Wedding Gifts

May 6, 2009

In the little town of Orangeville there lived a group of Reformed settlers that dated back to the prehistoric era. Hundreds of years ago their forefathers were very disappointed with the religious state of the Netherlands so they split off from the church and moved to North America to start their own colony. It was a quaint little town with three bakeries, twelve churches, and miles of clothesline.

On the north side of the town, up on the hill, two blocks away from the park, next to the bakery, there lived an old shrew by the name of Ms. Greta Vanhoek. She was a busy old lady, the president of the local ladies aid, mission volunteer, and part time bus driver. On the 9th of May, 2004 she received the following notification.

Effective on the eleventh day of the month of June in the year 2004, all immigrants who have not yet obtained a Green Card will be forced to leave the country. The only possible way to avoid deportation is to obtain a Green Card by marriage.
Mr. T. Holdsworth
Immigrations Officer

“Oh dear me, what shall I do? Who would want to marry an old Puritan fossil like myself?” cried Ms. Vanhoek in despair. “I can’t leave in the middle of June, my cabbages have just been planted and I can’t let them go to waste.”
At the next Ladies Aid meeting, all the necessary procedures were carried out to elect a new president. Mrs. Corrie Ten Besten was chosen as the new president to fulfill all of the presidential duties. Plans were made to have a bake sale to buy the plane fare for Ms. Vanhoek.
It was a bright and sunny morning when Ms. Vanhoek began setting out items for her yard sale; she could only take a few of her things with her on the airplane. Boxes and boxes of recycled wrapping paper were brought out from the basement along with canning goods, margarine containers, church hats, and her entire Delft Blue china collection. She had put an ad in the local PennySaver, and soon the entire parish showed up on her front lawn; trying to get the best possible bang for their buck.
The day soon waxed older, and by 10 o’clock all the wrapping paper and doilies were purchased. Mr. DeGelder bought the entire collection of coffee spoons for his wife’s upcoming birthday; he paid a hefty $4.50 for the collection. Old Mr. DeBoer managed to convince Ms. Vanhoek to sell her shovels for $2.25. Mrs. Van De Polder convinced her husband Hans to buy an original Van Gogh imitation for $12.00.
“Please Hansie, that would look so nice above the couch in the parlor, right beside the grandfather clock.”
“But Wilhelmina, I have only saved money for taking all the children to Joe’s Greasy Spoon for our 30th anniversary!”

“Then it will be your anniversary present to me!”

“Well, I suppose!”
By 11:30 there was nothing but seven bags of cabbage fertilizer and two church hats that had more feathers than a Peacock.
Coincidentally it was Mr. and Mrs. Verhouten’s anniversary on the same day, and soon Ms. Vanhoek’s front yard was abuzz with people socializing and bargaining. The ladies were discussing the latest gossip while the men complained about taxes and argued whose cow would win the title of Grand Champion at the next county fair. Not long after the festivities had started, Reverend VandeKerk rolled up in his black SUV, pleased to see that his parish had taken his message on thriftiness and community spirit to heart.
Late afternoon came and the crowd starting dispersing. Ms. Vanhoek started cleaning up all the items in her front lawn when a black economy Honda Accord rolled into the laneway and out stepped a middle-aged man, Mr. Pete Brinkerhoff. He began browsing through the remaining items and when he came across the cabbage fertilizer he said, “This is the only stuff my cabbages will ever have, I’ll take all seven bags, how much are they?”
By this time Ms. Vanhoek could hardly breathe; she not only thought he was the most handsome man in all of Dutch Reformed Canada, he also wasn’t wearing a wedding ring; at last she had found an eligible bachelor.
Mr. Brinkerhoff left with a smile on his face, seven bags of cabbage fertilizer, and a phone number in his pocket. The next Friday, he took Ms. Vanhoek out for a lovely dinner at Hamburger Palace. Well, one dinner led to another, a few romantic walks on the beach, and they were ready to say their vows; Mr. Brinkerhoff asked Ms. Vanhoek to marry him.

The townspeople of Orangeville were very happy that Ms. Vanhoek had found her true love and had been able to stay in Canada. Mrs. Ten Besten agreed to a vice presidency in the ladies aid and Reverend VandeKerk wished the married couple blessings for the future. The newlyweds, Mr. and Mrs. Pete Brinkerhoff ,settled down in a cozy cottage with the largest cabbage garden known to man. As for the rest of the town, they knew exactly what to give to the married couple as weddings gifts.

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