Wednesday 18th May 2022

April Brings Autumn Memories. #Life’sStories. #LinkUp. 27/2022.

Welcome to Life’s Stories. I hope you enjoy my story and link up yours too for me and others to enjoy.

April Brings Autumn Memories. #Life’sStories. #LinkUp. 27/2022.

Some months and seasons make great memories.

Photos and stories shared.

This post looks quite a way back to the years 2012 to 2016.

And then to 2017. A very worrying time for me, personally. Cancer would be diagnosed in mid May 2017.

2018: that meant head and neck cancer recovery and moving to a new place.

Onto 2019, 2020 2021 for more stories…..

And finally, this Autumnal April 2022. 

April and Autumn.

Autumn is usually very pleasant and cool in the evenings with lovely days. This has NOT been the case always…as you will see. In April 2015, we were inundated by an ‘east coast low” weather pattern that left this:

and us with no electricity or phone (mobile could be used at times) for almost 5 days!

 

It has often been time for the Royal Easter Show in Sydney. A big tradition in my life, and I made it one for our children and grandchildren over the years. Once the venue moved to Homebush after the Sydney Olympics in 2000 it became a pleasure to visit because I could park the car close to a bus stop and we would travel directly to the Show on an all inclusive ticket. These images are from April 2014, the last time I went to the Show.

 

2012-2014 we were living in our family home in Sydney’s north west and caring for grandkids. Autumn leaf play in 2012 with 2 dear grandkids…

2015-2016 we had moved to the Central Coast of N.S.W. and some of the grandkids visited.

And on 25 April it is A.N.Z.A.C. Day. Remembering the sacrifice of men & women from Australia and New Zealand who helped keep us safe.

2015. Centenary of Australia & New Zealand at Gallipoli.

But I am never sick of searching for Autumn trees, leaves and even having a go at painting them!

April 2017.

The garden where we were living then had great Autumnal displays & I even painted the pansies:

 

And I loved getting this image from the local bridge area:

 

I had a very sore mouth as I had already been through the removal of the upper bridge and teeth and yet…nothing was better. In fact it was worse but…I smiled (uneasily) on….

April 2018. Moving House.

We were grateful to find a new, and more modern house where we still live. Moving still sucks…and with me in treatment for more processes of my mouth reconstruction it was a particularly stressful time for me. Highlights here were family birthdays and school holiday visits from grandchildren with their parents.

April 2019.

I went to Newcastle Writers Festival and was well into adjusting to my upper prosthesis. I continued to enjoy art. And we had some pretty flowers growing outside.

April 2020. Covid Is Here.

My first Covid test, we got our flu vaccinations. We had no idea of what was to come in terms of lockdowns and travel restrictions but we stayed put. One granddaughter visited briefly on her way to stay with other grandparents for some time.

April 2021.

Yes we had a reprieve of sorts from lockdowns and covid restrictions. This meant visits to us and we went to a special birthday picnic.

I also rose very early on A.N.Z.A.C. Day 2021 to see the sun rise on 25 April. I spent time reflecting on those brave souls who came onto the beach at Turkey to be…mostly killed. Vale those men.

April 2022.

This is the learning to live with Covid part of life now, and we had 4th vaccinations last week and will have flu vaccinations at the end of this week.

A different usual Easter for us. No family visiting and we stayed home. Whilst we miss seeing the grandkids and parents, life has moved on in many ways and the oldest 3 are adults with their own lives, and the younger 5 grandkids are with other parents or away on hols. We went for a drive and walk at Norah Head Lighthouse on Good Friday. After a lot of rain in past weeks, it was so good outside.

I also drove to Dee Why to see my Dad before Easter. He no longer wants his photo taken. We had a good chat and afterwards I re-visited some places from my life living near Manly.

I had this reflection after my time spent walking around…and I am honouring it with this image: I feel like I am HOME here.

 

And I couldn’t let Easter approach without sharing some goodies of appreciation with our local family G.P. clinic. We are so grateful for their care.

And sadly, we heard that a NZ friend who had a serious head and neck cancer had died. I visited my favourite place of contemplation to honour him.

A.N.Z.A.C. Day 2022.

Today, 25.4.2022,  is this special day of commemoration and paying tribute to those who died for us to live this life now.

It is the day the post goes live, so I thought it appropriate to end this post…..here.

 

And this poem, a moving one for me and many. I am reminded always of where my late paternal grandfather helped the wounded in France. Only to return to Australia and in 1935 to succumb to early death after a workplace injury. I wrote the poem out for Dad on this painting of mine and he still has it on display.

I know some of my readers are into Spring right now as we are getting more deeply into Autumn….

What particular memories do you have for the month of April?

Denyse.

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The Month That Was: January 2022. 5/51. #LifeThisWeek. 7/2022.

The Month That Was: January 2022. 5/51. #LifeThisWeek. 7/2022.

Welcome to my re-cap of January 2022.

I am no longer creating Telling My Story updates any more. The series can be found here.Telling My Story.

The post next week will be the F for F I N A L one. I decided this because it became onerous and time consuming.

Instead, I am going to plan an “end of month” post instead to help keep my memories too.

It’s called The Month That Was.

January 2022.

Before we said hello to January, we said good bye and many thanks for 2021 even though it sure had its challenges….

Could there have been a more welcomed year than 2022?

