Friday, May 21, 2010

I Wanna Go Home

Winter seems to be finally putting her chilly hand upon us as the days get colder, shorter, and take on the shades of grey I remember well. We have been blessed by an unusually temperate and rainless autumn, which was extremely fortunate for my rehabilitation walks. Last weekend was the only time I was caught out in the rain on any of my walks in the last six weeks. The wood I laid into before my surgery to keep the family warm, lies still mostly untouched and stacked high in the garage. Waiting patiently.

Charlie has begun the rugby season for the Kia Toa Under 8's, his first year of tackle rugby, and the sound of him running outside in his new cleats on the driveway invokes powerful memories for me. That metallic clacking on the cement a sound I love. The cadence of cleats a powerful bonding preparation for battle as I advanced towards the field with my teammates before a game, or the weary dragging of them after the game or practice as tired boys and young men retreat to the locker room. I can smell the sweat, the earthy goodness of the mud and grass stains, the joyous ribald conversations in victory, or the quiet banter and tears of defeat. It is the autumn and this is what I remember.

It is my first week back at work and yesterday was six weeks since my hip replacement, the first milestone reached. Maybe it is just me, but it always seems that with the arrival of winters finger tips down here on the plains of New Zealand's North Island it all begins to take on a more grayish hue, the environment, the sky, the feel of damp bone chilling cold, and even the countenance of people appears dim and disconcerted, as if mulling over the prospects of the winter months ahead.

In terms of my hip things are going well. I will throw the crutches away after this weekend for good, and can resume going back to the gym as well. I obviously still have to be very careful bending down and to the sides, getting in and out of cars, and just being mindful of being patient. And that is hard. I look north to the Ruahines all the time. For six weeks as I walked they were within view almost constantly, beneath the blue skies day after day, now they are buried under billowing masses of blackish clouds. Still, they call strongly.

Thoughts of my rapidly approaching 50th birthday add to the sombreness I normally feel this time of year, added to no doubt by having a hip replaced six weeks ago. I can still hear the sound of those cleats! Yet in the mirror that boy is gone. Replaced by someone who vaguely looks like my own father. I think of my boys, maybe a bit selfish in the melancholic reality that as they grow strong and gain independence, I have a new hip and am turning 50.

Taylor, struggling to fit into a school system part of me can't fault for not wanting to, yet part of me with a foot planted in this adult world of responsibility and belonging worries for him. How do I balance that? I want to take him into the mountains again, but alas, cannot yet, and even that is probably more to make me feel better than to provide any answers for him. I think back on my own teen age years, and despite the balding pate, the new hip, and more weight than I care for, I feel more comfortable approaching 50 than I ever did at 17. I still seem to have just as many questions.
And Charlie, well his time to meet the real wilderness approaches as well. I hope I am up to the job. In the meantime I just want him to enjoy the sound of his new cleats.



feddabonn said...

kia ora robb,

is good to hear your hip is healing. and i wouldn't take the 50 too seriously, i still remember how at 19, i was no match for my 75 year old grandad in strength and endurance, and this after two attacks of tuberculosis. you'll be right!

it is strangely heartening to know that i'm not the only one with the grey moods, lol.

Donald said...

Dear Robb

What a great and positive post. Keep up the good work and the patience [which is obviously paying off].

Yes, pre winter is mentally interesting. We're into the wood pile down here now with some earnest. Still I went tramping today - simply counteracting the grey days already obviously ahead!



Allan Stellar said...

This age 50 transition thing is, well, challenging? Nice post...

To pass on a love of wilderness to children, I think, is the best legacy we can leave. And to pass on a love of wilderness that also encompasses a "enough is enough" attitude is priceless. Good luck!


Tim Koppenhaver said...


That ominous feeling of approaching winter prevails in NZ. Back in the states it's a spring revival.

Few smells hold such strong memories as that of a soggy football field. A stew of sweat, grass, mud, and chalk from the yardlines. Might seem like a odd mix of smells but I love it. Throw in the scratching of cleats across the asphalt and the memory of football practice is complete.

Glad to hear your recovery is going well. You'll be tramping in no time.

Take care.


Lost Coyote said...

