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Volume 6 Issue 11

By Co-Owner: Bonnie Meier

For the last several years Lee and Bonnie Meier have been working on a book entitled Letters from Ralph, A Soldier Writes Home During World War II. Well, it is finally finished. We received the first copy of the book on December 17. We have just ordered several more to sell at the store. In the meantime, Juliana has started a blog for us at the address above (lettersfromralph.com). Please check this out and write a comment so that I can learn how to answer and correspond on the blog.

The books can be ordered through the store. The cost is $39.95 plus shipping, if they need to be shipped. I have to explore the best and most efficient way to do that yet. This is a hard cover, 243 page book with several pictures and maps. It contains all the letters that Ralph wrote home to his parents before, during and after the war with narrative between the letters explaining what the world was really like at that time. The book is also currently available on the Lulu website and in about six weeks will also be available over Amazon.com and in electronic format. Ralph Mouw was a college professor at Northwestern College. He retired at the end of 1983 after working at the college for 36 years. Upon retirement he was presented a large book, several inches thick, filled with letters from former students who felt that Ralph had a positive influence on their lives. I will be quoting from these letters in the blog. I think you will enjoy hearing from many of his former students.


Dutch Facts
By Co-Owner: Bonnie Meier

Last month I shared some information that came from the Viking Daily, our little newsletter aboard a Viking River Cruise ship. I said that I’d save some information to share in this newsletter. Today I’m going to quote some facts from the newsletter that is entitled “At a glance: The history of the Netherlands.”

  • Amsterdam was once a maze of lakes, swamps and peat at or below sea level; the oldest archaeological finds date from Roman times, but there is virtually no evidence of a settlement.
  • In the Middle Ages, the entire region consisted of autonomous duchies and counties. Even though a Spanish monarchy ruled the area, the merchants of this seaside region were busy trading herring, wool and furniture – and amassing their wealth.
  • The Dutch East India Company grew their wealth from spice trade with India and Indonesia, and ships sailed as far away as today’s Sri Lanka to establish colonies.
  • Perhaps seeing the potential for power, Prince William of Orange led a rebellion against the Spanish crown in 1568, beginning what would become the Eighty Years’ War. With the 1648 Peace of Westphalia, The Netherlands won independence. In the years following, it built a vast overseas empire and became the world’s leading maritime power.

These were all facts form our newsletter, however, in our guided walking tour of Amsterdam, our guide told us that the Netherlands was the richest country in the world at one time and that’s why they had so many famous artists. Photography hadn’t been invented yet and people wanted their portraits done so that was one reason for the number of artists. Also, the country could afford to let artists be creative. It’s hard to believe this little country could be so rich. Today it is so liberal that more conservative people are moving to Portugal and other countries. It is legal to buy drugs as soon as you are 18. Growing up in a conservative Dutch community it is hard to believe we have the same heritage as those living in the Netherlands today.

I’ll share more Dutch facts in January’s newsletter.


Pre-Invventory Sale
By Co-Owner: Bonnie Meier

After four years in business we are starting to catch on to what it means to take inventory. Last year we spent the whole month of January counting things. This year, we would like to count fewer things so; as a result, we are having a huge sale just before the New Year. We are starting with our bead section. On Friday, December 26, all beads and findings will be 50% off. This will be a one-day sale. The next day, December 27, all sewing notions, including Gutterman thread and DMC floss will be 50% off. That is while supplies last. We are trying to whittle our inventory down, so if something is gone, we will not order new until after January 1. The next week Monday, December 29, all quilting supplies will be 50% off and the next day, Tuesday, December 30, all knitting yarn and supplies will be 50% off. The last day of the pre-inventory sales will be Wednesday, December 31. At that time all disc golf items and most of the Dutch food will be 50% off. We only take 50% off once a year, so take advantage of it.


Interesting Customers
By Co-Owners: Bonnie Meier

Many of our most interesting customers reach us by phone. This week a lady from Glasco, Kansas called and asked if we had some little recipe books that the Orange City Woman’s Club put together over 30 years ago. I had forgotten all about them, but I did have five copies that my Grandmother had given me years ago. In fact there are two different versions. One was printed in 1984 and I couldn’t find a date on the other one. Does anyone out there know anything about the Federated Women’s Club of Orange City, Iowa? I know my grandmother used to belong to it. Is it still in existence? I asked a few people who came in the store, and they are pretty sure that it is no longer viable. I’m thinking of combining the two books and producing a new one, giving the Women’s Club credit. The part I like best is a quote from the 1984 book that says, “A hardy fare is preferred by the Dutch for more reasons perhaps than good taste and nourishing qualities. The town of Oudewater has a large scale, a reminder of how those 16th century women suspected of being witches were condemned to be burned if found underweight!” Don’t you love it (for all my friends out there who are a little overweight).


Perusing our guest book
By Co-Owner: Bonnie Meier

Since our last newsletter we have had people sign our guest book from North Dakota, New Hampshire, South Dakota, Florida, Minnesota and all over Iowa. We have a comment section in our guest book and one person is looking for a two-bucket cider press. Anyone know where we could get one? If so, give us a call at 712-737-8920 or e-mail us at bonnie@jubon.biz.