Friday, November 21, 2008

Thanksgiving



It is always around this time of year I find my thoughts drifting back to the place I originally placed my feet (Turangawaewae). It is Thanksgiving season in the states, a signalling of many significant aspects to the year. Time to reflect on the year rapidly passing, the final throes of Autumn finally relenting to the onset of winter, time to gather family and friends close to us, and of course, as a child, the countdown to Christmas begins. Even as a kid growing up in Wisconsin it was always my favourite holiday, somewhat for the reason written above, but even then I seemed to have some innate understanding of the importance and temporal nature of these gatherings. That somehow contained in all this chaos of cooking, drinking, eating, not getting our good clothes dirty, and finally at some stage, my Swedish grandfather commanding the stage and telling us stories while wildly waving his hands about, that this was a moment of perfection in an otherwise very imperfect family. Now, I have become my grandfather.

We do not celebrate Thanksgiving in New Zealand, hence the reason for my drifting thoughts and melancholic meanderings. We have had a few, including a huge gathering one year when my mom came over, but moving into summer here they always seem to take on more of a Kiwi barbecue atmosphere, with the real meaning of the experience somehow being removed from the day. So eventually we just drifted away from recognizing the day, aside from perhaps me settling on the couch listening to music, looking at old photos, and having a quiet drink and toasting my far away loved ones.

I do not have a lot of photos of those times, but I have a treasure trove of memories in my heart.



That's me in the middle, and in the back my beautiful older sister Kathy, brother Steve, cousin Roger, my Great Aunt Ruth holding my still gorgeous baby sister Trish, and my Great Uncle Harry holding my cousin Nancy. My great aunt and uncle never had kids of their own so we always loved each others company. They lived in downtown Chicago in an upper of a huge old brown stone, full of nooks and crannies to play and hide amongst. Harry loved his drink, and would take us boys to the local taverns which was always an interesting adventure in the big city. They were both lovely and I miss them dearly. Harry taught me how to fish and shoot a rifle, he left me his Johnson outboard 18 horse power 1959 motor. I still have it, and it still runs perfect in the care of my great friend Carl back in Green Bay. One day I will give it to Taylor. I wonder if he will understand the significance of such an item.




An even earlier photo of Thanksgiving with my Grandpa Ivar holding me as a baby on his lap, Ruth, Nancy, my Great Grandmother, Steve, my Aunt Jean holding baby Roger, Kathy, and my Grandma Grace. Ivar came over from Sweden on the Lusitania, which on the return journey to Europe in 1915 was sunk by a German u-boat. He met my Irish grandmother and caused a near scandal amongst the very ethnic oriented communities of Chicago by falling in love with her. They were married for over 60 years. When she was dying in Florida, ravaged by dementia, he and I stood outside her hospital room and looked in at her lying there. She was smiling and he said to me, "look at her smile, she always had the most beautiful smile in the world. She is the only girl I ever kissed". Even writing that now still brings tears to my eyes. I miss them both dearly.




My dad in front holding Roger, Ruth, Nancy and Kathy, and in back my mom holding Trish, Ivar, Grace, Uncle Harry, and my Aunt Jean and my Uncle Roger, the neatest aunt and uncle a kid could have. Only my mom and Aunt Jean remain amongst the adults in this photo, and brother Steve is gone as well. My mom and my Aunt Jean are still living life to the fullest, and two of the most stunning women I know. The four men in this photo were the greatest male influences in my life, which most of the time is a hugely positive thing. They were wonderful men, beautiful and flawed in their own ways, and I loved each one dearly. How I would love for them to meet my sons Taylor and Charlie.




Thanksgiving dinner at my grandparents in Chicago, little kids had to sit at the card table which would have meant Roger, Trish, and I. We still had fun. I can close my eyes and smell the turkey, hear the laughter, I can walk through each room of that house with unerring direction even though I have not been there for over thirty five years.





