Dancing in Heaven receives glowing first international review


Those of you who regularly follow my blog will know that I recently sent a copy of Annie’s story dancing across the ocean to the small country of the Netherlands where my blogging friend Marion waited with open arms.

This morning I sat at my computer intent on posting a blog I had written yesterday about motherhood, but first I checked my email. That’s where I found out that Marion has finished Dancing in Heaven and written an absolutely heart-breaking review of the book. It continues to both surprise and validate me when readers are able to put into words what I had hoped to write. Marion has done this.

I hope you have a minute to stop over and read the conclusion to our ongoing series about Dancing in Heaven‘s trip to the Netherlands.

Dancing in Heaven

Posted on June 7, 2012 by Marion Driessen at Figments of a Dutchess

“As I turned the last page, tears were streaming down my face. Happy that sweet little Annie was finally able to dance in heaven, no longer hampered by the prison that her body had been for her sparkling and merry mind. Sad that her radiant smile was now only a memory.” Continue

Photo courtesy of Marion Driessen at Figments of a Dutchess June 7, 2012

This was a fun and rewarding adventure for me and Annie’s story. If you missed any of the posts you can find them below.

Thank you Marion. You’re a terrific writer and friend.

The Netherlands, a little country in big water

From http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0107824.html

Since Dancing in Heaven is now in the Netherlands, or Holland, (Can someone explain the name to me?) I thought you might like to learn a little bit more about the country from an insider.

Here are two former posts from Marion on Figments of a Dutchess. They give interesting information about Holland.

The first is from February of this year. Marion writes, “Here in Holland, a century old fever is starting to rise. If first appeared in 1909, a fever that grows more severe with every frosty day. The colder it gets, the higher the Dutch fever flares. It is called the Elfstedentocht-fever. . .” read more.

The second is from January and speaks to the precarious geography the inhabits of Holland find themselves in, and makes me wonder if perhaps I should have put Dancing in Heaven in a waterproof container. . .

Marion writes, “Last week, Holland was in a high state of alert: due to a storm and onshore winds, the dikes of the northern provinces were about to be breached by the rough seas. The water relentlessly pushed towards the shores, so the excess water could not be pumped back to keep our feet dry. Animals had to be taken to safety, houses flooded and things looked grim for a while. . .read more.

I think you’ll find these two short posts informative and interesting—offering another perspective of life in a distant country. The second one contains a little international surprise (not particularly pleasant) at the end for my American friends. At least it surprised me.

For more information on Holland you can check out http://www.government.nl/ — the main English-language news site for the Dutch government, including a daily E-zine.

From http://www.government.nl/

Dancing in Heaven arrives!

I can’t wait until morning. It’s 2:45 p.m. here in Ohio and 8:45 p.m. in the Netherlands.

If you never click on another link I post, I do hope you’ll click on this one now.

Dancing in Heaven is dancing in Holland

Gosh, after reading her post, I think I might cry.

I sent my copy of Dancing in Heaven to Marion at Figments of a Dutchess almost exactly one week ago. The US Post Office, and other international postal services, came through. I’ll be posting more about the Netherlands later so we can all see where Dancing in Heaven has found a new home.


Photo courtesy of Marion Driessen at Figments of a Dutchess.

Thank you, Marion, for reading Annie’s story.

Your friend across the ocean,


Marion waits for Dancing in Heaven in the Netherlands

 I wrote in yesterday’s post that Marion in the Netherlands is eagerly awaiting the arrival of Dancing in Heaven, as you can see from her blog post today “A book dancing across the ocean” at Figments of a Dutchess. I hope you’ll visit her over there in the Netherlands, but if you don’t make it to Marion’s blog, here is a short excerpt:

“The love Christine has for her sister is present in every word, and those words reach out to others, to me. So when Christine asked me if I wanted to receive a copy of Dancing in Heaven, I was delighted. She wrote about what happened next in the humorous post Dancing in Heaven dances across the ocean. Dancing in Heaven needs to be read – to be heard – throughout the world. And its first journey across the ocean will end in the tiny Netherlands. Awesome!

So now I’m in my hallway, keeping an eye on the front door. Waiting for Dancing in Heaven to land in my hands.”

Photo by Marion Driessen at Figments of a Dutchess

Marion is probably going to have to wait from 7 to 13 days including weekends, for my book to get into her hands. I hope she has a chair.

