January 1, 2019
This is the last of last year’s 365 days of gratitude post, being written this morning because last night I was having fun with friends and had neither the time nor inclination to write.
I didn’t quite get to 365 – this is only the 357th post, so there must have been a few days when for reasons now forgotten I didn’t write one.
I started these posts last New Year’s Day because 2017 had been an annus horriblis for reasons which weren’t mine to write about and I knew last year would also have more steep mountains to climb and deep valleys to traverse.
It did. But it also had love and support from, and fun with, family and friends; our daughter’s wedding; travel, and excitement as well as the ordinary days when it wasn’t hard to count my blessings.
In the last few weeks I’ve had several unexpected reminders that almost everyone has tough times for a whole variety of reasons.
But I’ve also had reminders of the inner resources and outside support that enable most of us to not only deal with the challenges but to make the most of life in spite of, and sometimes, because of them.
So here’s to 2019, may it be kind to you and yours.
December 30, 2018
We joined several thousand people at the Kurow races today.
The dress code went from fully frocked-up flash to shorts and jandals summer casual.
My first and only bet was on a horse that finished towards the rear of the field but I was happy to consider the $20 it cost as the price of entertainment.
The crowd was good natured, entertainment was provided for children, and families were having fun.
It was a good, country race day and I’m grateful for the fun it provided.
December 29, 2018
Our one year-old great-niece is visiting.
Her delight in new discoveries like bumping down the stairs on her bottom, climbing up a pipeworks slide her father made for her and throwing a ball for the dog is contagious and for that I”m grateful.
December 28, 2018
Domestic duties don’t feature high on my list of favourite things to do but I do get pleasure from having done them.
Tonight I’m grateful for the satisfaction of jobs ticked off the domestic to-do list.
December 27, 2018
A friend was diagnosed with cancer a few months ago. The initial outlook was bleak but the prognosis is looking better now.
I phoned for a catch up with him and his wife yesterday and during the conversation we got on to Cucina, one of our favourite restaurants and decided to go together tonight.
Over delicious food, with the warm and efficient service we always get, we chatted, laughed and reminisced.
TOnight I’m grateful for good food, good company and good friends.
December 26, 2018
Boxing Days is one of my favourites.
The rush and bustle in the lead up to Christmas is behind me; there’s enough food left over from yesterday to require little in the way of meal preparations and there’s at least one Christmas gift to read.
Today I’m grateful for a day of walking and reading.
December 25, 2018
This has been a memorable Christmas Day in a very positive way.
It was celebrated with extended family, with more than enough food, singing and lots of laughter.
I left everyone for an hour this afternoon to officiate at a wedding. Only the couple and I knew it was going to happen until an hour before the service when the bride and groom told their parents and siblings who were all with them.
The simplicity and sincerity of the words they chose to make their commitment to each other, carried a powerful message to all of us there of the importance of family and the gift of love.
Today I’m grateful for celebrations of family and love.
December 24, 2018
This evening locals and their families who have returned home for Christmas gathered for a carol service.
Tonight I’m grateful for music, reflection and reunions.
December 23, 2018
A celebration yesterday in Tekapo for a couple who married in England in July; lunch today with other friends who have come from England to be with family made it a weekend of fun for which I”m grateful.
December 22, 2018
He works with addicts, prisoners, ex-prisoners and their families.
He’s been abused, spat at and urinated on.
He continues to see good in people others have given up on, doing his best to shine light in the dark, showing compassion and bringing hope to the helpless and hopeless.
He is as near to a saint on earth it’s possible to be and I am grateful for his service and his example.
December 21, 2018
Roses and lillies, the smell of Christmas.
A gift that’s brightening our living room for which I’m very grateful.
December 20, 2018
Beef + Lamb NZ announced the annual Beef and Lamb Excellence Awards recently.
The Beef and Lamb Excellence Awards are New Zealand’s longest running culinary awards originally established back in 1997. For 23 years the Excellence Awards have been acknowledging the skills, expertise and talent of our greatest chefs. New Zealand is renowned for its world-class beef and lamb by locals and visitors alike. The intention of the Excellence Awards is to further extend the remarkable New Zealand food story by seeking out and acknowledging the great work our chefs do to contribute to this. The restaurants who currently hold the 2018 Excellence Award have not been compared with each other in the assessment process. Rather, they have been judged on their individual merits and style of cuisine. So, whenever you see the prestigious gold plate hanging on a restaurant wall, you can expect tasty, skillfully composed and superbly presented beef and lamb dishes.
Among this year’s recipients, again, was Cucina in Oamaru.
We ate there this evening and, as we’ve come to expect, received a very warm welcome, excellent service and delicious food using fresh local ingredients for all of which I’m grateful.
December 19, 2018
Today I’m grateful for other people’s creativity for instance this which I found at Books Rock My World on Facebook:
December 17, 2018
The shortest route to town takes me along a few hundred metres of unsealed road which leaves its mark on my car.
This afternoon I dropped it off for a service covered in dust. I picked it up a couple of hours later to find it had not only been serviced but vacuumed inside and washed outside.
Thank you North Otago Motor Group, today I’m grateful for service above and beyond the expected.
December 16, 2018
Musical genes were dropped from the recipe when I was being made but that doesn’t stop me enjoying music.
I also love to sing but have to make sure there is either no-one else in hearing range or there are enough people who sing well to cover my inadequacy.
This morning at church five familiar carols were on the order of service and I was surrounded by people who were singing beautifully.
Today I’m grateful for beautiful voices and the opportunity to sing with them, albeit very quietly.
December 15, 2018
The sky was blue and the sun was shining.
It was in Christchurch at midday.
As we headed south clouds appeared and descended.
We arrived home to a very gloomy sky but at least today we’d seen the sun and I’m grateful for that.
December 14, 2018
The weather might not be saying it’s summer but stone fruit is for sale.
Today I had my first peach of the season. It was white fleshed, sweet and juicy as all good peaches should be.
Today I’m grateful for the taste of summer.
December 14, 2018
This is yesterday’s, several hours late.
It wasn’t that I didn’t have anything to be grateful for, it was just I had better things to do than blog.
That’s healthy and I’m grateful for that.
December 12, 2018
Rotary came to us for dinner this evening.
We enjoyed the fellowship, sang some carols and in lieu of payment we asked people to donate to cancer research.
The generous Rotarians donated more than $1,400 for which I’m very grateful.
December 11, 2018
Our cabbage trees are blooming profusely which some believe forecasts a hot summer.
Given how unsummery the last few weeks have been, and that they have given us enough rain to withstand some heat, that will be welcome.
As I look at the blooms through yet more drizzle, I’m grateful for the promise of the hot summer to come.