Being allowed my first crack at carving the turkey, a passing of the torch. The first left handed turkey carver in the family!




My mom and I in New Zealand , Thanksgiving 1998. The last time I celebrated Thanksgiving. I think perhaps I will organize a small gathering of family and a few friends here in New Zealand. My boys deserve to connect with, or at least be exposed to some of their culture and heritage. And even in a year such as this, with doom and gloom on every seeming horizon, there is still so much that I really need to recognize and Be Thankful for ..........


My family here in New Zealand. Tara's parents, Tony and Val, whom have taken me in without question as part of the family, and loved my children unconditionally and completely. Tara's sister Karley, another little sister in every way. Tara for simply being who she is and our journeys, together and apart. Taylor, my oldest son, the catalyst of so much in my life, a challenge and sometimes a complete joy in listening to his questioning of what is around him. And Charlie, an unexpected gift, keeping the eyes of a child upon me.

To the friendships I have grown here in Aotearoa. Nigel, John, Chris, and Erika. I find it harder as I get older to cultivate friendships, yet I have been blessed here to include a few people whom I consider family as well.

To the people who read here and share this place, and allow me to share theirs. To have connected, literally, with a small group of people from all over the world in this way has been such a joy. Each of you has taught me so much, and I am honoured to have you here. I thank you all.








And, of course, I am Thankful for Wild Places. In particular the Ruahine ranges. I still relive the feeling of awe and wonderment I experienced with Nigel and John the very first interaction I had with them in 1994 on Gold Crown ridge. Almost in the same way I recall my grandparent's house. I just close my eyes and I am there. Each time I return to the ranges I am overwhelmed with a feeling of Being Home. I am blessed by this place and what it has brought to my life. May we all find such a place. Happy Thanksgiving!
Aroha,
Robb

53 comments:

Clare said...

What a beautiful post Robb. I loved the image of your Grandfather talking about your Grandma's smile and her being the only girl he ever kissed.

Of course our Thanksgiving falls on a different day, but I'm with you in celebrating the many blessings of our lives.

Kia ora my friend.

ophelia rising said...

And Happy Thanksgiving to you.

These thoughts, this time with our families, our memories - so precious - are all so beautiful, and all a part of this amazing existence. Thank you so much for sharing your family photos, and for letting us into your head once again. You are so incrediblly eloquent and alive, and I so admire you for that, and am grateful for it.

I, too, have so many memories of family times. Sometimes when I lose myself, which seems to be often these days, I simply think on where I came from, who my people are (and were), and how I was with them when I was very young. This somehow brings me back to myself, time and time again. They always seem to help me find my way again, to some semblance of who I am and what it is I can become, if I just empty all that is dishonest in me, and become genuine and true.

I wish that my grandparents and father could see my children, could hold them and cherish them as the rest of us do. Instead, I tend to imagine that they see them somehow, are a part of them, and so can live on in this way.

I am thankful for these things I have, now. And I thank you for helping me to see them that much clearer.

Marja said...

Happy thanksgiving
Your writing is so touching and beautiful. I love the familypictures I also miss the family gatherings. For me especially Christmas and it doesn't either feel like christmas at all. We tried to keep some things of our culture and tried to keep on celebrating Sinterklaas the dutch father christmas but the children are half kiwies and at a certain age they were not interested in some dutch things. I stil think they are very dutch though. I do miss many cultural things they are so much part of you. Have a great day Ka kite ano marja

Jamie said...

Hey Robb,

This is a beautiful posting mate. It was a privilege to read some of your family's story.

Sometimes I find it hard to balance what to share and what not to on the internet, but reading postings like yours makes me realises what humanism good blogs like yours can achieve balancing up against all the dross that spins through the ether every day.

Thanks

Jamie

Erika said...

