7 January 2013

Ordinary days

Here we are again at the beginning of another blogging year and as usual I'm looking back and looking forward. I was pleased to see the end of 2012. It was a momentous year for us, with the publication of my book and all the publicity and activity that went along with that, but there were also some very dark moments. In late August, Hanno nearly cut off his hand in a chain saw accident. That meant surgery and many trips to the hospital and occupational therapist. He'd just recovered when he was laid low again with cellulitis and gout and spent some time in a wheelchair. In December he had an ech-cardiogram that showed he has heart disease with his heart only pumping at 50% capacity. It's made him tired, dizzy and weak. That still hasn't been resolved but we have an appointment with the cardiologist tomorrow and we're hopeful it's not too serious.

Sarndra, Alex and Opa socialising in the sandpit.
Jamie and Opa discussing the merits of sand bridges.

I wrote late last year about Jamie having a febrile convulsion. Well, he had another two on Christmas eve. It turned out that he had a viral infection that was causing his temperature to rise suddenly but I'm very pleased to say he's a healthy little boy again now.

In the week before Christmas, Sarndra and Shane happily told us they were expecting another baby. We were all overjoyed at that news. But Sarndra sensed something was wrong and on Christmas eve she had a scan that revealed no heartbeat. They lost the baby on Christmas day. We all mourned the loss of that precious life and tried to support Sarndra an Shane as much as we could during the saddest Christmas we've ever had. They named the baby Patrick and had a little memorial service for him. They're a very strong and loving family and I know they'll work their way through this sadness.

Jamie and Opa watching Gaspard and Lisa.

So that is what we've leaving behind us and as I think about the coming months I feel a slight trepidation about Hanno's health but overall there is much to be grateful for and so much look forward to. I feel that optimism and excitement that you feel when you're about to make a change to something better. I love that feeling. It gives me energy. I also feel gratitude for the many opportunities I've had and continue to have. I'm blessed with a beautiful, caring family and I've been able to meet so many new people this past year who I now look on as friends. There is a lot to be thankful for.

I'm pleased to say that I'm still full of enthusiasm for this blog. It continues to provide me with an invaluable record of our ordinary days here at home and a way of reaching out around the world. I know there will come a time when my grandchildren will read it and know how we welcomed their mothers into our lives, how excited we all were on the days they were born, how they helped build our family and how our lives were better just because they were here with us.

One of my main areas of focus this year will be to review what I'm doing, change what I need to change and to improve what I'm left with. I want to operate outside my comfort zone, I want to push myself towards a better life; I'm not going to settle for second best. I want my life to be home and community based, I want to remain active and to work for what I get - both financially and in my daily tasks. I think hard work makes us better people and I know without doubt that sitting back and playing around on the computer or watching TV will not help the tomatoes grow, put fresh bread on the table or get the next ten pages of my book written. Only work does that. Work gives me a feeling of achievement and satisfaction, and when it's time to stop work, the sublime contrast of peace and tranquility. It's that balance between work and rest. I always aim for that.

During the year, I'm going to review the various subjects we talk about here. We're all changing, Hanno and I are getting older and that itself has brought change. I'll be thinking out loud about those changes and how they're modifying what we do now and in the future. Over the break I kept my notepad handy and I've got a list of subjects I want to write about.  Most of them will be about simple life, homemaking, growing strong families and work. There will be a sprinkling of posts about the thing we all face - ageing. I am very interested in ageing and daily work and not many others write about them in a positive way, so who knows how what will develop. As we go through the year I hope to see you here, I hope to read your comments, and, as usual, together, we'll try to live to our potential. We won't aim for perfection, we'll just try to do our best in 2013.  Okay, roll up your sleeves and let's get this thing started.
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