Lifegiving Moments.

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Still and quiet, the whispers drift towards me, borne on placid lake waters.

Sunlit glimmers, pearlized soft blue and pink waters are picture framed in the squared wood lookout of the old bird watcher’s hide. Breathless, I gaze enthralled, the intense beauty unreal.

Startled I turn. I’m not alone. Joined by an old man, his face weathered as the wood beams. We speak in quiet tones of heron and egret, of terns and the ever-present grebe. We don’t look at each other as we speak, our gazes entrapped by still water, the play of light, and the gliding, skimming shapes of birds.

We speak of grandchildren, of I pads and smart phones, of the few still able to partake of the immense beauty of such golden moments.

So I’m not the only one!

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(The photo is from bing images as we can’t take photos of our special sailors)

My eleven year old grandson was a little anxious at the idea of accompanying me to my volunteer sailing. He loves kayaking and water in general but wasn’t sure how he’d be around disabled folks. (He was staying with me while his parents were away.)

“I don’t know how to act, I just feel so bad for them,” he explained.

“Don’t “act”, just be yourself, they are experts at that,” I explained. “Show them respect by treating them as you would anyone else.”

He was trying extra hard to be helpful as we helped ready the boats. A normally friendly guy, he seemed a little reticent around all us busy retired folks (it being a week day the younger volunteers  were working). Then the “special” sailors began to arrive. He’d been helping fish out the weed with a long branch (it’s been a problem this year) and one of the teenage sailors seemed to think this a great task and joined him.  They seemed to quietly enjoy each other’s company sharing the task, so our smart leader decided to try him on a kata-canoe together with several other sailors and a carer.

I was drafted to the safety boat from which I noticed a lot of noise coming from the canoe, my grandson’s voice yelling above the commotion. Concerned that he might be making a nuisance of himself (he can get a bit much sometimes lol!) we drew alongside and I asked the carer  if he was getting too rambunctious, but he replied, no he was doing great at getting the others to join in.

After the session ended he came bounding up.

“I’ve never had so much fun and I just made five new friends! I see what you mean Gran , I really like these guys!” he yelled at me.

That was it for the rest of the day. He went out twice more on the canoes not only pulling his wait paddling hard in the hot sun, but getting the kids/families to join in. He was so appreciated that a family, that came for the first time that day, tried to give him a tip! Lol! (We explained that he had had as much fun as their kids and no way did they need to tip him!) but I heard them talking to each other saying they’d never expected it to be so much fun and that they’d definitely be bringing the kids again.

Home exhausted, but happy, he asked eagerly “can I come again next week?”

“You were right about them Gran,” he added, “they were more fun than my regular friends. They don’t try to act cool, they are just themselves and it’s so much fun being with them.”

The bonding surprised me and I was real proud of him. He’d seen right past their varied disabilities to recognise their true value.

A new era.

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A new era is soon to begin. There have been many eras, many roles, in my life, changing countries, cultures, relationships etc. and now my excitement builds as a new one comes into view.
You see the grandson I take care of a lot (dropping at school, picking up and helping with homework etc.) will soon start secondary school and have officially outgrown granny lol. He will then be able to make the school trip with his older half brother. Already at 11 he rarely needs a babysitter more a place to stay till he gets picked up and someone to see he rides home safely.
Not only will I be free of the 3pm constraint that limits my activities somewhat but my youngest grandson who I tend to also interact with somewhat will start primary school. I’m happy they both got into excellent schools which they like a lot (not always the case in London)and will of course be close by should need arise.
I’m anticipating the freedom though and being able to do some of the things I’ve had to put on the back burner for the past few years, like holidays, trips to see more far flung friends, more frequent days out in London etc. and of course less interruptions in my time to write lol.I think this will be a great era!

excuse the thumb!

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sailing

One of the aforementioned “perfect moments” chilling at the lakeside watching my grandson out sailing with his cub pack.

He’s the one on the left “the last man standing!” lol!

The thumb is due to my not thinking to bring my camera so I was running down the warf, mobile in hand, to grab this shot as they came near enough to catch it without a zoom lens.

He had great fun and only got his shoes and socks wet so my bundle of extra clothes were unneeded. (Wait till the canoeing next week bet I’ll need them all then lol!)

It’s all in how I look at it.

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spring outside

I’m battling frustration this weekend. Spring is coming with the warmest days yet (wonderful for early March!) Daffodils are blooming here and there and there’s an abundance of snow drops, primrose and tiny new buds. The lakes are calling, the sun is calling and I’m fettered inside.

The fun weekend I’d planned with my grandson, while his mum and step dad are away, came tumbling down on Thursday evening when it became clear he was coming down with flu. The usually effective doses of water, fruit and prayer, while ensuring a mild case, didn’t take it away completely.

So, here we are, the third day of him laying on my couch watching DVDs and occasionally playing I pad when his eyes are not sore. Thankfully he’s not suffering too much and is a cheerful little soul. Being nine now I can also nip quickly to the shops round the corner and pick up fruit and whatever he can manage to eat (he has a very sore throat poor thing). But… he does get lonesome and bored sometimes so I’ve spent hours  cuddled up watching movies with him. Now I do enjoy the odd movie now and then but I think my eyes are turning square and the sun outside is so very beckoning.

Still, I have one comfort. I too felt flu coming on when I woke Friday morning, but thank God the prayers worked for me and I’ve been fine and healthy (just a little more tired as my body builds up its immunity). When I look longingly out of the window I remind myself at least I’m not stuck on the couch!

Goodbyes.

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goodbye

The ivory tower is empty now, no footsteps on the stair,

I listen out to hear them, but know they are not there.

No shouting to disturb me, no head to enter in,

My tower’s all my own again tranquillity within.

And yet I’ll hear their echo until they come again,

Those precious ones that love me, my own among the men.

With hearts so soft and open, young minds that seek and see,

A world so full of wonder, so empty, yet so free.

Life’s yet to take its toll on them while childhood rules the day,

Their greatest of decisions, of what to watch or play.

The comfort of a daughter whose love is rare and true

With whom to share heart’s secrets and who gives hers to you.

The dust it now has settled, the mess no longer frowns,

The table’s clear, the lights turned off, the shoe rack empty now.

Yet something now seems missing as I settle to my work,

I sigh in quiet contentment, but something’s bound to lurk.

I miss the noise, the bustle, (though I could not bear it long),

Each time they come to visit it lifts my heart in song.

And now I hear it echo as I settle down to write,

A smile dawns on my face ‘mist memories warm and bright.