Thursday, July 31, 2008

Life lessons among the blueberries?

Odd title for this entry? All will be revealed...

We went to Cranberry Cottage a day earlier than we normally do last weekend. Friends are staying at a campsite near us and we had them come for the day on Friday. One of the things the men do each summer is pick blueberries.

This year, the women decided to tag along. I picked with Jos last year often and enjoyed it so my girlfriend wanted to try it too. There were many berries ripe while there are many more to go back for more.

It was so very hot that day but we set to work...

We brought home a bucket full of blueberries and a small container of red currants. I froze some of the blueberries to enjoy in the winter season.

Soon we will be picking these blackberries but they still need a few weeks in the sun. Now speaking of the was just baking down on us so I finally thought it best to give up and get myself out of the sun. I told the men we were going across the street to a shop to cool off.

Now for 4 years, I have passed this shop and never bothered to go in as I thought I wouldn't find anything there being a rotan (wicker furniture) shop. It does not look all that interesting from the outside and I don't buy any wicker furniture after watching my cats destroy some pretty chairs we used to have. Remember the saying 'Don't judge a book by its cover'? This has proved to be very true here! We were greeted by the owner as soon as we stepped foot in the front door and said we just wanted to browse. A moment later, he asked us if we would like a cup of coffee or tea. I said tea would be nice to the shock of my girlfriend who is not used to the hospitatility of people in the north of Holland. She felt like she was imposing. She was later glad I did say yes as we were sat at one of the beautiful tables for sale in the showroom and enjoyed a little refreshment. Doesn't the cookie look fun and it tasted so wonderful too.

I wanted to drink up and get shopping as I worried the men would show up too fast. They were among the blueberries in a panic that we took off to shop after all. Little did I know that a little shopping angel was watching over us that day. The men did show up not long after and the owner showed them to a set of outdoor chairs in front of the shop and made them fresh coffee while we continued to shop.

Oh heavenly bliss! The owners of this shop have used an English country style theme with their rotan instead of the normal Eastern exotic theme. It was just the most wonderful shop that to my very surprise was full of the most wonderful accessories. We literally did not know where to look next.

This framed portrait of Willem of Orange is now living with me. My girlfriend bought it for me as a gift.

The owners also sell pretty Dutch oak furniture and each piece is accessorized in the showroom to make it look like a house.

I love these Victorian look lampshades and never did get around to asking if he sells them seperately or only with the lamp itself.

If you would like to see more of this shop, check out the website here. If you are ever in the village of Wilhelminaoord in the north of Holland, it is most certainly worth the stop. I have learned that you should not judge a shop (oops book) by 'its cover' or you could be missing out on something really great.

Alas, we had to stop shopping and pay for our treasures so we could go home and put our own shoes by the fireside just like the photo. By the way, this pretty vase also came home to live with me. Can you see me smiling?


Linda said...

Hi Heidi...what a charming shop and gracious shop owner. Tea and cookies plus sweet treasure made for the end of a perfect day. Hugs, Linda

Nancy said...

That cookie looks too good to eat.
I bet the guy who owns this shop was happy to see you and Sonja come in. He was smart to give you tea, and even smarter to get Jos outside drinking coffee. LOL. We all know Jos. Sounds like you had one fun day anyway.
Love you, Mom

Melissa said...


That shop is gorgeous. I have been to Holland and once bought a pair of clumpens (sp?) or wooden clogs there.

I loved them, however, I gave them away many years ago.

Looks like you had fun.


Mandie said...

That looks like a really neat little shop! I love Ratan furniture! It is so much nicer than it used to be :) Those blueberries you picked looked yummy too! Were they as sweet tasting as they looked? Love you!


countrygirl3031 said...

Heidi...what a wonderful shop. And to be served tea and cookies...yum! The blueberries looked yummy too!


Andylynne said...

All that and Blueberries too! Looks like you had a wonderful day. In the past I have cast a jaundiced eye to the shops my mother likes to frequent. She's formal, I'm primitive. But over the years I have found wonderful items in the "upscale" shops she prefers. So I have learned not to look down my nose at her prefered type of store.
I love the fact she gave you coffee and a cookie, that is wonderful. And keeping the men happy. and plied with coffee is good marketing stratgey LOL. It is a far cry from some of the stored in the states that act as if thier doing you a favor even being open. Let alone treating you as if your a valued person come to call. Your shope owner has a special gift. Isn't it delightful that you found such a great place.
As an aside, just exactly what is the deal with wicker being the cat magnet???!!! They leave my baskets alone and the bamboo. Oh well what lurks in furry minds shall most likely remain a mystery.

Ragged Roses said...

I can see your smile!!! What a wonderful shop and how lovely to find that kind of hospitality too. I love blueberries (Little Sister devours them) and keep meaning to buy a plant for the garden. Hope you enjoyed yours. It sounds like you're having a good summer

Dena ~ swaddlecottage said...

Hi Heidi,

I love that you can pick your own berries, what a sweet treat that must be and what a wonderful shop! Hope you are having a great weekend :)


Kimberly said...

How lovely! What a wonderful surprise.

Mia said...

Sounds like you have had a wonderful blueberry picking slash shopping spree! Is it not just lovely to discover a new shop unexpectedly and find that the it is just to your liking.

Have you had any luck at finishing any of your quilting so far this summer? I have not done much at all (blame the hot weather) except to sew on my pink hexagon quilt in the shade of the parasol. My blue and white kitchen towel quilt is still nowhere near to be finished, but seeing that the weather has changed here and the days are cooler and wetter I still may have a change to finish it.

Janneke said...

Hi Heidie,
What a perfect day you had with the unexpected "surprise shop"!
And all these blueberries... mmmmm, Yammie. It is nice to hear that you had such a lovely time at Blueberrie, oops sorry: Cranberriecottage. I am also happy to be blogging again after our holiday. Hugs, Janneke.

Pondside said...

Yes indeed, Heidi - I can see you smiling! I enjoyed visiting that little shop with you.
I also like to save some of the summer berries as a treat for winter - blueberry muffins or coffee cake on a February morning - yummy!

Mary said...

So glad you enjoyed discovering this shop and were made so welcome.

Like your purchases Heidi, and those fresh blueberries will be enjoyed many ways I'm sure. We love them too and lately they have been really plump and good - however the little wild ones probably have much more flavor. Red currants, yum, we don't get those here but used to love them, and especially, black currants, when living in England.
Hugs - Mary.