regenen op je gezicht, je handen liefkozen zijn geliefde hoofd en jij kijk opnieuw in de vertrouwde ogen van je huisdier, die al zolang uit je leven weg was maar nooit uit je hart.

Dan gaan jullie samen over de Regenboog-Brug.....

... Auteur onbekend


Memories


Her birth certificate.


Mid 1920's.


With her first Schipperke, Nortje.


With Leo in 1942


Wedding day, November 27, 1947.


1948. If you look carefully, she's posing with two dogs and a cat.


At a Manneken Pis gift shop in Brussels.


On the French Riviera, around 1949.


Landing card for the immigration to Canada.


With Beertje, her traveling companion on return visits to Holland. Early 1950's.


Bed the way she liked it: with cat & dog.


September 9th, 1957 - the day before Leo Jr. is born.


Leo became Canadian by birth, so they both followed.


With Betty Edgar, "Little Leo" and Dana the German Shepherd in Victoria ~1960.


Her parents visit in 1964.


With Leo and her sister-in-law, Rie Heus, on the Amsterdam tour boat in 1966.


With Oscar in 1977


Showing off their cars in 1977.


Stamp collecting in 1979.


This is why she needed a larger bed. (1982)


Photo taken for their 40th wedding anniversary.


Mid 1990's.


On the deck of their Rose Hill home in 1994.


May 2, 2003, holding Kathleen's grandson, Kaden Brockman



Delivering the eulogy.
The grey box in the lower left is the urn.

Eulogy
May 17, 2003
Leo A. Notenboom

First, on behalf of my father, Kathy and myself, thank you for being here. It means a lot.

Unfortunately my dad canít be here today. We told him the day after my mother died, and he clearly understood, but due to his Alzheimerís he seemed to have mostly forgotten by the next day. Rather than continually reminding him and having him re-experience his grief, weíve made the difficult decision to simply let him be.

Itís hard to know what to say when your mother dies. Even though youíd think it might, the months leading up to this didnít really prepare me.

I know that Iím lucky to have had her as my mother. I think she did a great job raising me. Independence, loyalty, work ethic, practicality, even some of my inherent skepticism are all things that I think I got from her.

I know that my father felt lucky as well. As recently as just a few months ago heíd tell me "Iíve made lots of mistakes, but the one thing I did right was to marry your mother".


The church altar, with the portrait in front.

My mother was deeply devoted to her family. The most obvious example of course is how she took care of my father during his decline of the past several years Ė perhaps even to her own detriment. I know that years ago it was my future that was her biggest worry. When I graduated from high school and my dad wanted me to go to a trade school, it was my mom that insisted on college, even to the point of working outside the home cleaning house for others in order to make sure we could afford it. Iím grateful that she was able to see the results of that effort.

I think she felt life had real purpose for her when she could take care of others. At least one of those house cleaning jobs transitioned into a care taking role as the client couple aged. Taking care of my father was, to her, an important duty, a responsibility. "He didnít ask for this" she once told me about his Alzheimerís. In the end, she realized and accepted the necessity of his moving out, but I think she couldnít help feeling like sheíd left a job undone.

Iíve made a big deal about her love of animals. I spent some time going through photo albums recently, and you can see from the earliest photos that theyíve always played a big role in her life. There was never enough room on her bed for all the cats & dogs. Her dog, Beertje, even accompanied her on a boat trip back to Holland in the early 50ís. Dogs werenít supposed to travel in the passenger cabin, but of course thatís where he ended up.

A strong woman, the only time Iíve really seen her shed tears is at the death of pet. I know that the most recent death last September, of Michael, her Boxer, was very hard on her. For several of us involved in these recent months we sometimes think that may have been the real beginning of the end.

What will I miss the most? Thereís the obvious stuff Ė a motherís unconditional love, the stories of her youth, the connection she represented to family overseas. But thereís more. Just prior to her illness we had been spending Thursday afternoonís together as a break from her taking care of my dad, and Iíll miss the talking we did then. Iíll miss the crowd of pigeons and squirrels in her back yard, or even the way she spoiled our dogs.

In the end, Iím very grateful that she died the way she lived Ö at home and as independent as possible, her closest family nearby, and with her dog on the bed.

