2020 continues to give us new information about what is actually happening in the world – in all it’s ugly, horrific truth, and also where the shadows of ourselves need to be brought into the light.

When we look back over our lives, we can identify many turning points and crossroads. Places in which we had a CHOICE on how to proceed. In reality there are no ‘mistakes’ or ‘wrong choices’ because each choice we make still leads us to where we need to go. Even those choices that bring tremendous pain and grief. Those may be the most powerful as the parts of us we have refused or weren’t ready to look at are ready to be explored.

As I look back over the last 10 years of my life, specifically from 2015 to the present when I began traveling and living in Europe, I am seeing many things. New connections. Things healed I did not realize were. Lessons learned. Hard times and good times. If I could go back to my first trip overseas, I would have made a much better attempt at journaling my days every night before bed. However, that trip was so packed and I was so exhausted most days I didn’t. I have a million photos from that trip to remind me what we did. Some notes in my journal but not at the depth I wrote on my second trip. The second trip I took alone and it created even more change than the first. What follows are the journal entries (for the most part) of my second trip which created an even more powerful spiritual transformation in me.

These articles were originally posted on my WWII Research & Writing Center website in 2015.

If you are interested in some of my European and Spiritual Journey since this trip, pick up a copy of my memoir, I BRING DEAD GUYS HOME.

October – NOvember 2015 Journey through europe and my soul

 

Spiritual Journey in the Soldier’s Footsteps

Day 1 – 14 October 2015

Spiritual Turning Points & Crossroads

Day 2 Part 1 – (15 October 2015)

Day 2 Part 2

Day 3 – 16 October 2015 – Bastogne, Belgium

Day 4 – 17 October 2015 – Bastogne, Belgium

Day 5 – 18 October 2015 – Netherlands, Margraten, Maastricht

Day 6 – 19 October 2015- Henri-Chapelle & Remember Museum

Day 7 – 20 October 2015 -Ammerzoden

Day 8 – 21 October 2015 – Heeswijk

Day 9 – 22 October 2015 – Arnhem

Day 10 – 23 October 2015 – Wandering Ammerzoden & Writing

Day 11 – 24 October 2015 – WWII Presentation at CRASH Museum near Amsterdam

Day 12 – 25 October 2015 – Zaltbommel, Netherlands

Day 13 – 26 October 2015 – Goirle, The Netherlands – Speaking for Liberation Day

Day 14 – 27 October 2015 – Honoring Dutch Liberators and War Dead

Day 15 – 28 October 2015 – Speaking on WWII records at Groesbeek, the Netherlands

Day 16 – 29 October 2015 – Den Bosch and the Ring

Day 17 – 30 October 2015 -Goree-Overflakkee Speaking Event & War Dead

Day 18 – 31 October 2015 – Lovenstein and antique shops

Day 19 – 1 November 2015 – Day with the Timberwolves

Days 20 & 21 – 3 Novmeber 2015 – Rijksmuseum & going home

© 2020 Ancestral Souls

 

 

1 November was one of my very favorite days of the trip. That morning I drove to Achtmaal, Netherlands to meet some of the Friends of the Timberwolves at the Achtmaal Museum. I met Esther, Adrie, Sjaan and Kevin, Peet, and Herman.Jeeps (6)

The day was perfect. Warm sun, a slight breeze, colorful fall leaves falling from the trees, and new friends. We met at the museum and after coffee and cookies with a history lesson thrown in, I had a tour. Time was short because we had a lot to see that day, so on my trip in May I will have to try to meet with the group again and see more of the museum. The museum houses not only Timberwolf artifacts but also artifacts from other groups who fought in the area.

Timbewolf museum Achtmaal (13)Timberwolf Tracks (62)Upon completion of the tour we hopped in two jeeps and took off through the countryside. Peet was my driver and also the man who gave me a history lesson over coffee. As we drove, he told me about the routes we took, where the fighting occurred and details about the men and war. We stopped at many sites to see where battles happened, including were my friend John Tyrrell was wounded.

It was very interesting to look at my photos and the little bit of video I shot while Peet was driving. There are a lot of red orbs in my photos. Soldiers watching and waiting. Protecting. Usually they don’t show up quite like that in my photos. But there they were!

