End of a Year. End of an Era.

19FEA075-CE4A-452C-9C1C-C3EC478A52A0What an amazing year. 

It started with the death of my Mother at age 91 on the 1st of January. 19 December 1926 - 1st January 2018

3BDC5C3D-832C-4885-AE90-C5C7631C703B Whittington Castle

It then flowed into travelling to the UK to work on an English Estate, cycling the Danube through Germany, Austria, Slovakia and Hungry. Narrow boating on the canals in England and Wales, then cycling the Camino from Lisbon in Portugal to Santiago in Spain. We spent time in Barcelona and Madrid then France and the Netherlands before heading home. We met so many remarkable people, making friends with many of them, and sharing special parts of this time away with each of them.

We returned home after six months realising that life’s priorities change and it was clearer to us that we wanted to be closer to our Children and Grandchildren, spending quality time with them while we are still able to do so. This involved the difficult decision of having to break commitments we had made in the area of our employment. More precisely to the people we worked and interacted with on a daily basis. 

While we were struggling with having made this decision, I was knocked off my Harley Davidson by a car coming through a giveaway and I landed heavily on my head. (See the previous post)

Right now we are processing a number of significant changes that are a result of our decision, while at the same time dealing with the aftermath of a brain injury.

I have finished work, we have left the apartment on Takapuna Beach, and are leaving Auckland. We have said goodbye to work colleagues. Our Taupō house is rented until February. And my bike is looking like it will be written off. On the positive side, we are able to spend time over Christmas with the kids and grandkids. We have purchased e-bikes and are in the process of importing a caravan. It has been a memorable year.

In pondering this year I have concluded that each year is just one building block in the life we are constructing around us. 

Just like when you design and build a house you start with the end in mind.  As construction begins, things outside your control change, so you change the design to adapt to these changes. With each change, you look to improve the final outcome of the house.  

Like constructing a house, our life construction is also subject to these outside forces that we have to adapt to.

We built our house with the hope that it will become the secure home the family will keep coming back to. This, in turn, could form memories that are part of their life’s construction.

Robert Browning’s poem ” The Best is Yet to Be ”  is something that inspires Ann and I to keep embracing change and looking forward together to what life has for us in the future. (check out my earlier post)

In finishing this reflection I would say this year has been one full of hope, coupled with some anxiety over what lies ahead.

Romans 12:12 has been a cornerstone

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”

Cheers (Click and smile)


4 thoughts on “End of a Year. End of an Era.

  1. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 American Standard Version (ASV)
    3 For everything there is a season, and a time for every [a]purpose under heaven: 2 a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; 3 a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; 4 a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; 5 a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; 6 a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; 7 a time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; 8 a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.

    We are looking forward to sharing the next season with you closer in the neighbourhood.
    Love Noeline and Ian


  2. Such a beautiful post! Made me weepy. I hope Graeme is feeling better. Love you both. You should have packages waiting st your house. Hope you get them! Happy holidays. 💖 Heather

    Sent from my iPhone


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  3. Its been fantastic having you back home, in Auckland,
    for the last few months, after such an eventful and adventurous year. Never a quiet moment in the Smith home…which is exciting…..and just so glad that you will stay here for a while yet and enjoy a different mode of transport through the beautuful terrain you’ll no doubt be exploring more , on your bikes. You will be hugely missed , and have loved working with you Ann. You’re both gems …wishing you well and a very happy, restful and beautiful Christmas. Lotsa love

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