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smoky days



'Then I smile and say: "When a lovely flame dies, smoke gets in your eyes"' (written by American composer Jerome Kern and lyricist Otto Harbach ) applies to my life and the atmosphere as there is a lot of controlled burning being done right now with autumn waning and winter on the way. The controlled burning means a lot of smoke hazard. It is in response I think to the slow build up of fuel (leaves, fallen trees etc) lying on our forest floors. The big blaze in Canada right now is a reminder of how fiercely our forests can burn. I am so sorry for those people losing their homes and fleeing from an area they grew up in and our fires here can be as fierce. We have had a summer of very limited burning so it is time to make sure next summer is the same.


And of course yesterday was Mother's Day and with any of the special anniversaries, birthdays or special days there is that sense that I remember that I am alone now. My daughter Shirley and her two children, Christopher who is 16 and towers over me and Naomi who has just turned 12 and is my height, were here to give me a special lunch on Saturday as neither Shirley or I could have done it on Sunday because of church commitments. Does it matter what day it is to celebrate with family? I guess the answer is yes and no as Mothers Day on the Sunday can still be hollow so I invited a friend who is a single lady to have a quick lunch with me and that worked out well.


I have been gardening, it is the time of the year for dead heading and pruning and replenishing the soil in pots. It is me getting ready for a flowering Spring. Now the temperature has dropped it is much easier to work in the garden and pleasant in the sunshine so a powerful attraction to go outside and enjoy it while it lasts. There is a lot to do and I never seem to get it all done but that has to be okay. Gone are the days when I pushed myself to complete work. There will be more time later in the year to prune and mulch. I have been lucky with herbs, the parsley has been really plentiful, and there has been plenty to add flavor to meals this year but my tomato plants were a waste of money so I will have to rethink that for next Spring.


I have also commenced some decluttering. When you change from summer to winter clothes it is a good time to review the wardrobe, take some clothes to charity shops and plan to slim down before the next change comes. I promise myself every year I will lose a few kilos and some years I do but they creep up on me again if I am not careful so I will try to lose some this winter. I don't want to be thin just a little less round. I know round is a good shape if you are a beach ball and all but I want to wear some clothes that give me shape without weight. LOL. It is another one of those girly things guys so just shake your head and move on.


I'll be away for a few days in Broken Hill but my next door neighbour is home tomorrow so will keep an eye on the place for me. We do that for each other and have for many years, he has lived next to me for 20 years now. The neighbors on the west side of me will probably have a new baby while I am away as her due date is sometime this week but I will see him or her when I get home. It is great to have little things to look forward to. As a pastoral care worker I deal so much in death and sadness so it is nice to have good things to look forward to like a new little neighbor's arrival.


It was Messy Church yesterday afternoon but only a few came as it was Mother's Day. The handful of kids we had with accompanying Mums or Dads had fun making the craft (amazing what you can make out of a brown paper bag, some ribbon and some glue) and there was a nice atmosphere there. I do look forward to events like this, a sort of milling around among the familiar and the new people we attract to the afternoon. Chicken, vegetables and rice for the evening meal was especially appreciated by the boys, they wolfed it down and went off to play while we cleaned up. It is one of the times I wish I had my grandchildren closer as the smaller boys and Alice would love it.


The days seem to fly by for me but the nights sometimes drag their feet. I have never been a good sleeper, I had a sick child when I was a young woman, my older son had a lot of digestive problems in his first year, and then 12 years as a caregiver meant I had to be half awake and instantly alert if anything went wrong, so my sleep now is light and I have periods of not sleeping well. So I sometimes listen to the radio or read or come onto the computer when I am awake after midnight. It is okay in winter if I bundle up warm so out comes the old woollen shawls and the fluffy slippers and the warm dressing gowns. Believe me only a mother could love the way I look then, unless you love warm fluffy penguins a lot. Not a romantic look at all. But then there is only me here isn't there?


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Sue, have you had a chance to read or see how Canada is under fire but not contained yet???? Many homes are lost not sure about lives? Destruction can come upon us in many forms and there has been a fair share of floodings, tornados, and fires.....


Just last night a Tornado tore through Oklahoma and killed two people I think it was.... We never know when our time on earth is up, no one does....

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