Jelle and Peter were the two youngest brothers in the large family of Pieter Cnossen and Mary Rose Venema thoe Kingma van Douma. Father Pieter had moved from a fairly large farm in Follega to a smaller one in Lemmer. In fact in Follega was not a Christian school. He wanted to give his children a Christian upbringing and in Lemmer was a Christian school. The brothers were good students, but they were not half rascals.
When they got mature, they got in touch with girls in the poulder. It was common to see these girls on Sunday evening. They walked to the polder. Cycling on Sunday was not allowed if you were brought up Christian. It was a custom for a long time, sometimes to keep up a girl to three o’clock in the morning. The parents went to bed, the young remained in the room. A lamp was burned and there was coffee and cake. A real cosy atmosphere. After that the brothers gathered again, and in the night they rode home. They were now cycling because it was Monday. Once home, they began to dress up and they were right on time for milking the cattle.

The brothers have  worked hard their whole live. They both got a farm, too small for a good business. They both got a family and remained close friends. On birthday parties they always sat next to each other. They both smoked tobacco and their pipe was almost never cold. “Tobacco, this precious herb, is grown in distant lands”, was their favorite saying.

When they were old, one 85 and the other 82, they went together on a trip on a plane to Canada and the United States.  In the plane a stewardess provided a good place for the old men. They both walked with a stick and they still smoked tobacco. Many enjoyed their humor.

First they stayed in Canada at Tjipke and Atje Cnossen, Pieers son and Jlle’s nephew and later at their older sister Tjitske house in Buffalo. In this city they also met with Sietze another nephew. The three men liked have a drink, but Sietze’s wife did not allow alcoholic drinks. Sytze then took his guests to the basement, where he had hidden some whiskey in a secret place They came back after some time cheerfully. The brothers have shopped in New York. They wanted to buy a pipe in a very large department store. This was not easy, but suddenly they were approached in the Frisian  language by a saleswoman. A pipe was found soon then.

Throughout their lives, the brothers were faithful churchgoers. The Christian faith meant a lot to them. On a specific Sunday they went with their family to a church where a pastor Cnossen was the preacher. Because they both were quite deaf, they were allowed to sit in the front row. They attended the beginning and end of the service consciously.  But during the sermon they were sleeping. They will be forgiven.

When they were both old (almost 90) I took the brothers in my car to Lemmer. They very slowly, with stick and pipe, walked through the streets of this pretty village., saying  “Remember that you  there fell through the ice and you’re almost drowned?” “Remember when we sat at the table behind the girls in this narrow street”? They would like to look at the church where they sat on Sundays.  They sat there a while in the former family bank of the Cnossens.

They died, one 91, the other 94 years old. They now live in the world of the Eternal. They were an example to us.

 Pieter Cnossen †, Winterswijk.