Seeing the places battles were fought, or concentration camps where so many died, is high on my list of things to do when I visit Europe. What is difficult is trying to picture these now serene, often beautiful places through the eyes of someone who was there 70+ years ago. Trying to wrap my head around what happened there and then put that into words that explain it, is difficult. It is often unimaginable the horrors that took place in such a calm place where crops grow or sheep graze today. And everywhere we went, I could feel the presence of all the soldiers, regardless of side on which they fought, in those fields. In some areas, like the Battle Between the Dikes, the energy was so intense it rode in waves through me.

Timberwolf Tracks (32)

Friends of the Timberwolves having lunch
where a battle was once fought.

After visiting many places the Timberwolves fought, we stopped for lunch in an old building where I met Toine Vermunt, a local historian and author. Toine gave me a short history lesson after lunch before we departed the area. He showed me maps of Holland and explained where the Timberwolves were, what happened at the building we were having lunch in, and what we would see in the afternoon. The Battle Between the Dikes. Toine gave me a booklet in English, he wrote a few years ago explaining this battle. I am grateful to have this history.

Laying flowers at memorial (2)

Laying flowers at the memorial.

Toine rode with us to see the area where the Battle Between the Dikes took place, after first stopping to lay flowers at a Timberwolf Memorial. It was as if the Timberwolves were waiting for us because the energy at the memorial about dropped me to my knees.

Our next stop was at a woman’s home where we were allowed to walk behind and stand by the canal and look at the area where the men were fighting and attempting to cross. Another beautiful place where such horror occurred.

Battle of the Dikes area

Battle Between the Dikes

Driving through the areas where the Battle Between the Dikes was fought was intense. The energy from both sides argued with each other. The Allied soldiers were calmer and just wanted to go home. The German side was angry to the point I was feeling a bit nauseous for a while. I cannot count the number of times that day I said clearing statements to send people off into the light and transmute the energy.

As the afternoon began drawing to a close, our last stop was at the Basilica in Oudenbosch. We had about 15 minutes there because they were about to close. It is another place to which I must return. The Basilica is a small replica of St. Peter’s in Rome. Small does not do it justice as it feels gigantic and I felt very tiny in that beautiful place. I was able to light some candles for my soldiers and say some prayers before we left.

Timberwolf Tracks (87)The Basilica held a lot of energy also. It felt heavy as if every prayer, question, wish, hope, dream, despair, frustration, and death that ever was left in the building, remained. In a way I was happy to only have 15 minutes in that place. After such an intense day, any longer might have done me in.

After returning the jeeps to the Timberwolf HQ and saying goodbye to my new friend Adrie, the rest of us went out for dinner before I drove back to Ammerzoden, where I was staying for two weeks.

The day I spent with the Friends of the Timberwolves was one of my favorite days from this trip. It was incredible and moving to be surrounded by people with such passion for World War II and our soldiers. People who understood the soldiers still walk in the mists and live among the items in their museum. People who honor the memories of those who gave them their freedom. And, my absolute favorite part of the day – meeting Kevin who is a teenager and has the desire to preserve the stories of these men. It warms my heart to see young people wanting to be involved in this work. It provides the promise that when the older generation is gone and my generation is aging, there will still be someone sharing the stories and memories.

© 2020 Ancestral Souls

 

 

 

There are days you wish you could just stay in bed and hide under the covers all day. Never leave. This was one of those days. I’m a positive person and try to be cheerful but I’m human and some days, I’m really not fun to be around. This day I would have been happy staying in my cozy B&B all da. That evening I was supposed to drive to Goree-Overflakkee to give my final talk of the trip. Only the energy was such I didn’t want to. I felt “off.” Strange.

I’m sure it had something to do with the crazy dreams and sleep the night before and the fact I woke up to see a dead guy floating next to me after 1:00 a.m. after I heard the name JOHN. Yep folks – he was there, very peacefully floating and waiting. I’m fairly certain he was once one of my soldiers. I just watched him and after a little while he disappeared. And then I got up and wrote in my journal describing this man I had just seen. Usually I don’t see them.

So…….who was John?

20151030_115227I did eventually get out of bed and try to ground my energy. I went for a short drive to Fort St. Andri20151030_114559es in Rossum, Netherlands to see what was there. It was a bit difficult to find even with my GPS but it was a lovely drive. I didn’t spend too much time there, but it was enough to feel less “off.” My afternoon was quiet and then I drove toward Goree-Overflakkee.

