I have just seen a photo of our front yard taken a year ago.
And here it is beside one taken today.
The forest has been removed, the deck has been altered, the garden has been replanted, the fence has been relined.
I often feel that I am not achieving much, that things are not being done fast enough, but when I stop and look back on the photos of a year ago I realise we have done a lot!
I stress about the boxes still left to unpack, the ‘mess’ they make stacked up in the kitchen, the front entrance, the hallway.
It really gets me down at times.
I have developed a method of coping with it – turn a blind eye!
But I can only do that for a time and then I ‘see’ it all again and it depresses me.
I just seem to manage to have enough energy to get through the days normalities without adding in sorting stuff.
But then I stop and realise, its only been a year here.
And then I take another step back and think, it’s only been 2 years and 9 months since my world was tipped upside down and the earth exploded beneath my feet.
2 years and 9 months and 9 days.
It seems so long but yet it is such a small amount of time.
And in that time we have done so much.
Admittedly most of the first year was spent in a stunned bubble, the second year running away, and now this third year has been spent putting down new roots, making a new start, building a new normality and trying to make sense of life as it is now.
No wonder this year feels so long and yet so short.
It was a weird day.
Very windy with grey heavy threatening clouds hanging over the hills.
I was on pager all day but it was quiet so I just pottered around.
Azzan came in from school and after a snack biked off to youth group.
Mahalia walked to rowing training at the gym.
Shoshannah packed up and drove out to Bridge Valley to a youth group overnight camp.
The weather really packed a wobbly later in the afternoon.
I shot into the cinema to pick up tickets for Azzan and his friends for tomorrow’s movie date.
I then zipped to the library to suss out something I’d been trying to do for weeks.
A very cold rain began to pelt down just as I was running into the library.
It’s funny, when we lived away we would spend all our time in the library.
It was Azzan’s favourite place to go.
Now we are in town we hardly ever come here.
But the website I needed to suss out is only accessible via the public library system – crazy!
I got a 15 minute computer and quickly found what I needed.
I was just finishing up when Mahalia text to as if I could pick her up.
I nipped down to the gym and collected her and then headed back home.
Mahalia cooked a delicious macaroni cheese for dinner.
I had to laugh when I saw how much she had made.
We just don’t seem to be able to make small amounts of food.
It is ingrained in us from the days of cooking for multitudes on the farm to make copious quantities.
It is good though cuz it lasts for several days so we don’t have to sweat the cooking process to often 😉
I got busy out in the garden while Mahalia cooked.
The rain had stopped and the temperature was very pleasant to work in.
Azzan was under a threat of no movie night if he didn’t pull finger and get his assigned chores done.
So he was working under duress.
He didn’t really achieve all I wanted a=or needed from him but he did do something I guess.
I really got into the swing of things and planted out everything I had bought.
The garden it looking so much more productive now.
I got Azzan to help me lift some sleepers over as temporary garden edging just to contain it all until I can get the edging I want built.
So interspersed with he feijoa trees I have planted tomatoes along the back and marigold in front.
I made a basil garden at the base of the bird bath and added some verbenas around the edges of the triangle piece.
The two zucchinis I planted over in back of the section near the pumpkins that Shanni planted.
They are doing great there so I figured the zucchinis might too.
I placed the picture frames around them so they won’t get stomped on while they are still small.
Behind them in the old washing tubs I have mint and spinach and a raspberry which are all doing well despite being quite dry.
By the time I had finished it was late and dinner was ready.
So I cleaned up and headed indoors to join the kids.
Felt very satisfying.
Mahalia was walking to NMIT for a final lunch with her classmates so I took Caspian and walked part way with her.
There is always wonderful displays of colour along the way.
I came back along the river and decided to call into see Karel as I was alone and had no pressing engagements.
Since it is almost a year since she came bearing cake to greet us in our new house I figured it was way past time to stop by.
It is so crazy that I haven’t found the time to visit with her till now.
She had been busy cleaning up after guests at her B&B so was glad of some time to sit and chat awhile over a cuppa.
She gave me a tour of their establishment.
It is absolutely gorgeous.
Finally I headed back up the street.
We diverted into see if Mary-Anne was at home but to Caspian’s distress she wasn’t.
He whimpered all the way back up her lane.
Back home and I sort myself some lunch and crashed out for a rest while it was quiet.
I watched a movie called ‘The Family Stone’.
But as per usual, as soon as I find a few quiet moments then they get shattered fairly quickly.
Mahalia arrived back, then Azzan, then Glynnie popped in to visit right at the very end.
I had to zoom once it finished.
Mahalia was cleaning the bathroom but vacated long enough for me to shower.
Then while I got myself ready for the evening out Glynnie sat in my room and talked with me.
I tore out the gate around 4:45pm and headed up to Nelson College.
The day was so hot I was having problems keeping the sweat under control!
I arrived and on checking my invitation discovered that the function began at 5:30pm, not 5pm – duh!
Oh well, I parked up and went for a wander and sat on the boys lunch seats in the shade for a while.
It was quite pleasant out of the sun.
The college has some gloriously large old trees scattered about the grounds.
The sun was lowering in the west and was glistening spectacularly through the branches of this gnarly old moss & fern laden tree.
Finally it was closer to the expected time so I headed in to the Crush Hall where the Sponsors & Supporters ‘Thank You’ Function was being held.
I was a bit lost so had to ask the way from two people I found in an office, that was a very amusing encounter.
I was greeted by Jarrod who is the teacher in charge and behind the Kickstart project to raise funds for the development of the Nelson College Business School which I have helped to sponsor on behalf of, and in memory of Tim who was an old boy of the college, and in anticipation that it will also benefit Azzan as a prospective student.
