An end of an era

In two weeks' time our New Zealand "grandmother" will move from her current home in the hills of the Banks peninsula to a retirement home in Christchurch city, and with it will change an era for us, too.

For three years we have met almost every Sunday morning at this house which stretches with the paddocks surrounding it, its gardens and its love.

Our "adopted" grandparents have watched our children grow and me and The Man mature, just as we have watched them age. For many Sundays we have shared biscuits and pancakes at the kitchen table...

...and for three autumns we have helped pick apples....

...and have eaten countless grapes.

On warm days we have sat on the front porch...

...and have sometimes helped out with little bits in the garden, or have mowed the lawn.

But the garden is a little overgrown now. Last year we said our final goodbye to our grandfather who is now buried at a cemetery just down the road from this farm and it's become time for our grandmother to move away from the farm also, and leave the hillside to people young and strong who can take care of the land and the many animals on it.

She doesn't like being photographed, but on Sunday just been I nevertheless brought my camera with me because I wanted some photos to remember this place by, as the coming Sunday will be our last at the house and I didn't want any cameras to deal with then.

She will still continue being a part of our life as the retirement village she is moving to will be a short drive down the road - on clear days we will probably just take our bikes there.

But for the house itself, it's an end of an era. Shelves are already empty, much of the furniture gone and once new owners move in I am sure it will change alongside them, for it is not meant to stay as a museum to the couple that built it in 1973.

This house has brought us much warmth, and a much-needed family we otherwise don't have here. And I will always remember it with much, much fondness.

Thank you. Thank you.

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