Loved seeing the photos of your family - we never get/got to see you in the context of your whole family here ... adds more layers to the man we have come to love! Yes you have so become your grandfather - a cross between him and the pope of greenwich village!! That photo of a very young you carving the turkey - man did I think that was Taylor at first!!! Happy thanksgiving my friend - you know me and the boys will always be open to some turkey and maori potatos ... haha and I make a pretty mean pumpkin pie ;)!

Ruahines said...

Kia Clare,
Best wishes to you for a very Happy Thanksgiving. My grand dad was a very cool man, a real American immigrant success story. He would have loved seeing Obama being elected. He loved Jimmy Carter at a time when he was literally laughed upon, yet time has proven Carter a visionary and humanist. I think I got my politics from him, the lone lefty in a family of Republicans.
Cheers,
Robb

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Ophelia,
May you and your family have a lovely Thanksgiving day, and Holiday Season!
I look at those old photos and reconnect,as you write "come back to myself". It is my history, and those people, each one, part of me, of who I am, and what I am becoming. That always strikes a chord within me at this time of the year. A gentle, or maybe not so gentle, reminder of how fortunate I am here and what I have here. My journey.
Ophelia, I admire your quest and search and am proud to know you. Your help and sincere concern for wild places, your honest and thoughtful writing, your love for your husband and children, for life, make you one of the most genuine people I have come across.
Happy Thanksgiving my lovely friend. Kia kaha.
Aroha,
Robb

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Marja,
Yes, we are certainly kindred spirits in that sense. One of the Swedish traditions my grandfather insisted upon at Christmas was first making aquavit - basically a Swedish home brew liquor, which I was always too young to indulge in but which the adults seemed very merry in enjoying! The other which only the Swedish born seemed to enjoy was eating Lutefisk, and I am quite happy to leave that tradition behind! The smell alone was enough for me, much less how it looked. My grand dad loved it.
I am not quite sure what and how to connect my boys with their American heritage, and even what that is. Which, I guess, is why I feel home sick around now for the little bit of familiarity, of home.
Cheers, Marja, you have a lovely day as well!
Aroha,
Robb

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Jamie,
Haere mai! Thank you for your comments.
There have been times when I have thought long and hard about what I am sharing here, and in the end I guess it comes down to be honest and genuine. The focus of my place here as always been to share my love of the Ruahines, and part of that love is how much they helped impact me as a man, a fatrher, husband, son, brother, and friend. I guess it is something each of us has to decide what to share and what to hold back. After all there is a line between a means to an end in a making a point and just simply whinging. If I get to the latter, it will be time to unplug!
Cheers Jamie,
Robb

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Erika,
The Pope of Greenwich Village eh! Guess I will have to take that as a compliment. The only line I remember from that movie is Eric Roberts - in his young days when he was actually a good actor - saying "Charlie, they took my thumb!".
In any case, Haere mai to you as well. I only brought those photos back a few years ago on my last trip home, but they are pretty cool. There are a lot of layers there.
I have had a few people comment that the photo of me in front, probably 5-6 years old, looked a lot like Charlie. Personally, I think that while Taylor is built like me, he is changing into his own unique self, paricularly his eyes, which are beautiful.
I think we will have to have a small dinner, and I just bought some Maori potatoes at the market! Maybe a turkey on the Weber eh!
Aroha,
Robb

Bob McKerrow said...

Dear Robb

Happy thanksgiving. Loved your story. I am out of hospital and arrived home an hour ago so now I can read blogs again. My thanksgiving present is a set of bionic knees. Peace. love anf happiness to you and your family. Look forward to meeting you soon. Maybe get Jamie anf Marja along for a BBQ ?

Cheers

Bob

Bob

Robin said...

Oh my dear sensitive kind friend. I know I keep saying this, but I've got tears on my face reading this. You are SOOOOOOO alive and aware and open to all of Life, the past, the present, the future. Actually it's not even about past, present or future. You are just open to Life...period.

This really clenched my own heart a LOT. I felt like this when I lived all those years in Austrlia. Just LIKE this. So I want you to know that I hear and see you, right to your soul.

