Christmas and me

I’m sitting here waiting for Christmas to come. Only nine more days. It doesn’t feel like Christmas. It looks like Christmas out there. I walk through the shopping malls, drive past houses decorated with Christmas lights and tinsel. Santa Claus, the reindeers and lots of Christmas trees. People rushing to and fro, parcels and packages weighing them down. Children run through shopping malls, begging for this and that. Tantrums erupts from those children who get a no for an answer.

It’s all there. Yet I do not feel a part of it. This is my second Christmas without my husband of 49 years. I sip my coffee and watch families, couples all engrossed in Christmas looming ahead. I remember how we used to be part of that pre Christmas rush. Memories flood back of times when our children were young and Christmas was the time for fun, huge parcels that had little gifts. The delight was in the opening, sheet by sheet.

Thenthe famiky get-togethers. Salacious savouries, Christmas treats and everyone eating till they could eat no more. Yes. I used to be a part of that. Right now though, I watch. I remember. I do not participate.  Yes, life without hubby has gone by. Yet I still,long for those Christmases of the past. My mind screams out..get over it…leave it behind.  My hearts says, remember. Cherish the memory because you’ll know when it’s time to join in again.

lonely times

One minute I was smiling, holding hands with my hubby.  The next thing he was gone.  As suddenly as a cold snap on a warm summer day, my hero, my best mate had died.  The shock still lingers but in between the bouts of grief and aching heart, I am noticing myself changing.  

 

Death is not only cruel in that it snatches your loved ones out of your arms, but it forces me to look at myself. To discover who I really am when on my own.  It is an interesting, sad, and at times lonely feeling, and yet underneath it, what keeps me going is wondering who I will finally decide to be…I will keep you posted. 

Super Tree , Super Bush or what?

Since retiring mid last year, I have become a keen gardener.  Hubby diligently built two raised garden beds in our back yard. We were embarking on organic vegetable growing!  All went well, soil was prepared, seeds were planted and we waited for the result.  Kale flourished. Spinach continues to produce. And then came the eggplants. We noticed this plant growing at a spectacular rate.  The marker had disappeared and we had forgotten what we had planted.  The ‘thing’ began to grow. We got excited!  And then we saw it.  a small eggplant!  Some time  later, this ‘plant’ has almost taken over half of the first garden bed.  Anyone who calls is presented with an eggplant.  As amazed as we were over the taking over effect this plant had, we were to receive another surprise.  The tomatoes, little cherry ones, began to shoot. They grew. And grew. And grew!  AT first we were excited, but now this has become a ‘monstrosity’, difficult to find the little bunches of tomatoes – which are prolific, but the growth of the vine is so rapid that one has to almost don an army outfit to do battle with the vines.  It keeps growing due to the recent heavy rainfalls, so reluctantly yesterday I marched out with the clipper in order to reduce the vine and give the clusters of tomatoes hidden in the dense growth, a chance to breathe and get the sun which had been predicted for today.  Hubby did not have the courage to assist. These were his little babies and whilst he had to fight his way through the jungle he was reluctant to remove even the vines with no flowers.  Following the ‘clipping; I collected myriads of tomatoes and we are finding delightful new ways to eat them.  We have learned a great lesson. to research how big a plant will grow and how far it will spread!   Amazing what one little seed can produce. 

my first violet

my first violet

For years I struggled to grow violets successfully. I would receive them as gifts or buy one and water faithfully and diligently. To not avail. Eventually the violets would shrivel up and die, or not flower. Three years ago, we retired and moved to the Central Coast of Australia. I took up gardening with a vengeance. You see my middle name is Violet and I was determined to have a flower that reflected its owner. Me! So bravely I purchased the violet in the picture. And as you can see it has flowered! From it I have made four more little potfuls which I am anticipating flowering and FINALLY I feel as if I have made it as a violet grower. I can see many little buds as well so know that this time success is mine and as I enjoy my morning cuppa on my back verandah tomorrow, guess what I’ll be doing? Talking to namesake, Violet.

Weathering the weather whether I like it or not.

Sticky hot sweat trickled down my neck;  Resolutely I weeded on. All week the forecast had been threatening showers. Hah! not a shower in sight.  Then came the next ‘promise’ – . today would be light showers followed by two days of 25mm rain.  I set out early morning to weed, transplant cuttings and get ready for the promised showers.  The only shower turned out to be the rivulets trickling down my body and on to the ground.  The next hour and a half was spent in silent sulking as I watered the entire back yard by hand.   I headed for the shower, in a thoroughly bad mood. Suddenly it dawned on me.  I was letting the weather control me!  And my mood.! Feeling clean after my shower, I decided that the rest of the day would be a good one ‘whether’ the weather changed or not!  It didn’t but I sure did. 

Something I have discovered in life.  Humans are never satisfied!  What made me say that? Well last week and all through spring here in Australia, we have had lots of warm weather so that it felt like Summer.  Suddenly, over the weekend, storm clouds appeared above the horizon. We held our breath hoping it would lead to rain. t did! We jumped for joy as the rain bucketed down. No hand watering for a few days! We watched as the lawns and gardens turned their heads up the Heavens as if to thank God for the cooling rains which will help the plants to get established and grow.  Colourful blooms are appearing. White gardenias. purple bougainvillea, and pink azaleas whilst the daisies which have been struggling are now giving birth to so many little buds.  As I watched the glowing red sun sinking into the western sky this evening I marvelled again at just how beautiful a creation we have been blessed with. 

It was a hot sticky afternoon.  Too hot for housework, but I diligently (and slowly)I  kept on until the vacuuming was finished.  I was trying to convince myself that I’d done enough; that it was too hot to dust. But my conscience thought otherwise. Why is it that every time you decide to flout a tradition or do something different, the old conscience comes to the for?!  Slowly I began to dust the tops of the bookshelves. We have lots of shelves so this was not going to be a quick job. I put on the fan and began to dust.  All of a sudden I felt an object behind my dustcloth.  I had nothing on that shelf but dust..or so I thought.  Out came the step ladder and I climbed up to see what it was, hoping fervently it wasn’t a cockroach or a mouse!  It was hubby’s little micro drill which he had left up there weeks ago and forgotten where he had put it!  The battery was very flat by now, but suddenly, energy came to the fore as I raced outside to not only show my find to hubby but to ‘tease’ him about his lapse of memory.  We both had a good laugh and I learned a lesson – we females have intuition plus and I need to be grateful for mine!