A New Resolution

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Welcome to 2016, I hope it brings you peace and happiness.

When I started contemplating this blog, what to write about and then which words to use for my wish to you and yours for the year ahead, peace and happiness were the first two to arrive in my head. As is often the case with me, my mind wandered to contemplating why those two words? Why not health and happiness, or joy and prosperity, or everything you want?

I pondered this question whilst mowing the lawn this morning (hence the late blog) and smelling the freshly cut grass, feeling the light breeze on my face, soaking up my dose of Vitamin D and generally trying to enjoy the early morning experience, rather than bemoaning the job and thinking it was just another chore that needed to be done. Perhaps that’s why those words, peace and happiness, popped into my head. Maybe it’s a sign that my perspective on “things” needs to change and the words were a message to me and one which I should be heeding myself rather than spruiking them as inspirational thoughts to be passed on to you.

Maybe it’s all the distressing events in our world and the unfiltered and immediate reporting of them which, even though it’s at ‘arms-length’, seems to bring conflict and misery closer than we would otherwise personally experience.

Around the globe millions have never experienced a world where there is not some sort of large scale conflict, misery or loss, on almost a daily basis. Each one of them must yearn for peace and happiness that stems from not living in fear. Something most of us take for granted, if we’ve ever thought about it at all.

Being able to grow a lawn to mow has just taken on a whole new meaning. The more I mull these thoughts over, the more I realise that even my earlier words about enjoying the experience were selfish ones.

I can’t say this is going to be a life-changing moment for me and I am too old to become a crusader for world peace, but maybe the proverbial inner peace and happiness is projectable. You know, like the concept of “paying it forward” (did you know there is a Pay it Forward Day – it’s 28th April 2016, see info here). I wonder if all my years of volunteering count.

If you’re starting to ask yourself “what is the point is to this story”? I have to say there really isn’t one, other than to allow my wild thoughts to escape onto a page and bore those of you unlucky enough to be reading it. I guess all I can do is challenge myself and you, to put thoughts and words into action by being less self-absorbed (says she who has spent the morning exploring her own thoughts!), start appreciating what’s really important and then actually do something to help another person experience them.

As Ronald Reagan said “We can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone”

Who’s on your ‘to-do’ list?

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Share the Spirit

BaubleLike all of you I am trying to wind down and get organised for the madness of Christmas, when we convince ourselves that we are looking forward to the break, when in actual fact we spend so much time readying ourselves with gifts, hanging the decorations and preparing the feast, we really don’t have a break at all.

Our celebrations of the Christmas traditions were a little early this year to accommodate a separation of our family; with the children staying home to mind “the shop” and their animals, whilst Jeff and I make the journey to Brisbane to share the season with extended family. If you’re feeling sorry for the kids, don’t; our departure won’t mean a toasted sandwich and chocolate milk at home on the big day. Marc is well trained in the marinating of the ham and Emma’s trial version of her Grandmother’s “hard sauce” was close to perfect. Josh’s gravy, although a little thick for my taste, has his siblings salivating before they’ve spooned it onto their plates and Roz’s damper dip is in big demand for the Boxing Day Test event. I’m tipping they won’t even know we’re away.
Christmas, however, can be a lonely time for some and as much as I can make light of being away from my children, they at least will have each other. It saddens me to think about those who have no one with whom they can share the spirit of the season. The gifts or tinsel or food are the trappings we share, but the feeling that surrounds Christmas is something totally different to any other time of year.

The celebration of new life, a new beginning, a fresh start needs to be shared to give it credence and establish its meaning in our souls.

So sayeth me, anyway. My near midnight musings are taking on a whole new significance; must be time to go to bed.

Before I seek the solace of my comfy pillow though, I would like to wish all of you in “blog-land” a very special Christmas and a thank you for following my rants throughout the year and for your comments to various posts.

I also offer a small gift of a bonus break from “Snippets” for the next couple of weeks. You deserve some time away from the screen, and I need to rest my fingers and what little brain power I have left, so as to annoy you even more in the New Year!

I do have one last favour before the silly season starts – will you spare a thought for the lonely and less fortunate, before ripping open the wrappings on your first gift or taking that first mouthful of whatever delectable delights you are sitting down to at your Christmas table? The power of positive thoughts is often underestimated.

Have a blessed and peaceful Christmas enjoying the things that are really important about this time of year.

Christmas – Rowena Style!

The Rowena Bush Sleigh with Santa and his Elves

The Rowena Bush Sleigh with Santa and his Elves

Rowena Branch Members of CWA have, for many, many years, hosted the annual Christmas party for children who attend the local school, pre-school or who live on the mail run. I’m not exactly sure how long the tradition has been running but Jeff says Santa was making the Rowena Run when he was at school….and that’s a loooong time ago! Our children (who must have been good at some stage) participated in this long running activity and still enjoy catching up with Santa and reminiscing about their experiences; I overheard Josh comment that he didn’t recall receiving any gifts as good as some he noticed this year!!

Over those countless years Santa has arrived via many modes of transport with possibly the most exciting being a helicopter! Parts of the district had, unlike this year, received huge amounts of rain and an impassable creek dictated the trip from Santa’s Australian home should include a boat, bike, plane and finally the helicopter, which landed on the school oval, with the reverse required for the return journey. A huge team effort by some very generous locals, including Santa!

The Elves

Santa’s Elves

Santa and Emma

My daughter Emma with Santa

 This year Saint Nick was again transported by the local Rural Fire Service (aka Santa’s elves) in the red ‘bush sleigh’ complete with siren and flashing lights; swapping Reindeer power for horsepower because the Reindeer get overheated once the thermometer passes 30°C. The photo shows this year’s Elf Crew of Jeff and our youngest son Marc with Tim and David Cameron (State Secretary, Jocelyn’s, son and husband), a family affair with Jeff and David being cousins. There are other volunteers in Rowena, but they were digitally recording alleged evidence of good behaviour by their children/grandchildren, which could later be used against them.

Gifts for each age and gender, specially selected by The Chief Elf Organiser (CEO), were merrily distributed by Santa to those on the good list which, miraculously, included all the Rowena children! The P & C then provided a sausage sizzle that, along with other delicious contributions, fuelled energy levels for the disco that followed, where the Macarena and mirror ball proved almost as popular as Santa and the presents!

On a different note, I plan to give you a couple of weeks break from my ramblings, but would like to take this opportunity to thank you for following my new ‘journey’ and to wish you a Christmas filled with laughter and good company and may the New Year bring whatever you need most.

HO! HO! HO!