We all have more questions than answers, I'm afraid...all our best to Taylor...I've made a career of the school system, and I don't fit in. It's the story of my life's easy for guys like us to find beauty in beautiful places...finding beauty in broken systems...well, as I said, I still have a lot of questions...

Nigel Olsen said...

Robb! The onset of winter always makes one a little introspective. Couple that with certain stages of our journey through life & it's easy to start to feel a little anxiety. All that's required during this time are the company of friends & family, good food & drink, & in your particular case, the realisation that you have mountains to climb & explore. Throw a decent internet connection into the mix & you're all set to deal with life!

Kia kaha, young man. Kia kaha.

Ruahines said...

Kia ora feddabonn,
I think a trip into the hills will soothe my mind. I guess it is more missing them than worrying too much about turning 50, which I can't do much about anyway. Just need to be patient.
Glad to have you aboard the melancholic train of late autumn. Kia kaha.

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Donald,
The good news is I am finally able to chop some wood and kindling. Good for the soul, and sitting by my fire wee dram in hand is one of my favourite past times.
Glad you are out there doing it, and look forward to a bit of vicarious enjoyment over at your place.
When this hip gets right you are always welcome to come and experience a bit of the Ruahine should you get up this way. If you don't mind my pace. Have a great weekend my friend.

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Allan,
To be honest the turning 50 doesn't much worry me, not being able to get into the mountains does, so I can't help but relate the two. I started today back at the gym with the goal of the Ruahine in July, so I feel better already.
I hope both my boys get that love of wilderness. In Taylor's case, my older son, it is already inside him waiting to unwrap should he wish. I hope he does. Great to read of your new tramping regime. Kia kaha.

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Tim,
Interesting that growing up in Wisconsin, where you have just been, I never experienced the melancholy of winter here in New Zealand. I think it is because there is such a drastic change to the landscape and environment with the onset of cold and snow, where here, unless high in the mountains, the environment is still the same, just cold and damp.
The memories of football here are also a lonely experience, as it is not played here. Rugby just isn't the same for me. Amazing at times how those smells evoke memories.

Ruahines said...

Kia ora LC,
I just read your response to my comment at your place. Thank you brother. The mere fact men like you who care about these boys and girls whom don't fit in somehow makes me feel better about Taylor. His mother and I are both misfits so it shouldn't surprise me that he is. It is just hard sometimes, so seeing him not "adjusting" to the system is hard as well. Most of me actually applauds him, but the one part of me just wants him to "fit in". Its easier. As far as I can see. Yet the other way has a few benefits as well, as you mention. Maybe I should just give him a hug and rub his back like I did when he was little.
I know your surgery approaches, and my thoughts are with you LC, everyday. I went to the gym today and did 45 minutes on the bike for the first time, man the old aerobic fitness needs some work. But I am building to the Ruahine in July so those thoughts kept me pedalling. My hip feels good, is standing up well, and blow me down having no pain still just blows me away! Your fitness built up over the years will hold you in good stead, just be patient (good advice coming from me!) and let it come to you. Aw shit, lets discuss it around the campfire! Kia kaha my fellow hipster.

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Nigel,
Indeed, in so many ways I am a wealthy man as I have all you describe above. I am using this evening my clay cooker, which first soaked in water and then loaded up with onion, garlic, kumara, a couple potatoes, some cannellini beans, and a few nice pork loin steaks with various herbs and spices is putting a most outstanding aroma to this young evening. My wife will be pleased.
The mountains are next. Thanks for stopping by. I always pop into your place for a bit of food inspiration and ideas. Kia ora Nigel.

Tracey Axnick said...

I always get very introspective (and a bit melancholy) as Fall approaches... maybe it's melodramtic, but to see all the lush beautiful green things come to the end of their natural life cycle makes me always a bit pensive. BUT Winter has a beautu all its own, yes?

I know what you mean about getting older... in many ways, the wisdom and balance one gains with age is well worth the "negatives" of aging... however I do miss certain parts of being 25, that's for sure. And of course, having 2 teenage children (as I do) will age one even MORE quickly. :)

Enjoy this season in your life, Robb.... life is a journey to be savored, as I know you know.
We are all surrounded by so many gifts and blessings ....


Marty Mars said...

Kia ora Robb

I'm pleased you're healing - I just went through a massive thunderstorm and it really bought home to me how beautiful everything is. Keep up the good work mate.

