Month: April 2016

Dogs – real and unreal!

Recently in Brisbane I took my grandsons to visit the nursing home at Corinda where my Aunty Maggie who is 96 lies quietly waiting for something to happen. That something was US plus two dogs. Now Roodi and Charlie Brown , the house dogs, feel at home with the elderly. They like to entertain the Bingo players or the wheelchair men and women who brighten up to see them running past.IMG_0840

While Jesse (3) and Elijah ( 17 months) sat on the chair with curious stares, they watched and waited for Maggie to wake up. Jesse grabs the red bell and rings it. “Not too loud”, I say, ” because the nurse will come in.” Eli grabs the green bell and copies his brother.

The nurse does come in and the dogs follow. Calm, gentle and adorable wagging their tails. Next we are asked if the kiddies would like to see Roodi bathed out in the courtyard. YES, YES. Let’s go!

On the way out, the children see the budgie, the yellow cockateil. Out in the spacious grounds they play and relax. Out comes the clam shell for the ritual dog washing, soaping and drying. I am enjoying this just as much as the grand children. Simple pleasures. Simple routines. Surprises.

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The following morning, Eli grabs his pull-a-long toy dog and we set off for a walk down the street. He is so proud and happy to wander at his own pace.

We also see 2 more realĀ dogs and their owners.

 

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What are some of the simple pleasures you do or share with your loved ones?

Pedal power and pumpkins!

Recently on school holidays my grand daughter Audrey and I visited the local park in Mapleton. She loved going fast on the flying fox being pushed harder each time. The other cool swing is one that requires effort, push and pedal power, the one that Grandma hopped on, too, and whizzed around and around becoming dizzy. Sometimes Audrey felt frustrated when she couldn’t push harder and go faster. This reminds me of the slogan on one of the student’s T shirts on free dress day that says “Never give up”!IMG_0698IMG_0491I

I like this slogan which is simple but powerful. It’s good to remind ourselves and others that perseverance is a potent mindset that helps us to move forward. Try harder, keep going, don’t give up, keep running, never say die, hang in there!

When Audrey showed persistence with finishing the 120 piece jigsaw puzzle, I was so pleased. She was grinning too! When she kept trying to dive down to the bottom of the swimming pool to grab the stone and resurface, I smiled and celebrated with her. She did it again!

As for me and my garden, I have successfully grown many, many pumpkins that have grown from good rainfall. These wonderful pumpkins are the result of conscientiously tending to the garden, digging and planting, with the reward of a bountiful crop.I never give up on my garden.

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So in my grand mothering role, I would like to leave you with the thought, of not giving up.

Whether it’s learning a new skill, climbing a mountain, walking that extra kilometre or reconnecting with a loved one, keep believing and persisting. If you have lost a bit of yourself, or struggle to find purpose in what you are doing, take a break and try again later.

I have learnt not to run from the difficulties in my life but to see these as challenges and ones which will make me stronger. Step by step, hour by hour, day by day, like pedal power, you push on and through with God’s help and love.

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And finally coming up in the cinemas to see is the hilarious Eddie the Eagle with Hugh Jackman. It’s all about not giving up, even if everyone thinks you should.

Tell me what you think!

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Nostalgia

Both the pleasure and sadness of remembering something from the past and wishing that you could experience it is a definition of “nostalgia”. Simply put for me it means a yearning for the happiness of a former time or place. I guess we all experience the desire to return to one’s family or friends, that sentimental feeling that comes and goes.

Recently Helen visited me on her way to a wedding in Flaxton. We go back to 28 years of friendship that includes our sons. When I brought out a school photo of the 2 boys and one with guinea pigs, Helen was moved to joy and amazement. This photo gave us the opportunity to reflect about our lives, families, conversations and past. I liked particularly the way Helen has recorded, journaled and kept keepsakes of her children to pass onto them in their later years – not simply a photo album, but a treasure trove of her thoughts, feelings and nostalgic memories to communicate from her heart.

I showed Helen the famous Singer sewing machine belonged to my Aunty Maggie who is 96 years of age and in a nursing home. In the drawers are the zips, buttons, vintage fabrics, silk cottons and elastics, sewing needles and pins that have cluttered this space for many, many years and speak clearly of my Aunty’s passion for needlework.
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While visiting the op shops in Maleny, Helen and I discovered the fun and thrill of the find! the bargain clothing item or tea cup.IMG_0745

 

The vivid memory of my mother making cups of tea for friends. The favourite floral dress with a lace collar or the smell of moth balls in the drawers in her room. This brings me to my Aunty whose old wardrobe was full of musty coats, jackets, dresses and pants, some stained and ragged, others in perfect order. I guess nostalgia is like a cream cake with layers of fillings and delicious tastes that put a smile on your face.

Can you recall a nostalgic memory that opens the floodgates of happiness? I would love to read about it.