I didn’t abandon Theresa or the Paake/Pake/Peek/Paak family. Here is George, Theresa’s father.
When Theresa was sixteen or seventeen, her father wrote her a letter. (Note that the spelling of the surname for George that I settled on is not one used further on in this post).
He wrote it in Dutch, but Theresa no longer could read or speak Dutch. Professor Lawrence introduces the translation he had prepared of the original letter:
The mention of the floods reminds me of a book I read when I was a child. The Little Ark, by Jan De Hartog, was the story of two children caught up in a horrific flood in Holland. I remember that the book seemed to be an adult book, although it was about children. It was very realistic, but like a good “adventure story,” it gave me confidence that if I were faced with a similar situation I could use my wits to survive.
Professor Van Zeitoff who translated for Professor Lawrence gave him the information to prepare this “glossary” for some of the first names, surnames, and geographical names associated with the family.
Most of my knowledge of The Netherlands comes from my early education and the books I read that romanticized Dutch culture. The book Hans Brinker, or The Silver Skates, by Mary Mapes Dodge, is one of those books. She was an American writer and at the time she wrote the book she had never even visited Holland. Part of the romance of the culture was the threat of flooding and the significance of the dikes.
What I want to know is why we never hear on the news about these Dutch floods? Is there technology today that prevents these floods from occurring?