Playground early evening; Queenstown, New Zealand
I write this from my husband's birth-place in Queenstown, New Zealand; appropriately enough for the day that I write these words, is his sixty-first birthday. We are celebrating it (as we as a couple have done most years now for the past forty years) with extended family.
This year it is the first birthday without his father, who passed away early spring this year. As his mother has stated a couple of times, we keep expecting any minute to see him appear. It still feels very early days since his death.
I am also missing my mother, who died a year and a half ago. I miss her especially on those occasions when family matters - such as birthdays, anniversaries, Mother's Day, Christmas and New Year.
Thankfully, the strength we have inherited from our parents, stands us in good stead when the time comes to weather the grief of their passing.
Robert's 61st birthday pavlova
our daughter-in-law from Japan made omurice (requested by Robert) for the birthday dinner
Home again and time to look ahead to a new year.
writing desk awaits
New Year's eve wine and Christmas lilies - for me, the smell of these lilies always announce Christmas - New Year more than anything else does
I have high hopes for this new year. (Maybe it'll be a year of striking gold; metaphorically speaking).
Robert, our daughter-in-law and grandchildren, gold-panning in a creek by the Arrow river - more practice than anything else as the chances of finding gold in a subsidiary flow, is unlikely
symbolic - new leaf with gold-seekers in background
Last year was a year of letting go and farewells. Even our cat, Aggie died! (As she was aged 17, she'd had a good run).
We also had to say good-bye to our car, Ruby. Our new car is a white station-wagon we call Shiro - the Japanese word for 'white'. This time I believe the car is a male and I've dubbed it, 'Shiro my Hero'. Because they were parked for a short time beside each other in the car sales yard, I am trusting that Ruby took the opportunity to pass on to Shiro her mantle of a well-behaved and reliable machine. (Yes, Robert thinks I'm crazy too!)
by the Arrow river, Arrowtown, NZ
Another farewell - in June, after they'd spent autumn with us, we bade adieu to our son, his German partner and their baby daughter, when they headed back to Germany. (Thank the good Lord for Skype).
We are now happily transplanted into our new apartment downstairs; our son and family living upstairs.
The close proximity of grandchildren has been a novelty and a delight, even if it has meant letting go of what was previously un-interrupted, long lengths of writing time.
pastel-pink lupin growing wild
I wonder what the year ahead will bring? I'm hoping for some good writing time, whatever form this takes.
I will keep you posted.