Now, my energy was still a bit “off” and crabby when I left. I set the GPS for fastest route and it thought taking a ferry was the fastest route. What?! I knew I had to get onto the island or Goree-Overflakkee but Dennis, who scheduled me to speak never mentioned a ferry! After a frantic text to Dennis, I realized that the ferry was near Heusden. That route was an option I had when I visited Heusden but since there was a bridge right there, I took the bridge. Changing the GPS to scenic route allowed it to think the ferry was not an option and on I went.

The drive should have been less than an hour and a half. It never….ever….seemed to want to end. Note to self for the future: When you set the GPS to scenic route to avoid the ferry 10 minutes from your start point, remember to change it back to fastest route. Why? Because scenic takes you on and off highways to drive the beautiful back roads, which add a million minutes to your drive. Once I realized what I had (not) done, I switched the GPS and was on my way.

Until……..

I was almost on the island and got into the off ramp at the bridge to take me onto said island and it was stopped. No one was moving. 10 minutes, then 15. I was hungry. It was getting dark and I had to speak in a couple hours. Another frantic text off to Dennis and I discovered there was an accident. A couple miles up the road should be clear –if I could only get there.

Trusting the GPS had to know another way onto the island, I left the off-ramp and continued on this bridge about 5 km only to find that no, that was the only way on the island. I turned around and stopped at a gas station for a few minutes to gather my thoughts and breathe. I also texted my friend Mary and expressed my frustration. She said someone would attend the talk who needed me to show up. It seems when our energetic vibrations are raised, we are able to help others, often when we don’t even realize it. She said someone would thank me for being there that night. When I got back on the highway, the traffic was moving in both directions.

Needless to say by the time I hit Middleharnis I was frazzled. I asked the universe for a safe parking spot near somewhere I could have dinner. I had about an hour and a half before I needed to be at the school to set up. I got the parking spot right behind a French restaurant.

I’m very grateful to the angel waitress who could tell I was frazzled and spoke enough English to help me decide tea was better than a beer (which I really wanted at that point) and recommended something delicious for dinner. After I ordered I let Dennis know where I was. He knew I was frustrated and laughed because I had no idea where I was in relation to the school. Turns out I was 100 meters away. He said he’d come to the restaurant and say hello and tell me where to walk when I was finished.

Dinner was yummy, the tea was hot, and I was relaxed at the end of the meal. I walked to the school and met many people who had gathered for drinks prior to the program. A reporter had shown up to listen and I had a short interview prior to the talk. The energy was cheerful which helped reinforce the relaxed energy I was feeling. I was grateful.

Dennis Noteboom and me at talk edited

Dennis and Jennifer after the program.

I gave the program and talked about how to research WWII American soldier service. After I was finished, Dennis spoke about the air war on the island and some of his research. He had many photos of airmen and told us the story of a man who went down in a plane, only to have been later seen by someone who knew him from home, while he was wandering England. The man’s name was Jack.

And then the energy shifted and got all giddy and I almost laughed out loud because JACK is often a nickname for JOHN. The dead guy in my bed the night before, I was certain was this JACK. I asked Dennis if Jack was a nickname and he said he didn’t know. The reports only showed Jack. But the energy said otherwise.

When the program was over, several people stopped to talk to me and one in particular told me a story and then thanked me for being there. He reinforced that sometimes we are supposed to show up because someone needs us. I’m glad he and I both showed up that evening.

After hot tea with some of the attendees and conversation it was time to drive back to Ammerzoden. Dennis walked me back to my car and I told him about John and seeing him when I woke up the night before. He understood.

Was John the Jack, in the story Dennis told? We will never know for sure, but I think it was. And I’m grateful I got to meet him. Sometimes all the soldiers need is for someone to acknowledge them, to see them before they can move on peacefully.

Isn’t that all any of us really want – someone to really SEE us?

© 2020 Ancestral Souls

 

 

 

Today was the day I was going to find the silver ring the universe kept saying I needed to find. And where was it going to be? Nijmegen!

After a leisurely morning of sleeping in to recover from the prior two days and prepare to speak again tonight, I thought I would head toward Groesbeek and stop in Nijmegen to look for this ring. So I drove along beautiful roads and got to Nijmegen and felt like that was not the place to find the ring.

