Those days are gone

I have just booked a whistle-stop journey to see my Oma in Germany for her 90th birthday. I’ll catch the first flight out in the morning and the last one back in the evening. I won’t have time to visit her home, just the place she now resides in – a home.

The days of us visiting our grandparents, splashing in the pool in the back garden of the home they built themselves, lounging in the sun, playing games with them, eating cake and learning about life from them, are now gone and it is only in this past year, since my Opa died, that I’m finally beginning to realise that.

I am so unbelievably blessed that I have had two grandparents who could not have been better role models for me. Every fibre in their being was love and faith. They exuded wisdom, they laughed from their heart and they demonstrated the kind of devotion to one another and to God that is so hard to emulate.

Dementia now has much of the mind of my Oma, but her heart is still the same. She misses her partner of over 60 years but she is still wise, she still has faith and she still loves with every ounce she has left.

But those carefree days of my childhood with them truly are gone and that makes me sad. I wouldn’t say I didn’t make the most of them because for most of that time I was too young to know the blessing I had, but they made sure that they cherished their time with me and my sister and in doing so, they gave me memories that can never be taken from me.

I am one fortunate girl to have those memories and, though I’m sad to comprehend that they will never be experienced again, I am grateful that I had the opportunity to experience them at all. I will continue to make new, albeit different, memories with my Oma for as long as I get to keep her on this earth. She is one very precious lady.

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Empty room

A friend of ours is moving in with us in just under three weeks time and he’ll be lodging with us for about six months. In preparation of his arrival, hubby and I spent one rainy Saturday afternoon clearing out his room, which we had been using as a spare room/storage space/laundry drying room. Everything that we stored in that room was well hidden in the cupboard, in the chest of drawers and under the bed. You probably wouldn’t even notice how much was in the room until you moved a person in and they had their own stuff to fill those spaces.

After about six hours of sorting, rearranging and piling up items and boxes to be thrown out, given to charity or moved, the room was free of our belongings bar some empty storage boxes. Our entire hallway was full of things to throw away – we even had to carve a path through the piles to get from one room to another – and we had a suitcase worth of clothes, toys, CDs, jewellery and other miscellaneous bits and bobs to take to a charity shop.

Neither of us could believe just how much stuff had been in that room, when on the surface, it had already looked empty.

Some larger items like my husband’s guitar case, found new homes quite easily, while others required the moving of the fridge to create a new space to tuck away. Despite the fact that you would barely notice we had got rid of so much, knowing that there was so much less meant that to me, the flat looked tidier, less cluttered and more homely.

Possibly even more excitingly, we ordered some new furniture for the spare room and I’m so looking forward to seeing it when it’s all put together. Sadly the delivery of the furniture won’t be for another few weeks so I’ll have to wait a while to see the final fruits of our rainy Saturday afternoon.

 

 

June reflections

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Finding my feet in my new office has been a little more challenging than I had anticipated. It has, however, allowed for some routine to be restored in my ever-busy world. I am mostly home at a decent hour so fitness classes and baking have made a welcome return to my weekly activities. I’m also amazed, looking back, that I somehow managed to find time to squeeze in punting, a weekend with the in-laws, multiple BBQs, manicures with my mama and sister, the start of my skirt-making and a friend’s 30th in London. Not bad!

July brings with it holidays – a weekend in Glasgow with one of my closest friends, to meet her first little one and then two weeks in Florida and the Dominican Republic with family. I’m not sure there’s much purpose to planning goals these coming months. Making sure work is ready for me to go away will be challenge enough, so the rest of the time, I just want to relax, enjoy and see what these next two months bring on the summer breeze.

>Reflections<

Have drinks outside with friends – I had anticipated this to be at a pub, but as it turned out we had drinks and ice cream outside with friends many times, but in gardens and parks instead of buying drinks. Much cheaper and most definitely just as fun.

Send some postcards – I sent a small package to a friend in America as well as some postcards this month. I hope this continues but it sure is difficult to remember.

Make smoothies – I didn’t quite get around to smoothies, plural, but I did make one very yummy one with papaya, sharon fruit, raspberries and bananas – it was amazing!

Make ice cream – We made two flavours. The first was nutella & cream with chocolate chips but my new favourite ice cream flavour of all time has to be the Black Forest ice cream – so yum!

No >Hopes< this time, just a hope to relinquish a little control and see where summer takes me.