What can change in one year

Host: Southampton

Greetings to you from the Southampton crew,

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I hope this last year has treated you all well and you are happy and living the life you love. So much has happened since I last wrote and I will attempt to fill you in on some of these stories.

This year has seen Ben, my youngest son, leave for boarding school, to join his brother, Jack, in Toowoomba. Now I have a much quieter household and only Meghan at home with me in town during the school week. Both of us miss not having our boys home. Education is so vitally important but it takes its toll as well.

This year has also seen some unbelievable rain fall in June which has put us in a fantastic position for the coming summer (not that we can class the drought as broken just yet).

There have been new additions to our fleet of working dogs, and there has been another round of sad goodbyes to members of our four-legged family.

Another backpacker has come into our lives, touched our hearts, and become a part of our family. “Miss Canada”, Paige, who hails from Canada (surprise!), joined us in early Dec 2015, possibly not quite sure what to expect, and I am quite certain not expecting to be shouldering the load that she did. Again it was a “friend of a friend of a friend” story as to how Paige came to be with us; her mother is friends with friends of mine, and she didn’t want her baby travelling into the wide unknown of Australia without someone she could touch base and get her Aussie legs with. What a blessing Paige turned out to be!

In sneaky surprise news, there is also a very special man who has come into my life, picked up the broken pieces and said, “Yeah, you’re worth it.” He is someone I have known and been friends with for a long time. I wasn’t expecting, nor looking, for anyone to step into my life and I certainly was not looking at romance! But there it was, romance sneaking up on me, like the first light of the sun after the summer’s electrical storms have ravaged their way across the countryside, a tiny glimpse of what was to come. Laughter, acceptance, strength, kindness and gentleness, patience and understanding, love. This has helped my children in many ways. They respect and admire TJ; the boys gang up with him against us girls, saying that “we men have to stick together you know!” It has also improved and strengthened their relationship with their Dad and for that, if nothing else, I am glad.

123 copyLight after the storm.

Our friendship has blossomed into something far more than I had ever imagined and there is now happiness and hope. Hope for a future without having to look over my shoulder wondering if the anxiety and depression of the past is going to jump out a grab me.

A wedding was also on the agenda with my sister, Jacquie, and her fiancé, Evan, planning their wedding for late Dec 2015.

IMG_0168 copySonya, Jacquie’s maid of honour and Kylie’s daughter Meghan. Photo courtesy of Rebecca Southern.

My sister had asked me if I was willing and able to organise a small ceremony here in St. George for her so that she could be married in Queensland, and our parents didn’t need to try and travel to Sydney where she lives. I had asked her what she wanted and what colours was she thinking of, she very casually said, you do it, I know it will just fine with you in charge. I have to admit it was rather short notice, however being in a small town and knowing many of the people who live there I was able to arrange everything to my satisfaction and to hers as well. It was getting very exciting as time drew closer to the day. I was very much looking forward to seeing it all come together.

IMG_0273 copyThe family wedding photo. Photo courtesy of Rebecca Southern.

Although I had organised all the wedding arrangements for her, I was to miss out on her special day. Tomorrow’s blog will show how you can never take anything for granted.

518 copyLooking forward.

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