Groesbeek Netherlands (31)Hungry and a bit frustrated about this voice in my head, I decided to ignore it and continue to Groesbeek and find lunch. It was a bit cloudy and grey but people were out and about and there was a happy atmosphere in Groesbeek. I found a little café to have lunch where I ate a delicious sandwich and relaxed over coffee afterward. Discovering there was only one jewelry store in town, and the owner was on holiday, I took a walk.

I discovered a lot of Liberation Route signs all over the town which depicted scenes from the Operation Market Garden time period of September 1944, and pointed out points near the signs so you could get a then and now perspective. Walking along I thought it would be a good idea for the next trip to actually figure out where all these signs were in each town so I could go on an adventure and find them all!

Then and Now

Groesbeek Netherlands (35)Groesbeek Netherlands (38)

On my walk I did find a chapel and was able to light some candles and sit for a while and contemplate life. Then when I was finished there I did a bit of shopping and headed toward my hotel for the evening. I was staying at the

Hampshire Landgoedhotel

, where Rense Havinga, the curator at the

National Liberation Museum

where I was to speak, recommended having dinner. Apparently their restaurant is top-notch.

Groesbeek Canadian War Cemetery (52)On the way to the hotel I stumbled upon the Groesbeek Canadian War Cemetery. Of course I had to stop even though it was a drizzly day at this point. The soldiers called out. There were moments when the sun tried to peek through the clouds and shine light down on us.

The cemetery is beautiful and peaceful and situated on a hill overlooking fields and forests. Only a couple of people were there when I arrived and one soldier was near the Cross of Sacrifice. I spent a lot of time looking at the stones and photographing them. The CWGC stones all have a quote or prayer or something on the bottom. They are unlike our ABMC stones. As I walked I even passed a bench with soldiers just hanging out and talking. They were enjoying the quiet. It was the perfect way to spend some time that afternoon.

I checked into the hotel which was situated near a forest and some fields with sheep. Even though the day was gray and misty, it was peaceful and beautiful. My room was gigantic and the back doors opened onto a small patio which was against the field. Just a short walk across the field of sheep and I could be in a forest. I spent the afternoon relaxing and writing before I had to get changed for my program and dinner beforehand.

Groesbeek area hotel (5)Groesbeek area hotel (6)

 

 

 

 

Rense was not wrong when he said the restaurant was highly recommended. I had the most delicious, savory roast duck, vegetables, and salad for dinner. Because of timing I had to rush a little, but oh my, it was delicious.

I arrived at the museum and met two Facebook friends, Herman and Bob. These kind gentlemen carried my box of books and made sure I made it in the dark from the parking lot to the museum. We met with Rense and got me set up in their theater. Then it was off to the café for tea and meeting people before the program.

Several people I knew were at the museum that evening, including Helen, Hans and his two sons, Bob and Herman. The theater was half-filled and people were very receptive to the stories and information. When the program was over, many of us gathered in the café again for coffee and conversation.

My third program in the Netherlands had ended and the experience was great. I met many wonderful people who shared their stories with me and gave me information so I can share it with others.

Moon over the woods near Groesbeek (8)editedLater when I returned to my hotel, the moon was rising high in the sky. I opened the back doors in my room that led to the patio and watched the moon rise as the clouds floated by. I heard noises in the forest as if the soldiers were wandering around or settling down for the night. You could feel their presence so intensely. After wishing them light and love and bidding them goodnight I closed the doors and drapes and soon headed off to dreamland. As I counted my blessings and thought briefly about the following day, I was determined to find that ring. And so the next day………

© 2020 Ancestral Souls

 

 

 

Forgiveness and healing can arrive at the most incredible and unexpected moments.

Throughout this trip I knew I was healing and releasing things from medieval past lives. I also knew I had to work through some forgiveness for myself where my soldiers were concerned. And there needed to be the release of my soldiers to move on. We can’t stay stuck to each other forever. I’d had many conversations about this with my friend Mary, who has helped guide me on this spiritual journey. She had said once I had to let them go and forgive myself for not being able to save them all. Little did we know what form that was going to take.1st Ceremony in Cemetery (12)

1st Ceremony in Cemetery (9)editedOn 27 October Helen Patton and I joined John Boeren for a day of Liberation Ceremonies. We again saw Matt and Gerrit and many others we had met the evening before when I spoke. John took us first to a Commonwealth War Graves Commission cemetery for a ceremony to honor the British forces that liberated Tilburg. The event was in the British forces cemetery and we could not have asked for a more perfect day. The sun was blazing high in the sky, shining down directly on the graves in gorgeous healing beams of light. People gathered and bagpipes played as those who participated in the ceremonies marched into the cemetery toward the podium.

