Life as seen through my lens…
It says a title is required, so here you go…
September 9, 2008Posted by on
I woke up at 3:30 this morning unable to sleep and since it’s been a couple of months since my last update and I’m still struggling to drop off at 4:30, I thought I’d try and send myself off by doing an update. 🙂
The last couple of months have been "different". My wife is involved in the girl scout movement here in the US (she was a girl guide leader in the UK too), and as a result she was off helping out at girl scout camp over the summer, which meant she was away from home for a number of weeks at a mixture of training and actual camp sessions. My youngest daughter was also involved in this as she volunteered to be a camp counsellor so she could get her community service credits towards graduation. My wife also found herself travelling back to the UK twice so she could spend some time at our house in the UK, working to get it to a state where it could be sold or rented after the daughter who had been living there for 3 years since we moved to the US had moved out (I could type pages on this but I won’t as it’ll just stir up problems). As a result, I spent a lot of the summer focused on work and keeping our home in the US ticking over.
It was also strange as my 2nd eldest daughter turned 21, and this was the first time we’ve had a significant family birthday when my wife and I couldn’t be with the birthday girl on the special day – seemed very strange. My wife and I celebrated 25 years of marriage since I last did an update – we made the most of a few days between her various trips and had a lovely evening out with the two youngest girls followed by a fun night as my wife and I stayed at a very nice local hotel. We’d had the trip to China earlier in the year as an early celebration without knowing the challenges we’d face getting some time around the actual date, and in hindsight that was a wise move, but the folks at the hotel did a wonderful job in making us feel special for the night. 🙂
Being left on my own a lot during the past 2 months (both daughters here are out and about a lot themselves between work and friends), I found myself with time to reflect on many things, including the death of my sister earlier in the year. The fact that she was no longer with us registered at an intellectual level at the time of her death, but emotionally I blocked it out and built a wall around it, but being on my own so much over the past couple of months found those walls tumbling down and the built up emotion from her passing, combined with the fact that I was missing my darling wife led to some very tearful moments in those quiet hours at night, and have also led me to a clearer appreciation of what I have with my wife.
During the past 2 months we had another sad loss in the family – my wife’s aunt passed away. She was the only other family we had in America, and lived 7 hours drive form us in a small town between LA and Palm Springs. She’d been struggling with illness since her husband passed away a couple of years ago, and her passing was a blessing really. There was a family service in the town where she passed on, and between camps and trips back to the UK we were able to go to the service to wish a dear sweet lady a fond farewell.
After her 2nd trip back to the UK, and so we could spend some time together before everything returned to a "normal" work/school routine, I took a week off to be with my wife after she got back from her second UK trip. At the end of the week we went camping in the hills above a nearby lake for the weekend. The kids didn’t come: one didn’t want to – the other would have loved to but she was involved in band camp as a result of switching from basketball to color guard for her last year in high school, so it was just my wife and I. We went with a group of people from the town we live in, and had a wonderful time. We took our bikes with us and cycled around the lake (well most of the way around it!), spent some wonderful time in the company of some new friends, and ended the trip playing Frisbee golf (which was great fun). Thanks to the weather, camping here is such a different experience to what we were used to from the UK, and I’m sure we’ll be doing it a lot more as a fun way to get to see more of the spectacular landscapes here in California.
We made the most of a lovely sunny Labor day and spent the day on Pescadero beach south of Half Moon Bay – a wonderful way to see the Summer off… and now Summer has gone, we’re into Autumn (or Fall), school is back in full swing, the leaves are turning red and gold and have already begun falling, and the nights are drawing in. Hopefully we’ll get some rain soon, as we desperately need some to replenish the water reserves. Also, now the cooler weather will be settling in, I might actually get back out on my bike more (cycling in 100+ degrees is no fun, as I found out the second time I cycled the full length of the Iron Horse Trail and back in 110 degrees of burning sun while my wife was back in England!!) – I’m still determined to get my fat lazy butt up Mount Diablo before the end of the year, but it’s looking like a much more daunting challenge now than it did at the start of the year and I am woefully out of shape for it.
I should also say thanks to my eldest daughter and her husband who have been doing what they can to help us organise our house back in the UK – it’s much appreciated.
Well this has done it’s job – an hour later and I’m now feeling like I might actually sleep again if I go back to bed, so apologies for rambling – I’ll try and be a bit more coherent next time. 🙂