I loved the picture of you in the first photo. You look then how you still are. Such a sentive boy and now a sensitive man. I so enjoyed reading about and seeing your family. It makes you even more real...if that's possible for you to be more real than you already are.

My eyes filled with tears when I read about TG Day at your grandmother's and you wrote:

"I can close my eyes and smell the turkey, hear the laughter, I can walk through each room of that house with unerring direction even though I have not been there for over thirty five years."

I know exactly what you mean here. While reading this all those smells and sounds and...everything came back to me from my own past. I too have been away for a long long time, since I was 18 years old and traveled the world. And yet when I close my eyes I too know it as yesterday. The smells are so strong. I could not believe it as we too we set up with the card table just like in this picture. Such similar upbringings in many ways.

I am very moved by you and your writing and your love for your fmaily now and your family then and it really makes me feel really really good inside. It/you confirm all the goodness in the world. A gift bigger that I can express in words.

All the Aroha in the world to you and your family. You are such a blessing. Know that, always.
Robin

Robin Easton said...

That one (that says "Robin") got away from me Dear Robb. I didn't even get to fill in my whole name but it's from ME, Robin Easton. Just so you know. But then I think you would have known anyway!! :)

Many hugs,
Robin:

Nature Nut /JJ Loch said...

Robb, you should keep celebrating Thanksgiving in NZ. The miles don't matter at all - the heart does. :D

What a FANTASTIC post with BEAUTIFUL and TREASURED photos. :D

Blessings to your family during this Holiday Season. :D

Cheers! JJ

Anonymous said...

Ahh, my brother Robb-b-bob:

Got your late night message this morning. Just finished reading your thoughts and you captured our holiday times well.

We had another good one here but always something missing.....you. We skoaled (sp?)to you, as we do. I will forward photos to you.

Thanks for helping me relive some great moments in our lives. I love and miss you sooo much it brings tears to my eyes. Wish you here or I was there to get a great big cuddle!

Your favorite sister, T

HappyWifeHappyLife said...

Robb,
This is a beautiful post.... I just loved the pictures, and I feel like I know your family a little bit now. Thank you for sharing your heart with us, and your memories of your childhood Thanksgivings.

Thanksgiving has always been very special to me.... because really, when all the other "stuff" of life falls away, it is all about family, faith and friends.... all the stuff Thanksgiving represents.

Peace and Blessings to you, Tara and your boys!

Pam said...

What a thing of beauty this posting is.Your writing is poignant and strong at the same time.It is such a privilege to have these insights into your life, and know that our soul resides in many places and things, and stretches to encompass them all.Really, thank-you for allowing a peek into your journey past and present, your wonderful family photos and history, and the honest and revealing approach to what it means to be where you are at present.Our family teach us much, yet I learn a lot here too. The heart-felt journey of others is humbling when it is delivered with such passion and integrity.

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Bob,
Hope you are improving daily and back in action soon. Tara and I arrive in Christchurch on the 12th, so will be in touch this week. Looking forward to a wee dram!
Cheers,
Robb

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Robin,
Of course I knew it was you! I see you as well. That you got this does not surprise me in the least, and indeed just reinforces the Journey. I reckon I could walk with you in the mountains, or forest, and we might never say a word, yet have the most amazing conversation anyway! Hope you and yours had a lovely Thanksgiving day.
Aroha,
Robb

Ruahines said...

Kia ora JJ,
You are absolutely correct, and I need to get beyond my own melancholy and excuses and just do it. We have a few birthdays around then, and of course Thursday here is NOT a holiday, but still, a quiet dinner surrounded by family and a few friends is not really that difficult is it!
Thank you for your support and aroha, and I hope you and Jeff and family had a fantastic day.
Aroha,
Robb

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Trish,
My little sister! You are the first family member to connect with me here, though I hope others are reading behind the scene. Thank you, and your presence here means the world to me, and is why I originally started this blog.
All those memories are very strong and clear to me, and as I wrote above I should be incorporating that into my life here in a more productive way, and thus connect with you and all the ones I love so far away.
I love you Trish, and I think about you every single day, and wish I could give you a big bear hug. I do with my heart.
I will look forward to seeing the photos. Kia kaha Trish. Remain Strong.
Aroha,
Robb

Ruahines said...

