I'm staying at a pleasant little AirBnB out in the suburbs of Pumerend, north of Amsterdam and near the more familiar town of Edam. I'm here to see if I can locate any signs of my 9th great grandfather Hendrick Swieringh (1570 - ?). His grandson, Gerrett, migrated to the Colonies around 1655, a young man of 19. They lived in the nearby town of Beemster, which is famous for its aged gouda.
No luck. But a pleasant reception wherever I mention my search. And a very pleasant place to be from, however remotely. The Kirk in Middle Beemster was built in 1622, so is contemporary with my ancestors.
Four hundred years ago the Dutch created the polders of Beemster, an achievement that has received World Heritage status. Today their achievement is threatened by rising sea levels. Virtually all of the Netherlands will be impacted.
Perhaps the disaster in the White House will throw out more paper towels.
These places deserve real protection.