We had warnings that the snow was coming…. and to be honest I didn’t think it would. But on Thursday it was very cold ..too cold for snow my Mum would have said..and all of a sudden it hit..thick and fast…it settled briefly…but then it was gone… left with a light dusting. I don’t think it’s over yet.
This week has been pretty uneventful in the grand scheme of things. I hate January. This year is different obviously as lots to do so not much time to wallow in chilly misery waiting for Spring. A few cupboards have been cleared and I’ve found board games I didn’t know we had and some old books which I will definitely be keeping. There are also some rolls of paper the kids used for projects when they were very young. They always wanted coloured paper and we had rolls of large sheets which was perfect for their paintings and drawings. I’m sure the charity shop can make use of that. I’m quite enjoying this decluttering and being ruthless as a lot of things that I maybe would have moved with us to a new house are just not worth taking to the US.
We have looked at some garden things that may or may not be coming with us. A couple of wheelbarrows and our barbecue, just not worth packing up and taking. My garden is full of strange things I’ve picked up over the years at boot sales and junk shops. My friends have said it’s lovely to walk round my garden as you can always find a little weird thing hidden amongst the trees and shrubs… and they didn’t mean my hubby ! We have a 3ft chef that stands at the very back looking out at the fields. We called him George and he’s scared the daylight out of many a dog that’s poked his nose through our fence. There are little stone animals and pixies sitting in the flower beds and shells all around the flowerpots. I even have a glitter ball that hangs high in the trellis and throws an amazing light show around the garden when the sun shines on it. There is an old stone tortoise and Buddha that belonged to my parents and they will definitely be coming with me to my new ‘yard’ . When the kids were very small I bought lots of old teddies and stuffed animals. I hung them high in the trees and Alex and Nick loved them..particularly the monkeys that hung by their long arms through the branches. Obviously they’ve long gone now but I just think a garden can be so interesting..without having to spend lots of money or time on it. Time to be ruthless again I think
Our son Nick has decided not to come with us when we initially leave the UK. Nick is in his first year at the 6th form and his original view was to do one year in the UK and continue with his studies at college in the US. We spent a couple of weeks researching their education systems and what his GCSE qualifications would mean in the US as well as his A levels. He contacted some colleges in California for advice on his A levels and they are happy for him to join them and are confident that his studies can continue although their qualification systems are quite different to ours. We then listed all the pros and cons of him staying or going, even face timing his friend Harry for his views. Harry had some valid input and after more careful consideration, Nick has decided that he wants to stay and finish his A levels here rather than leave half way through the courses. He feels that if he went to the US and wasn’t happy with their college or system, he couldn’t come back and continue here. I fully understand his reasons but I must admit to being very very upset when he talked to us about his decision. One of our main reasons for going is to be with our kids as they both want to live and work in the US and here we are leaving one of them behind ! As you know we will be staying with people when we first arrive so we will at least be settled by the time he comes to us but I feel very sad about this. As Nick says ‘It’s only a year Mum’
Our daughter Alex is making plans to see her airman in Germany at the end of this month. I’m excited for her. You may remember he came to visit in October last year and it really has been a long distance romance since then. But they ‘face time’ and Skype a lot and always seem to be laughing one minute and in deep conversation the next. Wishing them both lots of love and good wishes for their time together.
As you know, Randy and I have a bucket list of places we want to visit when we move to California. Many years ago on my first trip to America we went to the Grand Canyon and I was so amazed by the place that I need to go back and make sure it is really as I remember it. Randy would like to go to Convict Lake at Mammoth to see his father’s memorial so that’s definitely going to happen. There is quite a story to his father’s memorial and I will share that with you sometime.
In the next few weeks and certainly into the Spring, I plan on taking lots of photographs of Halstead. I love this town and hope to have a small picture wall in my US house of Halstead to remind me..make me a little homesick…. but mainly remind me of that lovely place I lived for 25 years, raised my little family, bought most of my family here to live, and just thoroughly enjoyed living in.
Until those photos are taken, I’ve ‘stolen’ some from Patrick Keeble…who managed to take these fantastic shots on our first snowy morning at sunrise in Halstead. He has kindly given me permission to use them here on my blog and has promised more in the weeks ahead. I can’t wait and will hopefully be sharing them with you too.
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Until next time….