Nga mihi


KB said...

It's amazing that it's been 6 weeks since your surgery. To someone across the globe, it feels like the blink of an eye. I'm sure that it feels longer to you.

Do you normally visit the Ruahines in the winter? On snowshoes or skis? I don't know much about NZ winters, especially in the mountains.

Ahhh, the sound of cleats. I played lacrosse for a very happy 10 years of my life, and that sound would evoke wonderful memories for me too.

I'm glad that you can see the Ruahines during your walks - even seeing them must bring a smile to your face most days.

Stay strong and you'll be up there in those mountains with your boys before you know it!

Funny, I have to say that Abbey was a little too cantankerous for me when I was surrounded by "his" country. How I would have loved to live in his time - without so many people around. So, after reading another large chunk of the book while sitting in the desert, I decided to wait until I arrived home to finally finish it. He loved his desert and he'd hate what some people are doing to it now.

Kia Kaha,

Bob McKerrow - Wayfarer said...

Throw those damn crutches away, stop the whinging mate, and stride across the hilltops like in the days of yore!

Kia Kaha.


Marja said...

HI Robb Thanks for your support.
Just went to the school and it was good to see so many people involved.
My son and school never went together either. In the school where he is now at least he wants to go there. The worry is always there of how his future will turn out, but after today I am pleased that my kids are both healthy and I told myself that I shouldn't worry so much and let him find his own way. (hope it lasts)
Yes Enjoy the sound of the cleats. (a new term for me)
I am happy that you can throw your crutches away soon and soon all will be forgotten.
I have the same feeling about becoming 50 although this year I have to do first 49. It is as live is just beginning and not enough time will be left to do all you want.
WIsh you all the best and I am starting to plan a trip to the North Island. If you have any tips
of places to see let me know.
Arohanui marja

Gustav said...

Time marches on brother. Cycles repeat. Son, father, son. Listen brother. No Listen!

We are vikings and face life with eyes and ears open. The best is yet to come my fine friend.

See you at the 50th Bash. Can we play a Van tune?

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Tracey,
Indeed winter does have her own charms, even here in more temperate Aotearoa. The wood fire, the sharpness of the blue sky (when it does appear), and the far off views of the snow covered ranges and the wry smile it brings as I plot to get amongst them.
Funny how that old saying 'Youth is wasted on the young" actually starts to take on real meaning as I approach 50!
I am blessed indeed, thanks for the reminder. Hope you had a wwonderful anniversary.

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Marty,
I saw there was some wild stuff headed your way. Glad you enjoyed it!
Kia kaha.

Ruahines said...

Kia ora KB,
The time does go by quickly. Back at work and on the road to Taranaki this coming week. A beautiful part of the north island, Mt.Taranaki is a volcano which looms over the area and is quite stunning in winter when covered in snow.
Winter is actually my favourite time to be in the Ruahines, though the days are short, and the nights long and cold. Solitude is the reward and I rarely encounter other people and the with a fire in the hut it is quite comfortable, at least until crawling into the sleeping bag and the fire goes out.
There is scope to ski in places and snow shoeing is gaining in popularity. Generally you will get a cover of snow above 900 metres or so that will be consistent from May to early September, though I have had snow down in the river valleys around 600 metres as well. The cold is different to what I experienced in Wisconsin, a much damper heavier cold. There are also ridges not quite in the open tops which allow fairly deep access, and of course the rivers are another winter highway - though a pretty chilly experience as you will spend a lot of time in the water. I have arrived at a few huts after 4-5 hours on a winter river fairly down in and a bit shaky on it till I can get the billy on for a few hot drinks and get the fire going. I am aiming for a reunion tramp in July, dead in the heart of winter, so stay tuned.
Interesting how the sound of cleats brings back so many memories. I never played la crosse, though while at Ripon college where I played football they had a team and I used to sit on the hillside and watch them and found it very cool. I wish I would have plucked up the courage to give it a go.
Thats a good call you made about Ed, and I am glad you just enjoyed the place rather than put some sort of unwarranted connection to it. Abbey would have appreciated that KB. I am quite sure were he around today, he would be shaking his head in disgust and sorrow that so much of what he predicted is happening, or has happened.
Kia kaha KB.

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Bob,
Point taken. Working on it.

