My friend Annie wrote a wonderful post on her blog yesterday (I think it was yesterday, what was yesterday?). It summed up my feelings exactly.
Today I know is Sunday because tomorrow is Monday and the proper start of the new year for most of us. This has been a different Christmas and a special holiday time. December has been a good mix of being really busy with work, lots of visitors from afar, a couple of special days away with the family and close friends and to close off 2012, a really quiet Christmas and New Year as we stay close to Michael's mom who at nearly 93 is not shaping very well.
There is never time to fit everything in and it gets harder and harder to keep the family together for Christmas but somehow we manage (even if this year our Christmas Eve was on the 23rd). It did not make any difference that it was not the usual 24th and it was a special time with special people (and a Mexican theme). During this last week of "quiet time" as I watch Helen in her final couple of months and I appreciate the birth of new grandchildren for my friends, weddings in abundance, meet little great nieces and nephews from overseas, hear of tragedies which affect close friends, I am only now starting to realise how this circle of life works and how fragile it can be. How today when Helen, in a very confused state starts talking about her school days as if they were still happening, asks where her sisters (who are long gone) are, and how she needs to be spoon fed and encouraged, like a toddler to eat, I realise that her circle is also almost complete. How she capably cared for 5 children and is now completely dependant on others for her care.
So like Annie, I also feel the need to say thanks and I also realise that this special Christmas was made that way because we did not go overboard with the decorations, presents, the material things and hours in the shopping malls. It was about being together and sharing our time. My suggestion for next Christmas is going to be that no presents are to be bought - thoughtful homemade stuff will be the order of the day. Time around the table, playing games, eating wonderful meals (with wonderful wines), talking and joking beats the fancy wrappings and bows. This is what makes memories.
Rusty Gate Farm at it's best
Hours spent on the jetty and in the dam
watching the brave tackle the foefie slide
A lesson in Mojito making
Taking their jobs very seriously
Five special boys together at Christmas again
This does not seem like that long ago
(Kris took the picture and I do not ever need an invitation
to use this picture)
It took me awhile to realise who was missing
Kelly - on her bike somewhere or playing pool
Gareth - reading a book in a hamock or playing pool with Kelly
Kim taking the picture from the canoe
Matthew balancing the canoe
Dalene holding up the jetty
Kris - not sure
(also taking a picture?)
Tom - starting the fire?
I loved Kim's caption for this picture
"Spot the Rebel"
Thanks Kim and Kris for the pictures.
Let 2013 begin...