Tag Archives: Gratitude

Still Hiking Into My Old Age

I dream of hiking into my old age.
I want to be able even then
to pack my load and take off slowly
but steadily along the trail.
~ Marlyn Doan

I used this quote as the title to my post way back in June 2011 when I was  a very new blogger. I loved the quote but at the time I knew little of Marlyn Doan and have found very little about her since.  However, I found that she was the author of 3 books and was a member of the Higher Education Consultants Association up until the time of her death.  In recognition of her work HECA founded a scholarship in her name.

I’m glad to have found out something about her, although the reason for the search was my walk through the bush this morning in the company of my Occupational Therapist.

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 What is ‘the bush’? In New Zealand, it is the native forest, which once covered most of the land. Dense and dark, it was alive with birds, insects and lizards, but sometimes impenetrable to humans.

Much of it was cleared by the settlers but here in Wellington we are fortunate to have the Otari Native Botanic Garden and Wilton’s Bush Reserve.  This is the only public botanic garden in New Zealand dedicated solely to New Zealand native plants.  I have written about this bush in the past – A walk in the bush.

It has rained quite lot over the past few days and so it was wet and muddy underfoot, but that didn’t deter us.

The bush walk

The native birds were singing, the sun decided to shine for a short time, the water was gushing in the stream and I was told that I could retire my walking stick as I was doing so well.  I have now acquired some Nordic Hiking poles which I have yet to try, so maybe when the physiotherapist comes to visit next week we can try them.

How lucky am I that I have both an Occupational Therapist and a Physiotherapist looking out for me. Two completely different women with different training,  but both so caring and encouraging of my efforts.

 

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And now as it’s Tuesday, I shall have lunch and get ready to meet with my friend.  We shall probably hve a short walk and then go to her house for our usual game of Upwords and a cup of tea.

toward the sushine

Today is Tuesday

It’s a new dawn
It’s a new day
It’s a new life for me
And I’m feeling good”
Leslie Bricusse, The Leslie Bricusse Songbook 

As I was so pleased with myself following yesterday’s walk, I decided to walk again today.

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This time I found some other steps leading from our road down towards the village. And this time there were not 132 steps to navigate but 154.

So I walked down and found myself in yet another road I had never seen before, then on to the village and a hot chocolate and a scone for lunch, although I was so hot I should really have had a cold drink.

Then back home, this time retracing yesterday’s walk to the village, past the primary school, along two roads and up those 132 steps. I must say this gets easier each day.

A shorter distance today – 2.90 kms and 6.9K steps. I wonder where I’ll go tomorrow.

 

 

 

 

I’m always thrilled at what one sees when walking that one completely misses when driving.  And if I hadn’t beenUpwords walking to the village instead of driving I wouldn’t have found these roads and would I ever have ventured down these steps.

Later I was picked up by a friend to spend the afternoon at her place, talking but mainly playing a game new to me called Upwords.

It has now become a regular weekly afternoon and I am certainly enjoying this new way of making this elderly brain work.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Meandering on Monday

Pluviophile

Pluviophile  – I learned this word from a blogging buddy, VivinFrance, who I’m sorry to say is no longer with us.  Still miss her.

I’m English so I like the rain and walking in it – that is of course if I’m properly dressed. And today it’s pouring down.  So I’ll get properly attired and face the rain. I’m so thankful that I am able to walk again on my own.  Until recently I had to have somebody with me when I walked but two weeks ago I was given the all-clear.  So another thing to add to my gratitude list.

Then shortly before 1pm, the rain stopped and the sun came out.  Just to be expected in the NZ summer.  So I decided that rain gear wasn’t necessary and I would go for a walk.  But once I started I didn’t know when to stop.

I started up our long drive and put on the MapMyWalk Ap. Up the drive to the road and then down these 132 steps, then along to the village for coffee. I decided to come the other way home forgetting that it was all uphill.  There were some steps on the way but far fewer (36).   So 3.4kms in 57minutes. Very pleased with myself

Quetta Street Steps.jpg

Once I got home I realised how out of practice I am, so have to do more of this walking to get back into shape.  So a cup of tea, Stacey Kent on Pandora and my book and all was very well with my world.

Books tea

And today I have been given the date for my driving test.  When one suffers from brain injury following an accident, one’s licence is immediately suspended for six months.  My friendly ACC (Accident Compensation Corporation) Case Manager set this up for me.  So on October 6, I go for an off-road test and then when I pass that, I will have another test driving my own car around the streets.  Hooray – the final hurdle in this latest “adventure”.

Oh, and those of you have hung in since 2011 will know that this will be my fourth driving test.  I wonder if it will be as easy as the others.