Penny said...

I came across you via someone else's blog - slow lane life, I think. My hubby and I spent our teen years in Palmerston North, although we're both originally from the South Island. And we went to Massey and were members of the Tararua Tramping Club in the late '60's and early '70's.
The pictures bring back some memories.
We live in Australia now. Interestingly, we regard ourselves as New Zealanders NOT kiwis. Kiwis is a term newcomers use. Same here: you're Australian and only call yourself an Aussie if you're a newcomer.
There used to be a black humour rhyme we said in winter weather:
" Up the mountain trail they crawl/
And all they see is nothing at all/
In the Tararua Ranges."

Northland said...

Hey Robb,
Glad to hear you are healing well. Since the extreme herniation I had on my L5 disc 3 years ago while dog team guiding (I fell on a steep portage trail leading on skis). I have never been the same again mentally or physically. Along came hip pain after a rough recovery and physical therapy following micro-discectomy surgery. I kept up with life as I loved living it, but pain has been a regular companion.
This winter I took the time to go with my oldest son on a snowshoe trek of 5 days, pulling a pulk in the McCormick Wilderness Tract, without trails and in broken, steep hills. Didn't know if I'd be able to do it, but by the end of the trip hip and back pain was gone. This lasted for many days until I was back at guiding and abusing my body again. Don't like gyms so this next winter I will be snowshoeing the hills hereabout with a pulk behind as my preferred exercise. Some day in the future I may need to have hip or other joint replacements ( I guess when the pain becomes too much to bear).
It is good to hear from you that the hip pain is gone and life is looking better, though the damp and pissy winter is not to your liking. What a blessing that you are pain-free!
Keep after the exercising and good cheer for the preparations for your July trip.

jack sender said...

Robb, heal those bones.

I broke my arm two years ago and the experience changed my life to the careful side.

Best to you on fifty.

Robin Easton said...

Dear Wild Bother, I sat and cried reading this. It is as if I wrote it myself. The people and situations may vary but the emotion is the same. I sense a deep reflective quality, a hunger, a longing in you to go home. I relate to this. And like you, that home is always the wild.

I am over and over struck by your deeply genuine nature and way of being. I soak it up like the powerful truth that it is. And it is not just one thing you may say, it all of it. All that say and feel comes from an honest heart. I go away feeling SO much more me.

I too look toward my mountains and hunger to be in them or back in my favorite slot canyon. I also feel like you (and Taylor) with all I that I am currently doing work wise, hungering for the wild but also trying to fit into that "adult world" and be responsible and remember my dream of wanting to move out of the city and back to the land. It is a bit of trial by fire at times. But it did me good to hear you say that part about understanding Taylor and yet also knowing the need for the responsibility part. In my case that is the part that will bring my dream to fruition. Thank you for keeping me grounded and yet free. It is a fine balance we walk.

Your soul shines here Robb, and I often feel as if you know exactly what is going in my heart and speak to me what I need right when I need it. Also how amazing that we both wrote about wanting to go home.

I am deeply grateful for your truth, wisdom and soul friendship. Keep me posted on your first trip and I will go with you in spirit. :)

You are indeed my Wild Brother.
Aroha my dear friend.
Your Wild Sister.

Barbara Martin said...

Another post to touch one's soul, Robb. How wonderful you can see your goal on the horizon, while I have to recall the memories or look at photos as the crags I'd like to be near are 3500km west.

Go easy as you pace yourself in your exercise regime, and you may just find yourself with your good friend, Gustav, tramping those hills and mountains on your 50th.

Andrea said...

Love your photos of New Zealand. Almost got there myself recently to work for 6 months near Wellington. It may still happen. I reckon those boys are lucky to have a dad who introduces them to such things

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Marja,
I hope these past days have allowed your friends some rest and peace. From what I saw on the news they had pretty outstanding attitudes for such a tragedy. I wonder how I would reactin such times? Sorry it has taken so long to respond. I have been in Taranaki all week with work.
Sons eh! Sometimes I just appreciate the calm moments with my oldest lad, and await the next storm. It is a load to figure out this parenting caper.
My hip is feeling pretty good after a week in the Naki, didn't get outdoors much as the weather was shite and I saw the mountain once, but did manage to getup and down some stairs quite often. I am feeling good, ready for fifty and the mountains!
You give me a ring or send an email when you get up this way. I have a few places for you to visit up here my friend. Kia kaha Marja.