The ceremony was in Dutch, but it didn’t matter what language it was in. The sentiment was visible to everyone. Honor those who gave us our freedom. Children helped dignitaries lay flowers at the Cross of Sacrifice and then it happened.

Release. Healing. Forgiveness.

A woman got up to sing Vera Lynn’s song, “We’ll Meet Again.” In English. At that point I felt the tears well up in my eyes and it was as if I was saying goodbye to my sweetheart during WWII and taking care of all those WWI soldiers. I could see it flash before my tear-filled eyes. I could feel this man I said goodbye to so many years and another lifetime ago, standing next to me. But he wasn’t. I knew where he was though – not far away from where I was in Europe.

The grief become uncontrollable as the tears slipped faster and faster down my cheeks. The sun was shining brighter and warmer on us as we stood near the graves and I could hear my soldiers saying to me, ‘Forgive yourself and let us go. It is time for us to let you go too.’ And as the song ended, we all said goodbye until another time and place when, We’ll Meet Again.

Release. Healing. Forgiveness.

1st CeremonyAfter the ceremony, Helen and I spoke to a woman who was 12 years old during the war. She told us a few stories about her life and what it was like to be in a town occupied by the Germans. I wish we would have had all day to listen to her stories as they were sad, distressing, but also fascinating.

2nd ceremony2

Jacoba Pulskens memorial

Thankfully we had a fantastic lunch after this ceremony and before the second one. I needed a bit of a break from all the energy. The second ceremony was for Jacoba Pulskens, a woman who hid Allied Airmen and later was sent to a concentration camp after the men were executed. The ceremony was short and a few people spoke near the memorial in Tilburg which honors her. Some members of her family attended and spoke.

When the ceremony ended, John took Helen and I to the home where Jacoba lived and then gave us a tour of Tilburg. Our final stop was a beautiful chapel where we sat for a time after lighting candles. Then Helen and I went off in search of coffee and a snack while John attended to other business.

We had a lovely dinner with John and Matt and then made our way to the final ceremony of the day, which honored the Scottish Brigade who helped liberate Tilburg. John was dressed in his St. Sebastian Guild attire because they were to lay flowers at the monument. The ceremony had melodic bagpipe music and many short speeches before children helped the dignitaries lay flowers at the Scottish Monument. It was a beautiful ceremony, again in Dutch, with some wonderful bagpipes to accompany it.

3rd Ceremony Scottish (22) editedJ, J, H

Jennifer, John, and Helen after the final ceremony.

After ceremonies such as these, the Dutch gather together for coffee and cake. We participated after the first and last ceremonies of the day. It gives people a chance to talk and enjoy each other’s company over food and drink, before they return home. It is a nice thing they do and I was able to meet many other people.

Before 9:00 p.m. I was heading back to Ammerzoden and to bed. The next day I would drive to Groesbeek for the day, lecture at night and drive back on Thursday. The past two days had been quite an experience and I was grateful for the healing that I was able to help with and receive. Who knows what the rest of the trip would bring and the question remained, where was this silver ring the universe kept saying I had to find?

© 2020 Ancestral Souls

 

 

 

In the Netherlands, daylight savings time came a week earlier than in the U.S. This was good because I got an extra hour to roam around Amsterdam. The anxious energy from the morning however, had returned after I got back to my hotel to sleep. It was a long night of strange dreams and wondering if I was going to get up when I was supposed to. I had plans to meet another friend. When I finally woke up in the morning, I was so NOT myself I had to cancel my plans. The energy had shifted to sad, anxious, uncertainty, and a general feeling of unease. The best thing to do was be alone.Zaltbommel (32)

After breakfast at the hotel I made my way back to Ammerzoden determined to be alone and deal with the energy swirling everywhere. I met a lot of people from the past the day before, a couple who really touched my heart. One in particular left me with a lot to think about where the future is concerned.

The owner of my B&B had pointed out several places I should try to see in the Netherlands and one of them was on my way back to Ammerzoden. I saw wZaltbommel (5)hat appeared to look like a castle from the highway and a sign for Zaltbommel. The car kind of pulled itself off the highway and toward village center.

