Another year draws to a close…

Well, it’s been an interesting year.  We’ve settled into our new home and been here almost 14 months. We love it here. We feel like we’ve come home, after all this time.  The evenings are beautiful and Graham and I love to walk around our property, or take chairs outside and just sit, enjoying the peace, the colours, the breezes and the bird sounds.

Graham on the mowerI love it when he’s mowed the lawns with his ride-on mower. The lawns smell so sweet. You open the front door and take a big whiff of the air.  At our previous home you would have smelt petrol fumes and other things but here in the hills it’s fresh air, lawns, flowers, and it’s beautiful.

Double Delight RoseWe’ve got a strawberry plant that has grown considerably under our fig tree and is producing fruit well. We’ve got tomatoes, broccoli and potatoes growing also. I’ve planted around 13 rose bushes since we shifted in and some of them have the most gorgeous aroma.  We need smellovision so I could share it with you.

Our grandson, Oliver, has now turned one and we had a triple birthday celebration at the beginning of this month with Graham, Ryan and Oliver all blowing out candles for their joint birthday cake. Well, not Oliver really, but he was in the middle at the table between his dad and grandfather.  It was a special night.

Business has been very slow for me this year. Not sure why.  I just haven’t replaced a major client I had last year and have had lots of small jobs instead.  Hoping and praying for a new regular next year. Just 5 hours a week would be good.

My passion for photography has increased a great deal and I’ve participated in two projects this year:  Project 365, taking a picture a day, except I always take tons more and I estimate I’ve probably taken over 12,000 photos through the year. The other project is Project 52 – a picture of the same thing each week over the year, to see the changing seasons. I’ve taken a photo of our pergola in the garden most weeks, but have forgotten sometimes.  I’ve also participated in a photography competition being held for a calender next year and was one of the 9 winners out of 230 entrants.  Naturally, I’m thrilled.

Graham is almost ready for retirement and figures he will probably work for another couple of years but I guess we both wonder if he will wait that long? Guess it depends on how things pan out at work.  I’m not ready to retire yet but I must admit that the photography is enticing and I want to be outside more and more.  Probably a good thing, I need to get more exercise so it’s a good thing to do outside.

The rest of the family are well.  Mel’s getting lots of work at home and is very thankful to God for this.  She and Ryan have settled into their new home very well and Oliver loves it. They live only 15 mins from us further up the ranges.

Meredith and her friend Sara returned from ACT earlier in the year, and after a few months at our home, found a flat in St Kilda and now live there.  Sara is working and Meredith is studying at Uni.

Christine has been in her own home over a year now, in fact probably around 18 months in the country north of us and travels between there and here every week as she teaches horse studies part-time at a suburban TAFE.

JonasAngie and Ben continue to do renovations at their house which is also 15 mins away from us in the opposite direction and are surrounded by a menagerie of animals. Their Bengal cats are gorgeous.

Graham and I joined the Baptist Church not far from home and were surprised to find a man there Graham used to work with 12 years ago.  He was delighted. I found someone I knew at the church, not knowing they went there and was pleasantly surprised to see the Pastor was someone I’ve known of for many years and never thought I’d meet.  In his past life he was a singer (beautiful voice too) and theatre actor, and here is this man, the Senior Pastor of our new church!  We’ve settled in there, I’ve joined the music team and sing, and also assist with the website and occasional photography. I’m not happy unless I’m involved in some way, so I am and that’s good.  And Graham is enjoying the services and making new friends and feeling like he’s in a place he wants to be.

And so our first full year here in Selby is ending and we look forward to what the future may bring.  While life without our Mirri will never be as it was, we do find that our new life here is bearable and enjoyable. More grandchildren (we hope), retirement not that far off, new things to try out and see, a life in the hills in surroundings that bring us much joy.

We wish you, our family and friends (and those others who read this blog), a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  May you also grow a better understanding for the reason for this season and know that our Lord Jesus Christ is there for you also, as He has been for us, even when we’ve experienced very difficult times.

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