“Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment, until it becomes a memory.” ~ Dr. Seuss.
I think it might be Wednesday today, Wordless Wednesday. And today, I don’t feel like being completely wordless, but I won’t say too much.
Being Wednesday means that tomorrow must be Thursday…the last day of 2015. It would be rather remiss of me to declare that a lot has happened in my world during this year. Words seem insignificant, and could never describe the soaring highs and the heart breaking lows my family have seen during this year. It’s a year that will be remembered, forever. And as the year nears its end, I am battling daily with feelings of melancholy….
The feelings will pass, I know, once the new year begins. I have plans for next year, but will share more of those later. For now, I’m thinking only of now, valuing these last moments of a memorable year, a year in which so many memories have been made.
“Know the true value of time; snatch, seize, and enjoy every moment of it. No idleness, no delay, no procrastination; never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.”~Lord Chesterfield.
The above quote sums up an important lesson I have learned during 2011.
With my camera at the ready, as I see a magical moment unfolding, I photograph it. It’s no use in thinking we can go back to the moment later. If we fail to seize the moment, it will be lost to us, forever.
During the year I have captured many moments in time with my camera. We are fortunate enough to live in a generation when we can click away to our hearts content, transfer the photos to our computer and edit later. No more messy and expensive film processing for us!
Most of my captured moments didn’t make it to my blog page, for no other reason than there were so many of them! What better time to share some of my year as it draws to a close.
During my visit to the Blue Mountains in April this year with my youngest son, I captured days which will live in my heart forever. There are those who say you can’t return to your past. Well, I didn’t do that; I re-discovered my past surroundings, through the eyes of an adult. The home where I grew up is obviously loved by its present owner, with both the building and garden being well maintained.
Watching my son ride his skate-board along the same street where I had played as a child was one of those special moments, in need of capturing in the instant of the time.
My old school, the one where I began kindergarten at the age of four, seemed to me to be captured in a time-warp. A well maintained time-warp I might add!
The award for the most surreal moment of the year, when time literally stood still for me, happened when my boy and I visited the Three Sisters in the Blue Mountains. As we headed towards the lookout, the sounds of a didgeridoo echoed throughout the expanse of the valley. If you are not familiar with the sound, I have found a sample on You Tube, which you can listen to here…
The man responsible for the Magical Sounds kindly allowed me to photograph him, then complimented my son on his choice of cap he was wearing, a glossy, purple, checkered number he had found a few days earlier!
Making memories with loved ones is really something special; seizing the moment and recognising it for what it is embeds the moment in your heart.
Treasuring the moment, and moving right along in the direction of the next memory is absolutely priceless.
“‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house, Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.”~ Clement Clark Moore.
As I hung the Christmas wreath on my front door this year, I tallied up the number of years I have done so. This will be our seventeenth Christmas in our home and we have continued our families Christmas traditions throughout the years.
Some may find family traditions boring; I find them comforting and familiar and I look forward to repeating our old traditions each year and adding new ideas into our mix of celebrations when the fancy hits us.
One tradition that my mother repeated annually was to make her famous and much-loved-by-her-family Mince Pies every year.
I have continued making mince pies myself every Christmas myself, although I have always made the pastry using butter; Mum used lard.
This year I opted for a change and made my mince pies “justa lika Mumma use to make”, (as they say in the spaghetti sauce advert, however, my Mum wasn’t Italian, so perhaps that line isn’t appropriately used in this case!)
My Mum was a Cheshire born girl, with a Manchester born Mum whose entire family were Yorkshire born and bred. Mum’s very broad northern English accent was hard to understand at times (even for me, her own daughter!) I’m uncertain whether it is my maternal families trait, or a Yorkshire family trait, to religiously follow family traditions the way we do. Either way, it’s traditional, so we do it!
Being true to old tradition, this year I made my mince pies using lard, just as Mum always had. It’s such a simple recipe – 2 cups of flour, 1 teaspoon of salt, 125 grams (4 oz) lard and 1/4 pint of water.
In previous years I have been known to make my own fruit mince, (Mum called it “mince meat”) although this year, as time did not permit, I bought a very reliable, traditionally English brand of mince, which is almost a good as home-made.
There’s nothing like a mince pie made with pastry using lard to bring back memories of Christmases long gone, but not forgotten. And the best part of it all is that the new (old) version of lard pastry seems to be a hit with my family too!
Now, with food for tomorrow prepared, kitchen tidied, decorations hung and everyone in bed, in the words of Clement Clark Moore, I will bid you a “Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night.”
During my recent visit to the Blue Mountains, the area in which I spent my earliest years, I paid a visit to a number of homes throughout the area that had played a significant role in my childhood days.
At one of the homes I found more than I had bargained for, as the home had a huge “AUCTION” sign attached to the front fence.
This home had belonged to the family of my best friend in fourth grade, Christine. Standing outside of the front gate of the house, after all of these years, the memories of childhood playtime came flooding back.
Christine’s house had seemed very old when I was a child; now the old house sat among the uncared for gardens looking for all the world as it had the last time I had played there, baring the neglect.
A quick visit to the real estate agent confirmed the house was vacant and I was given permission to explore the property.
Thirteen year old Adam (who accompanied me on the trip) was a tad wary of the old home, proclaiming it to be “spooky”. I assured him that the home was indeed old, although one of the friendliest homes you could ever wish for. No bad vibes at this property!
Adam and I, with my trusty camera in hand, explored the front back and both sides of the garden, which to my amazement looked almost exactly as I remembered it.
Had anyone cared for this home at all since Christine’s family had moved away, I wondered?
The rickety old stairs, leading up to the back door looked the same. The wide verandas around three sides of the home, where Christine and I would play together on rainy days hadn’t changed a bit.
Underneath the back of the house we located an old laundry room, complete with cement wash tub.
To the right hand side of the house I was delighted to find a lovely little building, which I imagine would have been a potting shed in its day. Funny, I didn’t remember the little shed, although perhaps it had been off-limits to us children, or overgrown with vines, which had recently been cleared away, no doubt in an effort to spruce up the property for its sale.
By the time the potting shed discovery was made, Adam had begun to ask if we could leave. The potting shed really gave him the spooks! But I loved it!
With a bit of encouragement I convinced Adam that it was completely safe to go onto the verandas to peer inside the windows, just to get a glimpse of the rooms with the high ceilings, fireplaces and wooden floors that I remembered.
And what exactly did we see through the windows?
That’s another story….for tomorrow. 🙂