Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Dutch Valentine stamps.
A Monastery brother painted this icon of St. James. Be doers of the word, not only listeners" is written on his parchment roll.
A heap of nice icon cards.
Letters from brother Ole. throughout the years it's become a trunk full.
The nice drawing of two apples and the cards.

Valentine is long gone. At least 3 days gone. The stores have sales on heart, cards and special chocolate & flowers.
I first thought I might be too late writing about Valentine post festum.
Then it struck me that if love - all kinds of love- shall be limited to a one day season, we are in deep trouble.
Paul spoke about love like no one before or after him..
The Greatest Gift
1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.

I have only one brother in the flesh. I certainly love him.
I also have a brother Ole, a Benedictine monk. Living in a monastery in the Netherlands. He is also dear to me. I have known him for 40 years, followed his ups and downs and seen him finding his place in God's garden. He's given up all his worldly goods, even his family farm, to become a Benedictine brother. Yet he loves his books and works as a librarian and a gardener in the Monastery. Lately he's also taken up icon painting. These days they are having a major indoor remodeling of the buildings. Lots of things has to be thrown away. Brother Ole know about my interests too, so he's saving cards, old calendars, an icon, a drawing to be sent to me. "I know you are a collector," he writes. I find his consideration a nice gesture. He makes me feel seen and remembered.
I'd rather have these gifts from his heart than things that anyone can buy.
Only the stamps have to be returned to brother Frans. He's also a collector.



maryt/theteach said...

You are surrounded by the love of people close to you Felisol! You are lovable! Happy Ruby Tuesday! :)

Eaton Bennett aka Berenice Albrecht said...

Felisol, this is a beautiful Ruby Tuesday post. I think your quote from the New Testament is a most important piece of scripture. It is sometimes hard to love as Jesus does, our humanity gets in the way. Nonetheless, I believe that scripture with all my heart.

The stamps and icons are lovely and to have a friend for all those years is a gift from God.

Eaton. :)

Did you get my email? I hope so! There is absolutely no hurry to reply, just hoping you received it.

Ralph said...

These are keepsakes, the measure of love for someone special. The Biblical passage from Paul is timely. It's not that Valentine's day is an artificial holiday, but that we should be reminded of the love of those close to us is ongoing, that we must emphasize our feelings of love always. This is a timely and great post!

Carletta said...

I love the stamps, the icons, the quotes, but most of all I love your sincere love of sharing with us those things you hold most dear in your heart. You make us 'feel.'
I always leave here with a happier heart.
Blessings Felisol!

eastcoastlife said...

I collect stamps. Every one of them is precious to me as they remind me of the love of the senders.

Have lovely days filled with love, Felisol.

dot said...

Nice to have such keepsakes. Lovely post!

Anonymous said...

A lovely post. Thank you!


Anonymous said...

Beautiful collection saved through time and love.

John Cowart said...

"If love - all kinds of love- shall be limited to a one day season, we are in deep trouble".

I agree.

It's never too late to love.

Felisol said...

Dear teach Mary,
yes I am feeling blessed.

Dear Eaton,
I agree, friends are the most precious gift.
I also agree with Paul; if you don't have love, you have nothing.

I did get your lovely mail. I tried to post a little something on your blog today, but three times it rejected me.
I certainly will answer you as soon as possible

Dear Ralph,
this lot on the picture is only a little part f brother Ole's Valentine gift for me this year.
I find it so sweet that he finds way of giving me something special without having money.
I guess the heart always finds its ways.
I've read til my tears fell on John C's blog today.
A wonderful, true love story.

Dear Carletta,
your words make me happy in and outside.
If I can share my joy with fellow bloggers; I guess, that's the greatest gift of all.
You now I originally started blogging to write about the wrongs of the world. They are many. But every time I sit down to write something the blessings I have experienced are overwhelming my "angry side".
I've got to share what's on my mind, don't you think?

Dear East Coast Life,
I send my stamps back to brother Frans, that makes him happy.
The letters and postcards I'm keeping.
I feel badly about throwing letters away.
Like throwing a gift.

Dear dot and Paz,
thank you for sharing my joy.

Dear Kitchen Maus,
these are expects from one single package.
I'd bore you if I should display all the gifts from Brother Ole.
It would fill a whole blog.