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Brother,
In my 50 years upon this Earth, some of my brightest smiles, some of my most intense moments, have been in your company. That is pretty powerful, and has deep meaning for me.
So I treasure the thought of having you here for even a few days around that time. A quick dash into Heritage Lodge or even Iron Gate if we have only a night or two would be utterly fantastic. My very first walk into the Ruahine with my new hip and a long absence with you would be an honour.

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Penny,
Haere mai! I am proud to reconnect you with the beautiful North Island mountains, and happy to read you enjoy the photos.
I understand, and have seen a bit myself, of the grandness and splendour of the South Island. But I think it safe to write that those whom have spent real quality time in the Tararua's and Ruahine are impacted by them forever. That poem is oh so true!
I hope to resume my mountain journeys soon so I hope you stop back and enjoy. Kia ora!

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Don,
Glad you stopped in! It gets pretty tough as the years creep on in, and those old injuries, aches and pains take their toll. Toughing it out only goes so far. The saddest day I had in the mountains was last Novemeber when I had to turn back with heavy pack and tent from a steep climb and camp. I realized the time had come. But now, having attended to the main problem, and addressing a few others, I am anxious to get out and try my hand again. I may have to adapt how I travel and spend time there, but I am okay with that. Winter had defintely set in now, just spent a week literally underneath the highest mountain in the north island, Taranaki - an active volcano, and saw it once! Also got some far off glimpses o the cloud shrouded Ruahine driving today in the rain. I can't wait to get amongst them! Hope to see you back at the writing over at your place when you are ready. Kia kaha!

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Jack,
I shall watch my steps in those mountains with great care. Out here as well.

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Robin,
You are in New York with your book as I write this. I am sending a few thoughts and wishes of wild places to you. I hope they get there.
Thank you my amazing friend, as always, for unabashed love and acceptance. And for reading my words and looking at my images. It is very real.
I have returned home after a week away, it is a stormy night, the fire blazes away, and I find myself alone as I await my family. It is so Quiet in Here. Rave Wild Sister, I shall most definitely keep you informed as to my rendevous with the Ruahine. You will feel my howls of Joy, my tears of Gladness when I am there.
Kia kaha my special friend.

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Barbara,
Your place at all times, but especially so during my convalescence, was one which I often turned to for beauty and inspiration. If your visits here in any way help you recall your own wild interactions, then you make a very wealthy man.
Gustav, is indeed coming! A brief visit on his travels, but no doubt we will spend some of that time in the hills. Stay tuned my friend. Kia kaha.

Beth said...

Robb, so glad to hear the healing is going so well, good for you. Turning 50 I understand, having passed it seven years back; life speeds up and a bigger part of the challenge becomes to fight the awareness of time passing and to live fully each day. You can do it, and the Ruahines will help you! We are enjoying our brief summer here and trying not to feel sad that it's so short - right now it's glorious but 2 weeks ago we had snow. Do be careful of the hip and continue your fine recovery. I'm glad for you, my friend!

Anonymous said...

Hi Robb. I guess you have thrown away the crutches by now, and are back at the gym more. It sounds like you are healing well. The colours of the scenery and waterfall in this post are beautiful, and yes, quite different from the crispness of winter in Wisconsin. I remember it well. Seeing the first snowfall of the season arrive one morning along with the big yellow school buses at Stillwater Elementary school, the children all with their warm hats and gloves. Being there in winter, I missed the excitment of tubing(?) down the river in those huge inner tyres.People in Wisconsin were so friendly and open. Like you! As a cyclist,my husband clacks away on cleats each morning to ride to work "preparing for battle" of a different kind.His is not the linament smell of the locker room, but the classroom smells of popped bubblegum, and thirty different hair conditioners -both sexes!Heal well Robb. Each post is so expressive of everything in this journey of yours.Wishing you well.

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Andrea,
I hope you do make it here, while it is still worth seeing. There is not a whole lot of real pure wilderness left, and our current government sees only dollar signs in spite of our clean and greeen image.
Kia ora, I have had an interesting day today with the boys as my wife is both working and trying to complete here under grad finals. A teen ager and a 7 year old just goes minute to minute.

troutbirder said...

