I don’t remember a summer as consistently hot as this one has been. The month’s temperature map on the TV last night showed it clearly: the South was red (extreme) all over.
It’s weeks since I rolled shut the tunnel-house vents. Inside our house, everything that can be open, is. Most days the temperature is 30ºC or more. We’re tough, of course. No air-con here!
The HRV temperature gauge shows clearly that you wouldn’t want to be in the roof cavity in the afternoons — it registers 50+ºC whenever the sun is out.
Now I’m not actually complaining about this. I much prefer having a dry, hot summer than the dry COLD summer that we had last year. That was horrible. And I know it could be worse. At least I don’t have to play tennis in this heat.
But for the first time ever, this summer, I bought a cooling electric fan.
Every time I fall into my cosy, warm bed, I remember how lucky I am to be so comfortable.
There are so many people in the world who have lost the place they called home. Whose beds are buried beneath the rubble of earthquake or storm-smashed buildings. Or worse, in bombed out ruins. Man’s inhumanity to man knows no bounds.
Closer to home, even in “Godzone” there are people living in cars, crammed into sheds or on the street.
There but for the grace of God…
So every night I pause to think, and thank God for my lovely bed.
When I say “I go for a walk every morning,” I’m positive the picture that pops into your mind, is not the reality that is my daily walk.
This is the best way to begin my day. Body and brain, heart and mind — all are refreshed and kick-started into action. It’s the fitness routine that I simply can’t do without
Such a beautiful route
Every day is different as I start walking up the grassy paddock that constitutes my backyard. In December the light will already be well advanced, but now that it’s nearer February, the 6 a.m. daylight is pale. Sunrise over the mountains is still more than an hour away. The dawn chorus is over by now, but the ducklings in their pen by the pond can be heard cheeping long before I see them. They know I’m bringing food and fresh water. The older ducks waddle up, ever-hopeful, but they’re always disappointed. Terry will feed them this evening.
Past the duck pond and into the second paddock. This one is steeper, leading up to the hills which form the rugged boundary of our farm. Once upon a time, I toiled up this hill, but now I speed up to get my heart-rate going. This familiar walk is no longer the challenge it once was. At the top, I’m relieved to see water cascading out of the water tank. The overflow means that all is well with the farm water supply.
Up I go
Climbing through the wire fence, there are many possible routes to take, but my favourite at the moment is scrambling up the creek. This is the lovely spring that feeds our house and much of the farm. Sometimes it’s a torrent that I wouldn’t go near, but today it’s a trickle. We are so close to drought — but so far this little spring has not let us down.
Where the creek meets the water race I pause to gaze at the panorama spread out before me. It’s a familiar, ever-changing, spectacular view of the valley I call home.
The water race is filled in now — a winding path that takes me across the mountainside. But it was designed to be a deep ditch, full of rushing water, for use at the goldmine in the next-door Nokomai Valley. There’s no hint of this today. Now the path is filled with tussock and rocks. The cows and sheep have their own tracks meandering along, showing the easiest route to take through the dips and hollows of the seven little streams and marshes that cross the race.
The homeward walk is all downhill. It gives me time to reflect on the day to come and give thanks for the wonder that is my daily walk.
Do you have a favourite walk or an unmissable start to your day? Do, please, make a comment about it.
“Take as long as you want. Only have kids when you’re ready.”
Translation: THERE’S NO WAY I’M READY TO BE A GRANDMA!
Then along came Harvey.
The little miracle who undid all my fears and captured my heart from the moment I held his tiny, tiny body in my arms.
He was born 7 weeks early, and right from the start he proved he was a winner.
While other babies struggled along with oxygen and drip feeds, Harvey broke all the records for independence. He lapped up his mother’s milk. Tore out the drip feed line from his nose. Waved his arms and refused to be wrapped. Slept, fed, grew and came home after only 3 weeks in hospital.
Now he’s 6 months old. His solemn gaze when I first appear, and the gradual smile that spreads over his little face when he realises it’s Nan – they just melt my heart every time.
What a lucky little boy – to have such wonderful parents, learning and growing with him; To be a fighter and a winner; To have so many people who adore him.
Today I’m grateful for Harvey. Who said I’m not ready to be a grandma?
Every time I trot down the stairs at the Remarkables Mall I remember that once upon a time this was an impossible dream.
Once upon a time I would slowly dot-and-carry down the unending staircase, clinging to the rail for support.
And every step was pain-full. Each step brought the possibility of failure.
My knees were so sore that ordinary, everyday activity was a trial, and actually getting fit a far off dream.
At least once a week I had nightmares about being caught in the middle of traffic (with no clothes on, lol) with my knees just refusing to move.
I was 55 and, as my 79-year-old mum remarked, I was even more decrepit than her. (Thanks, mum.)
And I am thankful beyond words that those days are behind me. It has been a long road to recovery, without medical intervention, I might add, because although it felt so bad and limiting to me, I was nowhere near bad enough to consider any sort of surgery.
So with a combination of supplements , shoes, exercise and most recently acupuncture, I can do the aforementioned stair trotting any old time I please.
And that’s why I’m so grateful, today, to go up and down the stairs.
Today I’m so pleased to be able to put my wedding ring on again.
On Christmas Eve the muscles in my arm, wrist and hand cramped up. It was awful: my fingers curled and my whole hand seemed to spasm. Ouch. We were out walking at the time, so all I could do was massage my hand and fingers, trying to loosen them up. (I also spent time worrying that there were no doctors open, the hospital was 90 minutes away, if my fingers started turning blue I’d have to call an ambulance…)
That didn’t happen.
By the time I got home the cramp had eased but my fingers were swelling.
With the help of soap and hand cream I managed to take off my wedding ring. You know me, I’m so good at losing things – I was terrified that I’d forget where I put the ring, so I took special note that I was putting it in the pocket of my toilet bag. (Memory tip: Speak what you’ve done out loud. Create a picture in your mind and give that picture a “clue” so that when the clue comes to mind, the picture does too. Sounds crazy, but it really does work.)
Anyway, fast forward to today. After four acupuncture sessions I suddenly thought about my ring. Did I remember where it was? You bet.
I felt so grateful when I slipped it back on my finger.