 

Yes, and not this one either it appears as we, and the rest of the world, continued along the pandemic path thanks to Covid and its newest kid on the block, Omicron which has proved its power affecting so many of us. Despite vaccinations too.

New Year’s Day.

I like to get out and about even for a drive and this time, I needed to go to the southern end of the Central Coast, to Spotlight for a click and collect, and after I did that, I ventured into Coles nearby and came out with prized treasures…..

A 5 Pack of Rapid Antigen Tests ($50) and 3 bananas.

I continued not to feel 100% as we say, so took things pretty easily and I do love my drives but I knew my limits.

I loved visiting a very quiet Woy Woy on 1 January and I got to have a little walk around to the water’s edge. Some changes have been made to the ferry terminal and I loved seeing these two flags flying at the CWA. Country Women’s Association.

Over the early days of January we watched some cricket ( OK, B did, I just got updates) and I blogged a bit, and created a bit and tried to get a rhythm into my new:

Self Compassion Focus.

It’s 28 day via an app and very helpful and professionally done. I continue to learn more about the value of compassion to self…first…but life long learnings take time to undo. I listen to a ‘lesson’ each nigth, complete gratitude lists, write in a journal, map my feelings too.

In conjunction with my two Daily Calm Practices and reading up via others’ websites, I am doing quite well. However, a virus, as my GP tells me will play tricks with mood and thoughts so I need to balance that knowledge when considering how I am actually feeling.

And getting out and about remains a goal each day even though it is no longer within a shopping centre for any kind of browsing time. I mostly go locally to nature to observe, take in the beauty and surrounds and breathe deeply to remember what IS important…life is!

 

And then there were these memories from January 2022.

Family Time Was Special.

It was hard to believe that it was one year on from last year’s Golden Wedding Anniversary and now we would be seeing our family back at our place again. Not everyone could come but we has a ‘full house’ of love, sharing and laughter with both of our adult kids, our daughter’s two (2 adult aged ones were not able to come) and our son’s four.

FOOD: well, I always like to share the home made and other food with a large and appreciative group. I made lasagne from a great recipe I found here. Hadn’t made lasagne for years and it was a ‘just right’ hit for all ages. Home made friend rice, some salad, bread, chicken from the supermarket and a few treats. Of course, I have treats…and take home bags as well. We see these young kids so infrequently now it’s fun to make memories as we did.

NOISE! Yes, it was, but the best kind. Kids having fun, sharing their stories and amusing their grandparents too. A Big Task at each visit is for Papa to measure the young ones to see how they have grown. One, Mr 21, goes way past his Papa now, and off the chart: literally! But he sure could amuse everyone with his keyboard skills and we had a ‘jam session’ that I captured between the laughter. He IS Firelite and a DJ and he is signed up to a label so he is doing well and just announced, he is booked to play in Croatia and has plans for travel!

Then this:

Grandsons at Play…& chat…& no soccer balls over the fence!

And an updated family shot with our son and daughter: grateful for their permission to share.

And some of the distractions I have been using to help time pass…as I wait for…time to pass! Because, sometimes that IS all we can do….

And never missing a session in the morning and in the evening of Calm. These are not double up days. Just one day with 2 meditations on each. Over 2 years in a row. No way could I miss it and in uncertain times like I am having now, even moreso!

Colouring My World is also a daily essential…in photos and art!

 

Whilst the 26th January can mean different things to the people of Australia, I chose to spend it this way.

 

27th January is a special anniversary for ME!

The day I began my teaching career here at Barraba Central School. About 7 hours from Sydney. Mum & Dad drove me up with all of my belongings and saw me settled into a share house with other teachers from the school. Dad tells me Mum cried all the way home. I said to him recently “until you are a mum, you have no idea”. True.

And as January came to a close, this happened.

I eventually got back to Dee Why to see my father, who turned 98 on 11 January. He has been quite well and just a little  lonely but also not wanting to do much at all as he is very restricted with mobility and vision. He misses reading but he can see some things like photos and people if they are near him. He was a very social person but prefers to be in his unit now and have just a few visitors.

I drive down, stopping at St Ives Showground for a loo break and then down Mona Vale Road, to the back roads down to Narrabeen (my bro lives there) through Collaroy and into Dee Why. I have morning tea for us with me, and a pack of frozen meals for him made by me. And conversation.

Wanted to show me he’d moved a fave piece of Mum’s here & reminded me, I painted the poppy and wrote out the poem “On Flanders Fields” as Dad’s father fought there.

We are both talkers and sharers of stories so we are well matched…and he is getting better at listening…

And on the last weekend of January….

And a little sharing here of what I have been up to in January creatively:

You know the line from Hamilton is “I’ve got to be in the room where it happens”….well, this is my room/space where the blog happens! And more.

And the finale….we get to stay on as tenants here until at least April 2023. The rent went up significantly BUT we hope if real estate prices ever settle, then it may not be as big a change after then….but I am supposed to be not thinking too far ahead, right?

Wishing all the kids going back to school, starting school and those off to High School my very best…this lovely one is off to H.S. to join her brother, and it’s where her older cousins attended too. We cared for her from 5 months 3 days a week…sigh!

Miss 5 explores the water at Long Reef before  she started school in 2015.

How was your January?

Denyse.

Life This Week. #276. 31.1.2022.

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