I wondered how exactly my book will travel to get there. So I did a little online research.

I googled: “What happens to my package when I send it overseas?

Google replied with several choices that included:

The US Post Office official site

The US Post Office FAQs

How to find a lost package.

How to recover a package lost in the mail.

How to fill out the US Post Office customs form.

What happens if the post office lost my package?

All this talk about lost packages was starting to make me nervous. So I changed tactics.

I googled: “Sending a package to the Netherlands

Google responded with:

USPS  – Country conditions for mailing.

I looked into this link and found the following interesting information (there was more information that wasn’t so interesting):


Articles sent for commercial purposes will not be admitted unless the addressee has obtained an import permit

Cigarettes or tobacco products will be admitted only if they are sent from one private individual to another without any compensation or payment and if the package contains no more than 800 cigarettes, 400 cigars, or 1 kilogram (approximately 2.2 lbs.) of shag or cigarette tobacco.

Meat or meat products (including poultry and wild game) and milk or milk products cannot exceed 1 kilogram (approximately 2.2 lbs.), and any such products must be accompanied by a veterinary certificate issued by the responsible official authority from the country of origin.

Value Limit:

The maximum value of a GXG shipment to this country is $2,499 or a lesser amount if limited by content or value

Size Limits:

The surface area of the address side of the item to be mailed
must be large enough to completely contain the Global
Express Guaranteed Air Waybill/Shipping Invoice (shipping
label), postage, endorsement, and any applicable markings.
The shipping label is approximately 5.5 inches high and
9.5 inches long.

Maximum length: 46 inches
Maximum width: 35 inches
Maximum height: 46 inches
Maximum length and girth combined: 108 inches

(Source of this information: http://pe.usps.com/text/imm/mo_022.htm Restrictions)

I realized I was off on a tangent, so I pulled it back together and googled: “USPS Package Handling.”

I got a YouTube link as a response.

Not a confidence builder.

Somewhere in my wild goose chase, I found a link to Netherlands Mailing address formats . . ., a worldwide -parcel services company from the UK sending parcels to the Netherlands, and a site comparing Shipito, My US and BongoUs rates, none of which I have any familiarity with, but perhaps should look into. Especially in light of the abundance of USPS lost package links.

I gave up trying to find helpful information about exactly what path my book would travel to get to the Netherlands, and decided to figure it out myself.  I found this world map online (from the University of Texas, reportedly created by the CIA).

You might think that would be easy. But no. The image was a PDF. I opened it in Adobe Acrobat and exported as a jpeg, saving it to my desktop. I opened the jpeg with PhotoShop (Perhaps I could have opened the PDF with PhotoShop? Don’t know. And at this point, don’t care.) Anyway I eventually got it cropped, resized, transferred to Illustrator where I could draw little circles on it. (Again, perhaps I could have done this in PhotoShop?)

And here it is. My first (and possibly last) installment of Dancing in Heaven’s journey across the sea.

Map showing Cincinnati and the Netherlands

I was told it will take 6 to 10 business days for Dancing in Heaven to get from Cincinnati to Marion in the Netherlands. I figure it probably will fly to somewhere on the east coast, perhaps New York City. That flight takes 2 hours and 11 minutes. Then it will fly overseas from there to Amsterdam. The flight from NYC to Amsterdam takes 7 hours and 10 minutes. I don’t know how long it will take to get from Amsterdam to the city where Marion lives. But since the Netherlands is only about half the size of South Carolina, it can’t possibly take that long.

But perhaps there isn’t all that much mail traveling to the Netherlands from the US. So maybe Dancing in Heaven will make a stop in the UK, or France, or Hong Kong for all I know. Without tracking information, I’ll never know. Or maybe Greenland. Greenland is right up there between our two countries.

Regardless, the way I figure it, Dancing in Heaven is going to be spending a lot of time being sorted, traveling in a vehicle from one post office to another, waiting in mail bins, more sorting, waiting at the airport, flying, more sorting, more waiting, etc., until it finally reaches Marion.

Sorry I got a little technical, Marion. Sometimes that engineering side of me won’t be held down.

. . .Just another post, that took way more time than it was worth, from Christine M. Grote who does have better things to do but doesn’t realize it.