Kia ora HWHL,
I can sense how much you also appreciate Thanksgiving and the importance it holds for you. I wish you all the best for a beautiful and meaningful holiday season. And thank you for the lovely words about Hazel and Charlie!
Aroha,
Robb

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Pam,
Thank your kind words and for enjoying this post. We all really do have a lot to be Thankful for, but it can get so blurred by other events and happenings in the world. Sometimes we do have to keep our own back yards in order first. Sometimes we really do need to just sit back and reflect and appreciate the journey.
Pam I was so pleased to read of your good news, and wish you and your family the best. Kia kaha.
Aroha,
Robb

PATERIKA HENGREAVES, Poet Laureate said...

Kia ora Robb

I do hope your Thanksgiving blessings were what you wished for. This post was truly awesome when I think of how you gave your cyber friends, like me such a wonderful present for Thankgiving, which is all about sharing and giving thanks. Sharing your family history and pictures was the best gift. Indeed, the highest point at reaching out to your many friends especially ones like me you have never seen in real time. You are blessed to have such a caring extended family from the accounts I have read. As a mother with a son I was highly touched with the picture of you and your mom holding each other so lovingly. The timing of this gift was well executed. Thank you very much for taking time out from the Ruahines to share your family with me.
Ka kite ano

Paterika

Greg Brave said...

You know Robb,
In terms of family roots, me and you have nothing in common. I mean our families are from very different parts of the globe. But while reading your post, I realized how close people all over the world really are...
And what you said about the feeling of home at the end truly touched me... I could really connect to these words.
Thank you for this.

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Paterika,
To share is to give, and there are times such as this, Thanksgiving, to share with people such as yourself, wonderful people whom I have connected with in this way, is an honour. I feel as if with a small group of people from all around the world I have truly formed lasting frienships. I am so happy to include you in that group. Tara and I are heading down to Christchurch in a few weeks to meet Bob, and hopefully Marja as well. I am sure we will raise a glass to you! Hope you had a wonderful day of Thanks Paterika.
Aroha,
Robb

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Greg,
My experience is that people around the world are much more alike than different, and the things we inherently value the most, family, friends, and well being connect us even more. Nature is simply another extension of that, no matter where we live in the world. Have a great day my friend.
Rangimarie,
Robb

Maithri said...

Dear Robb,

What a beautiful blog you have here mate.

I'm at work at the moment on a break and its so refreshing to see these beautiful pictures of the place where you live and read a little of your story.

"Thankful for wild places"

To me, that is about as profound as a statement gets ;).

Its been my experience that those who are connected to nature, tend to also be the most real, and the most compassionate.

Winged peace to you and your loved ones,

Maithri

ophelia rising said...

Robb, thank you for your lovely note. I am thinking of you, and hope you get to the mountains very soon.

I've been offline lately - not posting, not commenting on blogs - just working on my book and focusing on other things. But I plan to get back to it soon. I need to start the blog presence again, especially if I want to sell my book to an agent (as they like to see active work, apparently. The whole thing is new to me).

Anyway, I treasure your friendship and hope you and your family are well and happy. Much love to you! Kia kaha!

D'Arcy said...

Dear Robb!

I am a bit late on the wishing, but here I am wishing it anyway. I spent this Thanksgiving in Paris, eating bread and butter for my feast..it was divine. I thought, that day, of so many things I am grateful for, and I realized, with joy, that I don't take those things for granted. They are real, they make me happy and sad, they make me laugh and cry, and they make me alive. They make me human, and they make me fragile.

