Sebastian the Garbage Can

First of all, Emily is back in ICU and needs prayers more than ever. Please visit Rogue’s blog for details.

Many in blogland know Bas of New Life in DD, our Dutch representative who is known by the avatar picture of his brown-and-white dog named Unique.

Today I’d like to tell the story of how Bas came to have a garbage can named after him. A shiny, well-kept, and iconic garbage can. 🙂

As anyone who knows Bas has found out, he has a sense of humor. A heart full of love. And a love for mischief.

When I wrote The Vengeance of Mrs. Claus, I included names of a few members of blogland. Bas was one of them, but (alas!) his character had exactly one line. I didn’t mean for him to be a minor character, but his role of a kindly but no-nonsense next-door neighbor was easy to summarize in one line of dialogue. There is, shall we say, a quintessential Bas quality.

Rather than complain about only having one line, Bas posted the most lovely article about “Klaas and Claus,” which I sometimes go back and read. In truth, I felt embarrassed because his article seemed undeserved when I had only given his character one line.

When I talked to Bas, his response was his usual touch of self-deprecating, understated humor:

That he understood, and he couldn’t expect to play Hamlet his first time on stage.

I resolved, although without telling him, to give his character more lines if I ever wrote a sequel.

Later, when Bas engaged in his usual teasing of me (to be fair, it went both ways), I playfully threatened to name a garbage can after him in my next book. His answer? More quintessential Bas.

That if his fate were to be a garbage can, he would be a garbage can with grace.

And he did. In Lighting the Way, book two of the Kat and Natalie stories, “Sebastian the Garbage Can” is its own chapter. Bas claimed that he got kicked by all of the girls, but it’s not quite true. Kat was afraid of getting in trouble with Natalie, and she took her frustration out on Sebastian the Garbage Can, who was otherwise a much-loved member of their community.

I know it sounds strange, but in the context it makes sense. 🙂

With the upcoming release of Daughter of Discipline, a semi-sequel to The Vengeance of Mrs. Claus, Bas finally gets a real part with real lines. This time, Bas the stern but kindly next-door neighbor plays a significant role in guiding Claire’s well-meaning boyfriend in how to handle a spitfire. He is much better able to do so than Claire’s father, who is ready to tear the boy apart before learning what happened. (A sobbing Claire only gasps her boyfriend’s name without giving context, so naturally her father misunderstands. Not that fathers tend to be rational when it comes to protecting their daughters!)

I didn’t realize until writing this post how often Bas figured in my stories, but then I realized it made sense.

Bas was one who was there for me in the very beginning, who never ceased his support, and who had simple, practical wisdom (as many of us detailed in our Words of Basdom/Spankful for Bas posts). How could he not be a part of what I wrote?

Today, I am grateful that Bas could be in my life. This world is full of special people, and Bas is one of them.

To Bas, Lisa, grandbaby Pixel, Unique, and all of the family members–

You are loved. All around the world, you are loved.

22 thoughts on “Sebastian the Garbage Can

  1. Katie says:

    Bas, is a very special guy, Ana! I feel blessed to have had some interaction with him recently. As unwell as he has been, he still managed to take the time to speak to me, reach out to us and make us feel good. His words, combined with those of Susie’s and Lillie’s long ago, made all the difference to me. They spoke to me and made me look inside myself, see things and make great (though subtle to most) changes. It changed Rob’s and my life. I’m not sure how to ever show how grateful we are.

    There clearly is only one way to move forward. Work hard to make a difference to those who come along. Help them to feel welcome, yet give them the space that they need to form their own friendships, ask their own questions, practice ttwd in the way that works for them, without comparison. but with support, an ear and a hug. That is the Blogland that Bas knows. That is the Blogland that reaches out to people. That is the Blogland where we are free to be ourselves.

    We love you Bas! Yes we do! And I send love and hugs to the cutest couple in Blogland!

    Hugs to you, Ana. And to all of us who love and have learned from such a wonderful man.

    ❤ Katie


    • Anastasia Vitsky says:

      We are so lucky, all of us. I am glad you got to know him as well. You are right that we can continue his legacy by reaching out to others. I read your words and felt your wisdom. It is a good thought.

      They are, indeed, a cute couple. Sending love and hugs to everyone whose life Bas has touched, and to Bas and his family.


  2. PK says:

    Bas just seemed to understand everyone. He never minds telling us when he thinks we’re wrong on something or to admit we might say something to cause him to rethink something. What is better than a man who is intelligent and open minded.


    • Anastasia Vitsky says:

      Bas had a wonderful way of saying a great deal with just a few words..and with a touch of humor to take away the sting of any reproof. Thank you, PK, for encouraging Bas to join blogland and for bringing him to us. Our lives have been much enriched by getting to know him. Holding you in my heart especially today.


  3. catrouble says:

    What an awesome story and lovely tribute about a very special man Ana. Sending prayers and healing energy for Bas, Lisa, grandbaby Pixel, Unique and the rest of their family…and to you also sweet Ana!

    Hugs and Blessings,


    • Anastasia Vitsky says:

      It makes it all the more poignant to go over the revisions of Daughter of Discipline, knowing that these are words he read and approved. He was so happy to have a larger role, and his wisdom was such a help in writing the story. The hardest part is not being able to give anything back. I hope someday, somehow, to get that chance. Hugs to you too, Cat.


  4. minelle says:

    Bas has a unique ability to intuitively know what someone needs. His heart is genuine. He approaches all his friendships with integrity and his intention is always to help. He has reached across the ocean for some of us and we are all better for our love of Bas.


  5. Mona Lisa says:

    Thank you, Ana. Well done. I definitely want to read your new book.
    He will forever have a very special place in my heart.
    I am convinced that he has felt and feel all the love and prayers and thoughts to cope with what he must do.


    • Anastasia Vitsky says:

      Thank you, Mona. He told us, in his last post, that the happiness with Lisa is what prolonged his life. I hope that we were able to give him happiness here. I think, as best as we can do online, that we did.


  6. Viola says:

    Bas is a very special man and I am honoured to have him as a friend.
    I’m sure he is feeling our love.
    Ana, I hug you.


  7. Roz says:

    Thank you Ana, such a lovely tribute to a very special, dear and much loved friend. I am honoured to be able to call him a friend. He has enriched our lives with his presence.

    Much love, prayers and hugs to Bas, Lisa and family and to you also.



  8. Ami says:

    I miss Bas around here so very much. He always knew exactly the right words to say at the right time and in the spirit of the occasion. Your tribute to him is lovely. I am sending prayers and blessings to Bas and his family. He is truly a special man.




  9. Missy says:

    Oh Ana 🙂

    You know Bas got me spanked once lol yes really, coming home late, having had a little to much to drink and as I walked through the door, wanting to be extra quite, I manged to read my comments in my blog, and there it was, as usual a funny comment from my Dutch friend, which of course made me laugh out loud, woke H up, and got spanked for being, drunk, late, and laughing far too loud in the middle of the night. Of course I told him this, and his answer was …… hope you learnt a lesson haha

    I miss him, didn’t know him so well like you all did, but with a few words he captured my soul. He’s a truly kind and wise man 🙂

    Hugs x


    • Anastasia Vitsky says:

      I am sure he knew you needed the lesson. That’s our Bas, never afraid to say someone should get a much-needed lesson. No matter how much it hurt!

      He had a way of making instant friends, whether it was a year or a day. I’m glad you got to know him.


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