Jarred took me on a tour of the new Business School and talked me through the developments, of what they have already achieved and what they are working towards.
It is really interesting and incredibly inspiring – makes me wish I was back in school if I could’ve been given educational opportunities like this!
Fantastic to see and hear what some of the students from the current & past couple of years have already achieved.
Back to the hall which was by now an incredibly noisy thronging mass.
Rather daunting actually.
But I soon found another lone woman and struck up a conversation, and we were soon joined by several others.
It was lovely to meet them, all very interesting ladies.
They work at the College so good to get some insight into life here.
Towards the end of the evening I found myself encircled by the amusing man from earlier and a couple of his friends.
We got to talking and I discovered they were old boys and one would’ve been there at the same time as my two uncles and one when Tim was there.
But they didn’t remember them specifically.
Plus his grandson is in Azzan’s class.
Anyway, it was a very entertaining encounter to finish the evening 🙂
I headed off home with a lighter step.
Had some dinner and then opened the gate to welcome Shoshannah home.
She had flown in this arvo and gone straight out to Youth Group.
Lovely to have her home again after her week away.
Annoyingly when I could’ve slept late I woke far too early at 7am.
Stayed in bed till mid morning and then decided I really should make a move.
So packed up my gear, tidied the house, fed the elusive cats, and said goodbye to my lovely wee hide-a-way.
Tracie, you can go away any time you like if I can come stay – love your cute, private, quiet, peaceful, interesting, wee home xxx
Drove around the corner and spent some time with the rellies who were still on site.
Soon after I arrived Lloyd & Val left to go socialising before catching the ferry back home.
This bowl of dove eggs proved to be a great source of fascination last night.
Some refused to believe they were not chocolate!
The kids needed some outdoors time so Tahi, John and Sara walked the four of them to the reserve nearby.
Before she left I quickly got a photo of we three cousins – Vanessa, Tahi and myself.
Vanessa & I carried on talking for some time.
Then she & Myles had to leave with Roland & Jenny.
They dropped me off at the Kaitaia Reserve and I wandered down the hill to find the others.
It was a glorious day – rather warm, I was wishing I had packed some alternative to my jeans.
We reclined on the grass while the kids played int he creek and enjoyed a really interesting discussion on many topics.
It is such a beautiful area.
Next time I will have to make time to explore further.
Sarah & Jon went off to find the kids as it was far to quiet.
They had progressed their explorations around the bend in the creek and were having a ball.
There was major resistance to going home 😉
Sara piggybacked Fern along the creek and up the hill and John brought Bruno back playing games along the way, Zion & Zeke followed us all up the hill.
On the way home we admired flowers and gardens as we walked and talked.
We saw the most glorious display of red poppies.
Bruno, in his delightful 3 year old chatter, mentioned them being like the biscuit soldiers.
Tahi quickly caught his drift thankfully.
He was connecting ANZAC biscuits with the ANZAC day poppies which we wear to commemorate our fallen soldiers on ANZAC day.
So in his mind the biscuits we refer to as ANZAC biscuits naturally connected to the poppies.
I so love the way his mind works 🙂
I just had time to say goodbye to Owen & Hanne and then I was off to the train station to meet Tracie.
She had flown back from Christchurch and had taken the train in from the Wellington airport.
It was nice to have a little time to catch up with her.
She took me to a delightful shop called Paula’s.
Wow! What an amazing inspirational treasure trove.
We had a wander around and admired and dreamed, then as I was hungry Tracie drove us to Mitre 10 and we had a quick late lunch and chat before she dropped me off at the Kapiti airport.
It was a slightly bumpier flight back to Nelson but the skies were clear enough for us to have spectacular views.
I managed to reach across the lady next to me and catch a view of home as we flew by.
Port Ligar is very recognisable – the bay in the centre with West Entry, the long spit, curling across the entrance.
A little tuft of white cloud marring a view of Waterfall bay but the highest point, Crichton’s Hill standing clear.
I whispered my love to Timmy as we flew by.
On arrival Tracey was waiting for me.
We loaded into her car and caught up on the weekend as she drove me home.
Thanks Tracey – really appreciate your taxi service xxxx
The kids were pleased to see me.
Katherine and Azzan had been having a great time.
They had biked around to Tahunanui and enjoyed fellowship with the congregation at St Stephens.
Azzan had also been mountain biking with some friends on Saturday and had taken a tumble into a pile of gorse.
His arm and torso were a mess of red sores – I had no idea that gorse would infect like that.
After dinner he had a very long soak in a bath with Epson Salts and rose petals then I smeared the sort with Pawpaw ointment.
That worked as the sores were almost gone the next day.
Mahalia had been in the wars since I left.
She collided with the bridge on her bike as she was heading to Friday training and scraped & bruised her knee badly.
Then during Saturday training she was put in coxswain position.
As she is much bigger than a normal coxswain she had to really squeeze in, and after 20-30mins when she got out her legs had gone to sleep so when she stood up to get out they wouldn’t work properly.
She fell in the water cutting her elbow on something as she fell.
Loads of blood, quite a deep sharp cut, but Katherine fixed her up with butterfly dressings etc.
So when she headed off to Sunday’s regatta of on the Wairau River she wasn’t sure if she would make the grade.
However, the wind proved to be too brisk for them to row on the river so the boats were reloaded and they raced indoors on the erg machines.
Apparently Nelson won!
Margaret called by to pick up Katherine.
I unpacked and got several loads of washing on the line during the evening.
The kids were off to bed reasonably early.