I found a great parking spot behind a castle and near a forest. It was a quiet Sunday morning as I wandered into the center of the village. I found buildings which had stones on them from the 1500 and 1600s. Near one was a café with outdoor seating. The air was crisp, but the sun was shining and a calm breeze was blowing. It was a perfect morning to sit outside and enjoy a bit of tea and light lunch.

After lunch I strolled through the village and found a gorgeous church. It seemed all the original entrances were closed and locked but I heard the most beautiful choir singing as I walked past taking pictures. The building was beautiful as were the buildings surrounding it. I continued my stroll on cobbled streets to the village gates to see the harbor.

Zaltbommel (52)As I headed back toward the car I saw a cemetery. I love cemeteries. Most of them have very calming, peaceful energy. Two people were talking at the gate of this one so I chose to not enter but walked the forest path around the cemetery. The sun shined brightly through the trees as colorful leaves and acorns fell around me. I saw the most beautiful ancient tree in the back of the cemetery. The kind of tree you just want to hug. Since I couldn’t go into the cemetery, I found a tall, old tree on the path to lean against, ground myself, and draw power from. I took the most beautiful selfie by that tree as the sun beams swirled around me.

When I felt the energy had grounded enough for me to move on, I headed back to Ammerzoden and took a walk into the village to again light candles in the chapel. Lighting candles was becoming a peaceful routine for me. It gave me extra time to be still and think about the trip, my life, where I had been and where things were headed. And, most importantly, make another wish that I hope someday comes true.

In the evening I stood outside my B&B as the almost full moon rose above the fields. Full moons have power and allow us to let go of things and accept new things into our lives. As I stood under that moon making wishes and declaring intentions and releasing things that no longer served me, old stories surfaced. I ended up going back inside to write a story about a past life and another great love. Maybe it was a sign that someday a great love will show up in this life.

© 2020 Ancestral Souls

 

 

 

The last three plus years, as I’ve navigated the life of being a single mom, business woman navigating uncharted territories, and becoming more spiritually aware, there have been times I’ve felt frustrated and lonely. Frustrated because no one is doing the kind of work I am and therefore I have no one to ask if there is an easier way. Lonely because the more I tap into my intuition, listen to the soldiers, or see signs (numbers, coins, feathers, etc.) and pay attention to my dreams, the more I see people walking out of my life. You see, a lot of people think those of us who communicate with anyone or anything on the “other side” must be crazy. We are all different. And all human. I think we should learn to honor and respect each other as humans with differences.

Mathilde and Jennifer (2)

Mathilde and Jennifer sitting on the bench the 1st Division soldiers used during the war.

On this trip to Europe however, I was surrounded by people who understood me. Some didn’t quite believe all the things I did, but kept an open mind. I was finding my tribe. One such woman who totally understood me was Mathilde Schmetz, who runs the Remember Museum (M&M Museum) with her husband Marcel.

I spent a few hours with Mathlide and Marcel and my friend Ralph on Saturday 17 October. It was not enough time to hear all Mathilde’s stories about the soldiers in the museum or really absorb the amount of materials there. I did however, get to sit on the bench at the table the 1st Division Soldiers used during the war! Mathilde and I took a photo together there. Needing more time at the museum, I returned on 19 October before driving to Ammerozden, Netherlands, where I was to stay two weeks.

The morning of 19 October was drizzly and a bit foggy when I set off from Simpelveld, Netherlands back to Thimister-Clermont to the Remember Museum. Thank God for GPS because I was stopped on one road less than 5 km from the museum due to tractors blocking the road. Turning around I had to try two different roads before I ended up on one that was not taking me in a circle and heading in the general direction of the museum. The adventure felt a little like my soldiers were taking me on a journey so they could see places they fought.

Along the way I hit a bad patch of road and the car bumped. I hoped nothing had happened to the tires as I continued toward the museum. Upon arrival, Mathilde greeted me with a big hug and coffee. We talked a lot about the soldiers and how they talk to us. She agreed we must keep their memories alive and teach

Bobby Bell, Jennifer, Mathilde, and Lou Aske.

Bobby Bell, Jennifer, Mathilde, and Lou Aske.

others how to do it and pass along their stories. She completely understood all the “crazy” things I told her. After some conversation she said she would take me to Henri-Chapelle Cemetery to meet Bobby Bell, the superintendent. I had not made it there on Saturday.