All is well Robb. Though far away in time and space my sons growing up are my fondest memories. Treasure each and every moment.

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Beth,
I am plotting in the back of my mind to load up a pack and Charlie and go for a camp this weekend as it looks as if the weather might come right, and I know a perfect little Ruahine spot.
I can't think of a way for me to live more fully than that and get to see the smile on Charlie's face as well! Kia kaha my friend.

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Pam,
Any teachers these days have my utmost respect. The bike ride no doubt a prepartion for battle!
Snow storm days in Wisconsin are among my finest memories, and I guess looking back coming out of those long cold winters made the the spring and hot humid short summers very vivid. I miss the dramatic change of seasons the most. I think you might mean the St. Croix river for tubing - a real good one in that area just before it runs into the Mississippi, which at that point is a good idea to pull over!
Thanks Pam, I am happy to know you get some enjoyment here, as I certainly do from you as well. Kia kaha.

Ruahines said...

Kia ora TB,
I am trying, ain't always easy with teens I must admit but I am trying.

Lynda Lehmann said...

You are waxing SO philosophical, Robb, aware of the changes in your life and your past and present blessings, as well.

A very poignant and well written post, to say the least. You voice comes across as strong and resolute, yet coming to terms with your rites of passage and recent surgery. I call that "resilience."

And you're right: for now he must enjoy the sound of his new cleats.

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Lynda,
Charlie is indeed enjoying the cleats, and proving to be a nice little rugby player!
It is interesting, as 50 approaches I find myself rather much more focused on my reunion with the Ruahines than actually turning 50 and any celebration, or melancholy, that might go along with that.
I wonder sometimes if part of the reason I can feel so out of sorts as winter approaches here, is that even after 17 years I still associate June with summer, and just find it mentally harder to get my head around.
My hip is feeling pretty good and I am building up my strength for a Ruahine walk. Thanks Lynda, for all your support and observations! Kia kaha.

Nature Nut /JJ Loch said...

A FANTABULOUS POST, ROBB!!! GREAT PHOTOS that speak from the heart too!!!

You are an amazing traveler through this life and how blessed I am to know you by way of blogging!

Glad you hear you are moving around again. :D The mountains must call to you like Bali Hai, and I pray you can hike them again soon.

I'm also into my recuperation time and doing well. :D

I had a book released - where I am the photographer - on June 1st. :D

Hugs, JJ

Paterika Hengreaves said...

Kia ora Robb

Thank you so very much for your many visits. I'm feeling a lot better today and had good news two hours ago. My brother who lives in Texas will be here next week on holiday. I'm delighted to hear the good news concerning your post surgery activities. Your upbeat mood shines in your post and that shows that your healing on the right track. I can not seem to get the awful images of the Gulf of Mexico out of my mind, so sad indeed.


Ruahines said...

Kia ora JJ,
Cheers, and I have got back amongst the mountains so stay tuned. This week I am up working in Taranaki, a beautiful snow covered volcano, now covered by snow. I live in a beautiful, but volatile land.
Glad you are feeling better and hope the approaching summer is delightful for you and Jeff hiking and paddling. Kia kaha.

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Paterika,
Visiting your place is a distinct pleasure. If I can recipocate that enjoyment it makes these places worthwhile. I hope you have a fine visit with your brother.
As I wrote above I have good news to share about my prgress and the mountains when I get some free time, so stay tuned.
What we continue to do to the earth, to eviscerate her in our greed and relentless pursuit of economic growth brings me to tears. Kia kaha.

Wilma Ham said...

Oh winter, we have two fires blazing and luckily enough firewood to keep them going. After our drought, rain has set in and hasn't stopped much.
I am pleased to hear you are progressing.
Do not worry about your son, the world is a diverse place, with a lot of opportunities if one is allowed to taste them. School is not always the best place to learn about life and what is available, their view of the world and possibilities is extremely narrow. Encourage him to be in action, to taste what is available, experience is the best teacher.
Aroha, Wilma

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Wilma,
Thanks for the encouragement about my son. I really do at times see a real spark there, a real gleem to him, but it gets so buried under the bravado, angst, and selfishness of being a teen ager. Just trying to stay in touch with him.