Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Snowflakes, a deer, and Good-byes

Due to some very poor planning on my part, we leave Vancouver Island on Tuesday morning (tomorrow). Which means, we had to start our good-byes on Sunday afternoon. First, our good friends Anne and Ray, Maria and Errol and their children. It's been lovely to spend time with them all again, but just not fair to have to wrench the kids away from their new friends (and, I admit, new friends' toys). And then it was good-bye to my sister Sharon, her husband Will, and cousin Megan (14). Megan has been an absolute doll playing with the girls most days, taking turns at being mum and babysitter and sometimes probably even baby sister. We will miss her hugely and I found it very difficult to say good-bye to them.

This morning we took my mum and dad for breakfast to the Whitespot and happened upon some old friends Vic and Alice, who once long long ago invited me to youth group with their kids and as they say, the rest is history. Living history in fact, in our four kids.

The rest of the day was spent packing until we noticed some dandruff floating from the sky. Sure enough, it was snowing and we went out for a lick and a feel and a little play, although it wasn't really sticking to the ground. I thought, wow, isn't that cool that we finally got to see snow, even on the very last day. And then wouldn't you know it, there was a young deer coming up to have a snack in my parents' backyard, so we all ran from one window to the next to have a watch. Pictures are on my camera, naturally. Megan's sister Ariel (18) came over to say good-bye before she had to go to work, and many hugs and kisses later, the girls let her go. Finally, my brother Scot, his wife Cindy and James and Jocelyn came for a last visit and thankfully stayed for steak dinner. Some very special connections were made between our kids and theirs on a number of levels so by the end of it, the good-byes were very hard. At least we've got them to promise to set up Skype at home, and maybe just maybe we've actually got them thinking about coming to New Zealand. James will get them to watch the Lord of the Rings films and I'm sure the deed will be done.

It is our last night in Canada, and I'm feeling strangely surreal but the timing is right. We miss the green, the sun, te maunga, the aqua sea of home and of course our dear friends. That's the thing with coming back to a place that was home long ago: friends are special and I love being able to pick up where we left off but the memories and history shared is old. We just don't have the time or space to create new experiences together, no matter how hard we try. I must admit I am looking forward to being with my people, the people who know us as Susan and Paul, the Dominikovich family who teach and play and fellowship amongst them day after day.

First up: Disneyland!

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