Bobby Bell and Lou Aske were very excited about the work I am doing and the research books I wrote. I’m so grateful for Mathilde for taking me there because they have a good relationship with the Museum. I didn’t spend much time in the cemetery, even though I had a long list of men to visit. It was lunchtime and the skies were still promising rain, so I visited one soldier and we headed back to the museum.

Over a warm lunch of soup and bread in Mathilde’s cozy kitchen, she, Marcel and I talked about the war. Then it was time for a short visit back to the museum. I was able to see the entire museum but not spend enough time there. You really need an entire day or more to see it, hear the stories Mathlide tells, and just be present there.

99th Infantry Division uniform.

99th Infantry Division uniform.

99th Infantry Division soldier William Markin.

99th Infantry Division soldier William Markin.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Everywhere you turn there is a photo of another soldier from the war. Often, you will see a photo of him when he was an old man at home or visiting the museum. What researchers may not understand is museums like this are full of research possibilities. Examining the photos and documents available in the exhibits and carefully viewing details within the exhibits can add a lot to research or a soldier’s story.

When it was time to leave the museum for my 1.5 hour drive to Ammerzoden, I realized that tour of the Belgian countryside my soldiers took me on, resulted in a flat tire.

My FIRST flat tire ever! And it happened in Belgium! HA!

Thankfully Marcel was able to help me get it aired up and patched so I could make the trek to Ammerzoden where I was then able to replace it the next day. I was also feeling a bit tired and as if a cold was coming on.

I suspect the soldiers knew it would be an inconvenience for me to deal with the tire, but they had some lessons to teach. And teach they did. I was a willing student.

If you are ever in Belgium near Henri-Chapelle cemetery, you must visit the Remember Museum. Be sure to plan several hours there to take it all in. You will not regret it.

Remember Museum (13)

Remember Museum (1)

© 2020 Ancestral Souls

 

 

 

Have you ever felt the energy crackling and happy, as if you knew the person you were about to meet would change your life? Or perhaps they were some long lost lover or best friend you had not seen in lifetimes? The more our awareness increases and vibration raises in love and light rather than darkness, the more attuned we become to the energies around us. Paying attention to these different energies can prepare us for meetings with new people. I had experiences like this on both my trips to Europe in 2015. An important one for my fall trip was on 17 October.

My friend Mark, had arranged for me to meet Helen Patton. Mark felt Helen and I had a lot in common and the projects we had would fit well together. When Mark arranged the meeting, the energy moved in such a way as if to say, ‘Your best friend has returned! Yay!!!’

This meeting was a last minute change to my itinerary before I flew to Europe. As I stated in an earlier post, I went with the flow for this trip. The change required me to skip visiting the Ardennes and Henri-Chapelle Cemeteries and miss meeting two Belgian MIA researchers. There are times when the universe says, ‘DO THIS NOT THAT,’ and magical things happen when we listen. Interestingly, 17 October was my final morning in Bastogne, a place very important to my heart, for reasons that only now make sense.

Jen and Helen Patton 17 Oct 15

Jennifer Holik and Helen Patton
exchanging books we created.

My friend, Doug, whom I had spent 15 October with at the Sauer River Crossing sites, would meet me earlier in the morning for coffee and then we would meet Helen at Le Mess. I was able to sleep in and enjoy a leisurely breakfast before checking out of Hotel Melba and making my way to the Tank in Bastogne to meet Doug. As I departed the hotel I spoke with Helen, who had to push our meeting from 11:00 to noon. That gave me approximately 1.5 hours to chat with her before I had to leave for the Remember Museum near Henri-Chapelle.

Have you stopped to think about how slow time moves when we are children and how quickly it moves when we are adults. I had 1.5 hours to speak with Helen, and in that time we needed to get to know each other and talk about projects. It might seem like a short time but was exactly what we needed.

I was able to leave Bastogne for the Remember Museum before 2:00 p.m. where I was going to meet another Facebook friend and visit the museum. Helen and I accomplished a lot in that short amount of time and gave each other a lot to think about. A working relationship had been formed. And most importantly, it was enough time for her to decide to re-arrange her schedule the week of 26 October and attend two of my talks in the Netherlands.

Now the question was, what other exciting things would happen on my trip. This was only day 4! I still had more than two weeks left of my trip.

© 2020 Ancestral Souls