Like you, I have felt truly bouyed up by all of the friends I have made across the globe this year. It's weird to think that a year ago I didn't even know you and Tara and the boys, didn't even know of the Ruahines Ranges, didn't know what Kia Ora meant, or so many other things. You've opened my eyes to a world that I can't wait to see in real life. I figure if I start hiking now, and practicing, you just might allow me along on your 50th birthday bash...has a woman ever made the trek with you guys?

I'm grateful for you friend!

Gustav said...

Happy Yule Tide Brother!

We have shared a turkey or two over the years my fine friend.

Yes it is difficult to replicate the same aura of Thanksgiving in the southern hemisphere. Your post describes Thanksgiving so well....family, friends, and memories of who we are and what we are about.

Each moment is so precious my friend.

Enjoy and soon we will be sharing a turkey and a whiskey or two. Until then let us celebrate this gift; the Present.

Bunka said...

Nice post.

http://fasterfast.blogspot.com/

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Maithri,
Haere Mai (Welcome) and greetings to you.
Thank you for your kind words. I am trying to find a voice that will speak for all Wild Places. My visit to your place left me very humbled, and your voice and message speak loudly.
May you have a wonderful and peaceful holiday season.
Rangimarie,
Robb

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Ophelia,
I treasure your presence as well, and my thoughts were very strong. Just checking in. I totally understand the "radio" silence, we are kindred that way. Just know there are many out here who care about you, and what you have to say. Keep writing! Look forward to reading your book. The best of Holiday Blessings to you and your family.
Aroha,
Robb

Ruahines said...

Kia ora D'Arcy,
Thanksgiving in Paris, how cool! I appreciate your words in regard to happiness, it is not always with a big grin and laughter that expresses our real happiness. Melancholia often touches my shoulder, something I live with, yet it does not touch my inner core, just a wave that will pass. Seeing life through those eyes often reminds me of the great beauty in my life when I can again see in colour.
You have become a treasured presence here as well, and I thank you for that. As to the Ruahines, they are equal opportunity mountains! They care not whose lungs they bust! You are always welcome here. Blessed holiday wishes to you my friend.
Aroha,
Robb

Ruahines said...

KIa ora Gustav,
Those memories of Thanksgiving in Minneapolis are also strong, and no doubt I could wrote another chapter about them! Yet in spite of those younger more boisterous days, we did abide by protocol and tradition and the valued friends we shared those moments with around the table will always be with me. The roots of those times were in those earlier photos of my family.
Yes my brother, to the Present, as always you are in my thoughts!
Aroha,
Robb

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Bunka,
Hare mai to you as well, and thank you!
Cheers,
Robb

Nature Nut /JJ Loch said...

Dropping by for a wild wave, Robb. Happy Holidays to your dear family. Do you still have family in Wisconsin? I do.

Hugs, JJ

Ruahines said...

Tena koe JJ,
A Wild Wave right back to you my friend! Yes, my mom and both sisters still live in Green Bay with their respective families so my thoughts often wander back there. I also have wonderful memories of Christmas times in Chicago as well - all snow filled with bright twinkling lights. I sit here in New Zealand right now in tee shirt and shorts so those winter memories have to serve me well. Have a lovely day JJ.
Aroha,
Robb

ophelia rising said...

Robb, I just have to comment here on the photo of this hut, settled neatly in the midst of the mountains and hills, the second-to-last picture. It reminds me of a children's story painting. I want to be inside that hut. What an amazing photo!

Just wanted to add this last observation!

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Ophelia,
You know, that is just what it felt like. It is Howlett's hut and really is in a stunning location. Thanks for that Ophelia! Have a beautiful day.
Aroha,
Robb

Anonymous said...

