It seems like summer already. We had the hottest September day for however long, the radio commentators varied on that. The bush fire season has started and today men and women battled to save properties in the foothills of the Blue Mountains. It is a long time since we have had significant rain, ten weeks I think, and the long grass is tinder dry so with strong winds blowing from the west the fires, once lit, are hard to stop. They may have been deliberately lit or been back burning fires that somehow got away from the people engaged in tending them. A future inquest will give us that answer.
It has been a busy week. The first warm week in September tends to be like that. It is as if people wake up, look outside and say: "Okay world, here I come." A good example is I have a friend down the road who I may not have seen for ages and she rings up and invites me down for afternoon tea. It is a Spring thing. We all feel comfortable being outside, sitting in the sun, enjoying the garden. We suddenly discover it is pleasanter to be outside than to be inside. I guess it happens at some point the world over.
A week to go till the end of my first year alone. I can do it I tell myself every morning when I get up and it is true. Just as I did the hard yards when I was a caregiver, I can do it now. I can get up and make something of the day. It doesn't matter what the day holds if at the end of the day I can say my thank yous for what has happened, for the encounters or lack of them, for the work I find to do, for the songs I hear, the stories I read, the actions I take. Whether the day is spent in the garden, at the computer or off on one of the helping hand jobs I do, every day is an important day.
It is hard to describe the week that has just gone. I thought it was going to be a hard week and it was but it was made much easier by the actions of three people, Trevor, Edie-Lee and Pamela. All found a way to participate in the week and make it seem much easier. I love my two daughters-in-law and their little families and thank G-d for them ever day. It is particularly true of the grandchildren as they bring so much joy to my life. I know my daughter and her family also think of me, but I am peripheral to their lives and in some ways out of sight is out of mind. Maybe next move they will be nearer, I hope so as I miss them.
The week seemed fuller than usual. A friend rang me on Monday and I met her for lunch. Tuesday night was Lions dinner, Wednesday and Thursday I was busy. The Caregiver chat group girls all remembered how sensitive I was feeling and said some comforting things to me. It is good to be acknowlegeded for what is happening in your life. Wednesday night I went out to dinner with Pamela and her three children. It was nothing special but it is the company that counts. Thursday night I went to the Central Coast Choral festival and watched 300 young people singing and enjoyed it. Tori, my granddaughter, was in the main choir and also a singing group from her school which performed the chimney sweeps dance from Mary Poppins.
I had an extra job at church on Friday, serving at a Women's Spring Rally, a local group that includes nine other parish groups so about seventy women. Nice to hear the massed voices singing old familiar hymns. We had as guest speaker, a woman who was blind who came with her beautiful golden labrador Guide Dog. She told us how having a guide dog liberates her to feel normal and part of the world around her, she has had four dogs since she went blind aged 15. Amazing that she was bright, animated, articulate, intelligent and made her audience laugh.She gave us more than information, she gave us a glimpse of a difficult world lived with great courage and enjoyment.
Saturday was election day and our Spring Fair at church. We need to raise some money to complete the furnishings in our new Hall. Nothing comes easy and I do think if we have to wait a while and work hard to achieve something we do appreciate it more. A worry is that two of the ladies I have become very fond of in our Craft group are in hospital again this week, one not expected to come out (cancer) the other in a serious condition, barely 70. So unfair sometimes that we do not die in date order.
Trevor and Edie made sure I was not alone on the 8th which would have been Ray's birthday. They are the most sensitive to what is happening to me I think. On Sunday Trevor and DIL Edie took me out for the day. They were to pick me up at 11am but Trev decided to pick me up earlier around 9am and we should pick Edie up from work (she does 4 5hour shifts at present). Lucas was away but smiley Alice entertained me on the journey. So they took me up the Valley to a small rural Fair. It was another lovely Spring day, and fortunately not too hot as we were to be out in the open most of the time.
The main road to the Fair had groups of straw scarecrows along it, part of a competition, about 30 entries in all, which made the drive interesting. We particularly liked the group entitled: "Scarecrows of the Carribean". It was fun walking around the sports fields tasting the wares, watching the wood chopping, the handing out of prizes to those who on foot or bicycle had completed the Hill Climb, watching the two little local school teams playing soccer. I think it is the simple things that cause that peaceful feeling. We had lunch out before they went home to put Alice down for a nap and I went to help out at Messy Church.I finished the day attending church (which Ray and I both used to do). All in all not as bad a day as I had anticipated.
It is another fairly busy week this week. I was at Grandparents Day at Oliver and Alex's school this morning. The school is built on the side of a hill and I used to have great difficulty when I used to wheel Ray around it in his wheelchair on previous Grandparents Days. I have just noticed that I can actually talk about him now, moslty without tearing up. I carry him with me in my heart. Today I was a little sad because he didn't get to see Oliver as a sleepy Lion or Alex as a Magician in the Infants Concert. I know there will be so many things he will miss out on in the years to come. But I will carry those precious memories in my heart for the two of us.