Living the Good Life in Amsterdam
"Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier."
- Mother Teresa
We met Ted at the Saturday market in Amsterdam. It was the first of our three trips to the market during our stay there. After we strolled through the farmers section and picked up our fruit and veggies for the week, we walked through the rest of the market and came to a table with stones and crystals and both my son and I immediately stopped to look. We had a fun conversation with Ted that day; we enjoyed it enough to walk away without some of our purchases. His kindness was especially refreshing. During that conversation we learned that Ted was from the states himself and very familiar with our former home of Seattle. As a matter of fact, he was expecting friends from Port Townsend to arrive for a visit within a few days. Small world!
During our conversation, he graciously invited us to see his houseboat and the B&B. My son loved having the opportunity to see inside a houseboat; it was a big highlight for him. When we left Ted's home after a nice long visit with him, my son said to me, "People should listen more to older people! They have so many great stories to tell!" All the way back to our place, he was talking about the things Ted shared with us, what an amazing life Ted has had and still continues to enjoy. (Do I have an amazing son or what? Yes, I surely do).
We learned that back in the states Ted was an electrician most of his life and the stones and crystals that he now sells were a hobby interest. He collected and purchased so many stones that eventually his wife told him that if he brought any more stones into the house, he would need to start selling some of them. He thought that sounded like a good idea and signed up for a local farmers market and his hobby became a successful business of its own. Ted may be 'retired' now; however, he stays very busy with the weekly market and the B&B he runs out of his houseboat. He also sells goods online at his Blackstone Mill site. I'm not sure I would call it retirement since all of this keeps him very busy. No matter what you call it, he is happy and that is all that matters.
How did he end up living in Amsterdam? Ted and his late-wife Holly came to visit Amsterdam for the first time in 2000 at the invitation of friends and they fell in love with it. Who could blame them? Amsterdam is a beautiful city and the Netherlands an amazing country. After several return visits, it made sense to them to permanently move to Amsterdam. They bought a houseboat, renovated it, and Ted lives there still today.
Ted, thank you for your warm welcome, gracious hospitality, and that bright, genuine smile.