HERE WE GO AGAIN OFF INTO THE WILDERNESS AND KAHURANGI FOR 6 WEEKS!!!!!!!WE SHALL HENCE BE THE KAHURANGI MASOCHISTS FOR OUR DURATION. TRAVELING FROM 1 END OF KAHURANGI TO THE OTHER!!!!!!!
SO EXCITED TO GET AWAY FORM HOME!!
TRAMPING BEATS SITTING AT HOME FOR 6 WEEKS LIKE MOST OF THE KIDS IN MY SCHOOL! ADDED A COUPLE MORE TRIP REPORTS AND PHOTOS TO THE SITE!(www.freewebs.com/hellmission/)
WE ARE IN A SMALL WORLD, JUST RECENTLY ONE OF MY DAD's OLD FRIENDS FOUND OUR WEBSITE AND WERE GOING TO DO A TRAMP IN THE NEW YEAR!!HOPEFULLY WE WILL MEET YOU SOON!!
MIGHT SEND YOU A MESSAGE WHEN WE HAVE TRAVERSED OVER THE WILDERNESS TO KARAMEA FROM GOLDEN BAY!

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR
PHILLIP

Nature Nut /JJ Loch said...

Happy Holidays, Robb. I will say a prayer for you and your beautiful family on Christmas Eve. :D

Cheers, JJ

Jamie said...

Hey Robb,

Really nice to meet you and Tara the other night. Sorry had to escape. Didn't want to intrude too much on a bunch of living legends like those guys.

Hey I meant to say, if you have any free time in the next couple of days and can get hold of a car, you would be welcome to call in and stay at Arthurs Pass (house south of the chapel). Damn no other way to contact you.

Take care

Jamie

Ruahines said...

Hey Jamie,
Tara and I heading that way in the morning to take up your kind offer. My mobile 0274442116.
Cheers mate,
Robb

Lynda Lehmann said...

Robb, sorry I'm so long in getting here to read this very poignant and nostalgic post. I very much enjoyed reading about and seeing old photos of your family...

If you did not feel some sense of melancholy at this holiday season, you wouldn't be human. I hope your feelings of good fortune far outweigh the feelings of loss.

Feelings of loss are so much a part of life, especially as we age and the world spins faster. It's hard to even get our bearings sometimes.

It's the enduringness and beauty of nature that pull me out of my funk every time, and I know you relate to that.

I wish you a belated Thanksgiving and continued joy and excitement in the coming year, as your majestic surroundings reveal their secrets to you.

And I wish you good health, good cheer, and joy with your family. :)

Sugar said...

I love looking back on old family photos. That's part of what drives me as a photographer... knowing that this will be a cherished memory.

I have a favor to ask. Could you read the post on my giveaway for this fellow NZ dad? http://tanka12345.blogspot.com/ He knows of a medical center that needs help... I thought you might know someone that could fill that need.

Hope you are enjoying your summer. I'm freezing! It's almost in the 50s her in Cali! ;)

MB said...

I give my thanks for the beauty you share! :-)

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Phillip,
Have an awesome mission and a great Christmas. Looking forward to a few mountain trips myself.
Cheers,
Robb

Ruahines said...

Kia ora JJ,
Bless you. Just returned from a gereat trip to the South Island. You have a lovely holiday season.
Aroha,
Robb

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Lynda,
Thank you! You are so right. I just have returned from the beauty of the majestic south island where I was able to emmerse my soul in parts of Nature I have never seen before. It was really incredible and just deepens my love for mountains and Nature. Happy Holidays to you and yours.
Aroha,
Robb

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Sugar,
As I wrote above I just returned from a trip down south. Thanks for your lovely words, and I will check out your post shortly. Have a great Christmas!
Aroha,
Robb

Ruahines said...

Kia ora MB,
How lovely to read from you! I always check in at your place and I hope you are well and enjoying a fantastic holiday season. I just my first significant time down in the south island and just had an amzing experience. I will be sharing some of it soon, so stay tuned! Kia kaha MB,
Rangimarie,
Robb