As I said, I donít really know what to say at a time like this. Anything I say seems somehow incomplete. But itís kind of like emptying her house Ö we canít keep everything, so we make hard choices. I canít put everything into words.

What I do know is that she was loved. She is loved. And she is, and will be, missed.

Ü

Posted by Leo at 12:00 PM

May 02, 2003

Las Vegas 2003

Updated: 09:15 PDT, May 02

Very much in need of a break from the "real world", and with timing coinciding to meet with a bunch of internet entrepreneurs, I went to Las Vegas! My first three days I totally played the vacationing tourist.

I stayed at the New York New York Hotel and Casino. Here's the view out my room:

Yes, that's a roller coaster, and yes, I did. It encircles the hotel, and it's quite a ride.

Here's a better shot of the hotel itself:

The hotel is across the street from the MGM Grand, which has this fella outside:

supposedly the largest bronze statue in North America.

I arrived Monday and was able to see the Blue Man Group's performance at the Luxor hotel. It's difficult to describe, but things like musical percussion instruments built out of PVC pipes appealed to the engineer within, and the overall humor just appealed. It was very impressive, though the fact that there was a bowl of ear plugs available on entry should tell you something.

Tuesday I went to see Hoover Dam. It's only about an hour out of town, and in all my prior Vegas visits, I'd never been.


The visitor's center on the right, and the Nevada-side intake towers on the left. That's Lake Mead in the background. The dam itself is immediately to the right here.


The dam from the other side. Yes, those are little tiny people on top.


From behind the dam, the Arizona-side intake towers on the left, and the Nevada-side on the right. Note also the coloration of the rock on the far left ... Lake Mead is very low right now, and you can see how high the lake is usually.


The spillway (used only twice in the dam's lifetime so far) fascinated me. And it was behind the employee parking lot! What you're looking at above is a huge hole, maybe 50ft in diameter, that the overflow water would go down. You can hear the sound of rushing water coming out of it.


For completeness, here's a shot of Lake Mead on the way back. If you look carefully you can see the discoloration all along the shoreline from the lowered lake level.


The Vegas skyline from I-515 as I was driving back. That's the Stratosphere on the right. If you look carefully you can see the Luxor's pyramid toward the left.

Speaking of the Stratosphere, yes, I went there too.


The top of the Stratosphere has two rides: a roller coaster that winds around the top three times, an a bungee-chair type thing that blasts you up and lets you fall back down - all at 1000ft high. The coaster looked pretty lame - it certainly wasn't moving very fast. The chair, on the other hand .... we'll see.


That's a view from the Stratosphere's outdoor observation deck back towards the hotel. Again, if you look closely you can see Luxor's point about 1/3rd in from the left, "sky scraper" looking buildings, which are New York New York, as well as many others. That Eiffel Tower looking thing is the Paris Hotel ... it's a 1/2 scale replica of the real thing. Here's a shot I took later:


One of the neat things about the Stratosphere is that the windows of the inside observation deck are tilted out, allowing for this photo straight down. It's an odd feeling, let me tell you.

When Kathy and I were in Las Vegas years ago, we of course saw Siegfried and Roy and their white tigers at the Mirage. So I did have to go back and take a few pictures of what turned out to be the lone tiger in the public display area:

I also walked through the Bellagio, and decided that's the place Kathy and I will have to stay next.


The Bellagio lobby full of blown glass flowers.


The Bellagio atrium.

On my way out, the fountains in front of the casino began a show. I was able to capture a little of it:
(Click picture for video).


M&M World? Only in Las Vegas. No, I have no idea why. And no, I didn't go in. (Okay, okay ... I did. Sheesh.)

Not to be outdone by the tigers at the Mirage, the MGM, it turns out, now has lions on display:

In that first shot (with the handler in it), the lions are actually lying on the plexiglas ceiling of a covered walkway, allowing for these "from below" shots and close-ups:

Some "shots" of the group I was with:


Jake & Chris - apparently how short people take pictures.


Many digital cameras were the order of the day.


Bennett and Amy meet a local Klingon at Quark's bar in the Star Trek Experience.


Amy gets friendly with a Ferengi.

Posted by Leo at 09:15 AM