 

 

 

 

 

A Few Days or The Rest of My Life

Early in the year for a few days following my accident I didn’t know who anyone was or indeed who or where I was.  Quite frightening but fortunately for me, it lasted a very short time.  But what of those suffering from say Alzheimer’s?  I’ve written several posts on this subject and for that very short time I could totally bond with my fictional character Jane:

My Name is Jane, I think.

They’re calling me Jane
Is that who I am
I am perfectly sane
but I don’t know their plan.
I look in the mirror and what do I see
Someone who vaguely resembles me
But why am I here and why all the tears
They are beginning to scare me, what is there to fear?

 It seems like only yesterday I knew who I was and
Proud, strong and upright my life in my hands.
But now you tell me that isn’t so
Well if I am not me then where did I go?
I remember a time when my children were small
But yesterday and last week I know not at all
Where did those days go and why am I here
I wish you could tell me why did they disappear?

This young woman calls me Mother but I don’t know her at all
She looks kind of familiar, lovely smile, soft hands and all
And the young boys with her they are calling me Gran
But again I don’t know them why are they taking my hand?
Perhaps I knew her when I too was young
When life was before me and everything was fun
And losing one’s self wasn’t even thought of then
So how could I have landed here – is this the end?

 I think I know you – are you a nurse
And where are you taking me, I know the way
Well I did before this curse
Came upon me and befuddled my mind
And now I feel that I have left me behind.
But I am still me though I can’t make you hear
I’m still your mother and hold you all dear
What’s that you say my name is Jane
And I really feel that I’m perfectly sane.

But they’re calling me Jane
Are they talking to me
Is that my name and
Who I used to be?

Adventure

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Welcome Spring

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Today I noticed daffodils in bloom in my very small garden so spring is here.

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Yes really today is September 1 recognised as the first day of Spring here in New Zealand.  Well, we have had a really good winter this year and so are hoping it will run over into spring.

And Spring brings a new start for everyone.  Here the daffodils are bursting through cheering everyone with their bobbing yellow heads. Wordsworth had the words that I don’t

When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
and

Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance”

And for me this is the beginning of the next 12 months of my life.  The past 12 were not great; The Architect died and then I had my accident.  But that is all behind me and I’m looking forward again.

I have so much for which to be grateful

  • A loving and helpful family
  • Kindly, caring friends including my blogosphere friends
  • A good and comfortable home
  • My good health
  • Able to afford to do most of what I want
  • And of course, I’M ALIVE to share in all that this wonderful and enjoy all that is on offer.

And just so I know how far I have come in the past 12 months, here’s the post from September 2 2015 –  Missing you.

 

So if you’re in our side of the world enjoy Spring and if not enjoy autumn/fall because we know that each Season brings us much to be thankful for.

 

 

 

Ah That’s Better

I think WordPress is playing tricks again.  I posted this earlier today and several people commented on it but it has disappeared into the ether.  All that’s left is the beginning of the post on Facebook.  Don’t you hate it when that happens? And I just can’t remember all I had written.

Anyway I’ll try again.

After writing my earlier post I looked back and thought about my day:

  • I woke up to a warm,sun filled house
  • I woke up knowing that my friends and family are all on my side
  • I had a walk in the bush with my lovely Physiotherapist
  • We ended up at a local coffee shop where we encountered a friend
  • I have so much for which to be grateful not the least for being alive as i know where my accident could have left me.
  • And I know The Architect would not want me to be miserable today or any day.

Waterfall

And as the water continues in its downhill rush over rocks
and the thoughts continue to tumble around in my brain
with no defined pattern or path,
they eventually find and settle into a safe place
and the void is suddenly filled
and my mind is active once again.

Judith Baxter, Blogger, Mother, Grandmother and friend

 

And from Mary Oliver

“It is a serious thing
just to be alive on this fresh morning
in this broken world.”

 

 

I Went For a Walk

I went for a walk today – doesn’t that sound so very basic and normal.  But for me it isn’t normal yet.

I’ve been getting around, being taken places by family friends and a great organisation here called Driving Miss Daisy.  This organisation is quite different to cabs – they come to the house, walk with me to the car, take me wherever I want to go for coffee, lunch,to visit friends or to attend appointments.

But having said how great all these people are there’s nothing quite like being out on your own two legs, walking outside after so long being confined to walking only around the garden.  Yesterday my youngest grandson walked with me to the end of the drive.  It’s uphill and so a bit of a challenge.

Then today, my lovely Physiotherapist took me for a short drive to the next suburb. We parked the car and then walked a short distance to a cafe for coffee.  Suddenly, I felt as if I had some control.  It’s amazing what a difference something as small as a walk away from the house can make.

And looking back a year.  I was totally involved in being with and supporting The Architect as he fought and lost his battle against the imposing tumour.  How different life was then and how it brought home to me once again, that life is short and can be taken in the blink of an eye.

Then I looked further back and remembered this day five years ago –With a Little Help From My Friends.  What a lovely day that was and that is the grandson who walked with me yesterday.  How he has grown in five short years.