Dear John C,
got to thank you once more for the beautiful, moving love story you shared.
I think you've caught the essence of love, with a glimpse in one eye and a tear drop in the other.

From Felisol

Eaton Bennett aka Berenice Albrecht said...

Sorry my blog comment thing is being difficult, I sometimes find that problem on blogs I visit too. A Blogger problem I guess. :)

Amrita said...

Love this post of your Felisol.

Oh I would love the peaceful enviroment of a monastary.Brother Ole is blessed.

Icon paintings have a holy and spiritual aura around them.They just add beauty to a room.Have you framing the icons?

I also like old things.

You know, the crochet blanket on my post...I saw something similar on the post you did about your Dad.You are lying on a blanket which looks similar.

Gattina said...

Wonderful red items for Valentine's day ! Your brother certainly has found his way if he retreated in a monaster. It surprised me that it is in Holland as most of the people there are protestants.

Mojo said...

Sweet photos, and a wonderful message!

Unknown said...

I enjoyed reading about the love of both your brothers, in particular.

You know, you are so right that if we only celebrate love on this one day, we are indeed in trouble. I believe it's a sort of tribute to our relationships (whomever with) if the day is acknowledged but passes like an ordinary day.

I love the cards and postage stamps. Very pretty post in so many ways.

All the love,
Pagan Sphinx

Rose said...

Loved this post!

Anonymous said...

Treasures all. My mother collected stamps and would have really appreciated these.
Hugs and blessings,

EG CameraGirl said...

It's never too late to write about love.

he Netherlands stamps are such fun, aren't they? How nice to have a good friend there. A friendship that goes back 40 years is a treasure!

Unknown said...

Love certainly is a year round kind of thing..you are blessed to have your brothers.

Jim said...

Felisol, this is a wonderful RT post. Thank you for sharing your 'brothers' with us. It is good that Ole found his place in life. I have had a few thoughts to doing what he did, Mrs. Jim thinks I am not very serious. How could I be married?

You were a cute tyke sitting with your Dad. He sounded nice. I remember your dealings with his car.

I am sitting out on RT and a lot of other things. My sister and BIL are still here from Iowa. They will start back fairly this morning.
Oh yes, I remember the remnants of your 'protest blog.' Glad you changed your tune!

Constance said...

My Husband Dave at first glance, doesn't come across as very romantic but deep down inside, he is. He shows me every day how much he loves me and it's not with poetry, flowers or dances. He told me that "if people reserve one day out of the year to express their love, their marriages are in big trouble". So here's to Valentine's Day, every day!

I loved your sepia pictures in the previous post! What an awesome dad you have!


Debbie Petras said...

So interesting Felisol to learn about your brother. I think love is most important; it's a gift of the heart. And oh so much better than money can buy. So true; the greatest is love. A big hug to you and a belated happy Valentine's Day.

Patti said...

Yes, love cannot be limited to one holiday in February!
You've shared such nice sentiments here, Felisol. I also love your collections of stamps and icons, and learning about your loving brother.

I did get a small chocolate heart for 75 percent off today ;-D

Happy belated Ruby Tuesday from here in rainy Connecticut.

Crown of Beauty said...

Dear Felisol,
This post with all its beautiful pictures moved my heart. I also was so touched by your picture on the next post. Am I right to assume that the girl on the photo is you? And the poem is so lovely, a poem I studied in college when I was doing Literary Studies...

You have a soft and tender heart, I can sense it from reading your posts and seeing the pictures you put. I have been reading your blog for several months already.

I do not mean to flatter anyone, that is not my style, but though I cannot visit your blog everyday (that's because i try to schedule my blog visits and give my friends equal time as much as possible, to be a good steward of my time, and not stay the whole day on the internet!), each time I visit, there is a sense of excitement.

Do you know that my husband's nephew has married a Filipina girl whose father is a Norwegian? Her family name is Olsen. And she IS beautiful. Their daughter is a beauty, a Euroasian. Very good combination.

Maybe we will not meet in this life, but I will look forward to being with you in heaven.

You will surely have a mansion that is full of all the art work you love, and all the poetry books to fill your days for all eternity!

Have a blessed day, Felisol.