And on this day four years ago I was thinking about the names we give our children, and the effects they can have on them  in later life. – Samarra.

This time three years ago I was getting excited about the next stage in my long and lovely life. 

On July 13 2014 the Architect and I were in Edinburgh.  We wet to a restaurant for brunch and I ordered a Bloody Mary but as it was 11.15 am we had to wait until 11.30 am for the bar to be opened.  Strange Scottish alcohol laws. But we spent much of the rest of the day in and around the castle.  Of course, I had lived in Scotland for 8 years at one time but my partner had never been there, and of course as an architect he was fascinated with the old and new buildings.

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High Street, Edinburgh

Scottish parliament building in Holyrood Edinburgh

Scottish Parliament Building

So lots of happy memories on this day interspersed with a few not so happy.

But I say I choose how I’ll spend the rest of my life and I choose to look forward.–

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You’re How Old?

Sixty years.  Can it really be that long ago?

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March 9 1956 – I know that many of you weren’t even born then, but think back to when you were about to turn 18.  It was the norm then for girls to marry before they were 20.  I hear the gasps and know you are all wondering at the craziness of that.  I had met and gone out with Mr S for about a year, yes even when I was in school  He proposed, we bought a beautiful ring and on March 9 we celebrated our engagement with friends and family.

His family owned a factory that made dresses for various designers and so of course, I had the pick of the season’s dresses.  I thought I looked beautiful.  Unfortunately, no photographs of this event have survived. Well of course we were both only 17 and far too young to know our own minds.  The song that played during the celebration was Nat King Cole singing Too Young.  I’m sure you know that one.

Well we were sure that “this love will last though years may go” but of course, it didn’t.  We continued to see each other, talked about waiting several years before we married, where we would live etc, etc.  It was all very exciting for a young woman/girl.

But then …about a year after this event, I met my DYS (Dashing Young Scotsman) and family lore has it that I went home and announced to the family that I had met the man I was going to marry.  I broke off the engagement to Mr S.  We agreed that our engagement was a mistake.  Well at the time I thought we agreed.  But that’s another story for another day…..

So that young love was really a case of Puppy Love.

As I have always loved dramatics, I gave him back his ring with the words “can we still be friends?” and strangely enough while we weren’t particularly close after that, he and my DYS became firm friends.  Mr S came to the wedding and I have a photo of the day standing between he and my new husband.

So today I’m asking myself “And was I ever that sweet, innocent  17 going on 18 year old who thought the world was made of all things good, just for her?”  And wasn’t I lucky to meet my DYS and not go through with the marriage which no doubt would have been a catastrophe ending in divorce as so many of my friends’ early marriages did?

I have written at length about the marriage I had with my DYS, for the most part, good but with the ups and downs that all relationships experience.

At the beginning of my blogging journey, way back in March 2011 I wrote Yesterday When I Was Young.  Perhaps you might like to read it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Follow Up on Rant.

Oh dear me.  I set that last post to be posted today – February 16.  Wordpress decided in its wisdom to post it yesterday.  Ho hum.

And following on the rant – no word from any source about the furniture.  I did call the carriers again today (they were supposed to call ME yesterday) to be told that the furniture was on its way to Wellington.  Hurrah!  But when will t be delivered.  Apparently the driver will call me tonight and tell me when.  Oh really.  Not hanging by my thumbs waiting.

End of follow up rant.

But the sun is still shining and all’s well with the world.  Unless that is, you have been waiting for furniture delivery for weeks.

I have so very little to complain about when I look around me.  Several friends drifting into dementia, some battling life threatening illnesses, one battling and helping her son through depression – and I am fit and well.

End of another post. 

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Who Said You’re Too Old?

Following on yesterday’s post when I wished for several things for you, I should like to add this to that list.

Take time to enjoy the moment.

On February 12 2013 I wrote about Matilda Kline who at 94 danced the foxtrot with a young man.

Now today, watch the video as 90 year old Hollywood Swing Dance legend Jean Veloz at FatCat Ballroom in Phoenix, AZ on October 4th, 2014 for the Arizona Swing Jam – a weekend of Lindy Hop, Jitterbug, Swing Dancing, and Big Band Music.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FffaCtMwIBI

and also

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sjCf2O7JsPU

So what will you do on this glorious Saturday? Sing, dance and be happy.  Take note of these oldies and see how they are enjoying themselves.

  • Can’t dance?  Then sing.
  • Can’t sing. Then paint
  • Can’t paint – then read, walk, run whatever makes your heart sing.

“You’re never too old to set a new goal or
dream a new dream”
C S Lewis

And Wikipedia tells us “
Clive Staples Lewis (29 November 1898 – 22 November 1963) was a British novelist, poet, academic, medievalist, literary critic, essayist, lay theologian, broadcaster, lecturer,
and Christian apologist.