Mavis

Earlier this week an elderly friend of mine passed from this life. Mavis wasn’t a close friend and I hadn’t spent a lot of time with her. However, I certainly did consider her a friend, not simply an acquaintance.

Why? Because when I saw her, usually weekly, she greeted me with enthusiasm, a smile and a hug. She enquired about my health, that of my husband, and anything else of pertinence of which she was aware in my life. She listened to me, encouraged me if and when necessary or relevant, and simply added a positive and generous dimension to my life.

As far as I am aware Mavis didn’t reach any public acclaim in her life (but maybe she was too humble to share of long-ago achievements) but she did touch many lives in many ways and most of us, including me, may never, this side of heaven, know of these acts of kindness and generosity.

I will miss my friend and her bubbly, joy-filled face… but I will remember her. Even though our relationship wasn’t long or deep she has left a legacy – a legacy of hope in eternal life. A legacy of a relationship with a very personal friend – Jesus.

Jesus was her constant companion. Someone to turn to in a time of need and someone to share the joys of life with. Mavis was an intercessor, a pray-er. She knew that Jesus was “just a prayer away” and called on him constantly, usually, I believe, on behalf of others. Most of these “others” probably don’t know of and will never be aware of the prayers prayed for them. But I must believe that these prayers made a difference in so many lives… and because of this Mavis’s legacy lives on.

It is always worth considering what sort of legacy each one of us will leave when we are called “home”. Will we be remembered for the successes we achieved financially, academically,  in sport or any number of social or public spheres? Or will our legacy be one of sowing good, joy, comfort, encouragement into people’s lives? How will our children and grandchildren speak of us?  What will friends and even acquaintances say about us?

We may not achieve “great things” (most of us don’t!) but we can still always share encouragement, joy, comfort, peace, love whenever we have the opportunity and leave a lasting legacy…

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Te Maika – 15… days of dinghies…

Because Te Maika is obviously a sea-side destination boats of many descriptions “live” or visit there  – in fact, as I’ve mentioned, one arrives by boat – the only means unless one is able or wants to travel several kilometres over the hills and sand on a quad bike.

I have written about the launches which conveyed us there, my father’s boats, JulieAnn and Dolphin, and kayaks that have arrived in recent years.  But going back to my childhood times we also owned a series of dinghies – most of them big and bulky as was the norm 50 years ago. Paddling round in the dinghy was an enjoyable way to pass an hour or so in the calm of the bay. Naturally, my brothers and I learned how to row at an early age.

I have also written about the tidal flow in the harbour. In the “bach bay” it is a gentle flow over six or so hours which covers a large area.  However, in “our” bay (Cable Bay) one of the main currents flows about 40 metres from the high tide mark which lends to a much swifter race for the water in our bay to escape.

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Our bay on a calm day at high tide.

One sunny day, the whole family was enjoying swimming and rowing about – it must have been a warm and sunny as there were day visitors also in the bay, with their motor boats. My brothers and I were mucking about in our current dinghy and, no doubt “showing off” to some extent. We didn’t take any notice of the tidal flow – parents were watching so all was fine! One of we three had the wonderful suggestion that we should try to “spin” the boat, or create a whirlpool. I don’t remember who manned the oars but one of us rowed forward as the other rowed backwards… until… “Oops, I’ve dropped the oar!” “Quick grab it!” “I can’t reach it!” “Paddle with that one!”

It was probably at about this point that we realised we were floating toward the harbour mouth in the out-going current. Our parents were, no doubt, standing on the shore shouting instructions while I was wondering if I could swim with the anchor to the rocks as we drifted past. (I’m pleased I didn’t get a chance to consider that seriously!)

Next thing we knew there was a motor boat pulling alongside us, “Here grab this rope…” “I’ve got your oar…” Two handsome young men (they must have been, mustn’t they?) had saved us from an unknown fate heading out to the big open sea in a tiny pea green boat… (hang on, that’s the owl and the pussycat…) … our boat was yellow!

I remember being so embarrassed at 12 or 13 years of age as I walked up the beach and overheard one of them comment … “Nice legs” then being led by my father to thank them …

Te Maika – 14 – Bedtimes and …

It is a fact that kids like to return to the same holiday destinations year after year.

Adults might prefer variety and exploring new places but children, according to research, like to return to familiar “haunts.” We were happy to oblige and continued to cart children, friends, food and not much else to Te Maika for many years.

As more adult friends were invited to holiday with us our “escapades” increased.  My brother took two kayaks to the bach and they made a home there.

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Kayaks ready for action.

Fishing rods were purchased and fish became an occasional treat – occasional because I don’t think any of us were skilled fishermen or women.

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Ever hopeful…

 

 

 

 

 

 

As the children grew longer legs we were able to venture further afield.

High-jinks at night became the norm… there was always an “apple-pied” bed for some unsuspecting sleepy-head to climb into and I still get caught out by someone waiting silently at the corner of the bach after my before-bed trip to the long drop. A torch shining in her face accompanied by a loud “BOO!” never fails to bring on fits of giggles –  year after year after year!

One night we were all tucked up in bed, lights blown out when a certain gentleman (?) amongst our number climbed out of bed and crept over to each of us, torch in hand, and shone it in our faces… camera in hand to record startled faces!.  This was just a distraction for the “main event”.  As I settled back to a sleepy state my instinct for trouble remained on high alert.   Torch at the ready under my pillow… ears focussed on any bed-shuffling or “out-of-place” sounds, I wasn’t disappointed …

After a short time of listening… listening… listening… I sat up and shone my torch into a surprised face… and then above me… There descending directly above my head was fishing line weighted with a sinker… One father and two boys (my son and his son) had threaded this line through some plastic spouting suspended in the exposed rafters so, when slowly lowered from the bed at the other end of the pipe, the plan was for it to scare me out of my wits as a “spider” gently plopped itself on my head in the dark of night…. but the plan was foiled …ha! ha! …one up to me!

The following day we had a very high tide so I challenged “Spiderman” to a rock climb… around the rocks in our bay at high tide without getting our feet wet… the results didn’t matter but it is always a fun bit of exercise…

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Clambering around the rocks at high tide.

Te Maika – 13 – Why visit?

What is it that intrigues people about Te Maika?

Let’s look at the “negative”…

  • It is on the west coast of New Zealand therefore the weather is usually quite erratic.
  • It is so isolated that there are no shops to drive to – oops, no cars to drive either!
  • Food for the stay must be taken on the initial trip unless one has access to a boat.
  • There are no medical facilities.
  • There is no power.

Now let’s look at the “positive”…

  • It is on the west coast of New Zealand therefore the weather is usually quite erratic. – Yay! makes for variety!
  • It is so isolated that there are no shops to drive to. – Yay, nowhere to spend money!
  • Food for the stay must be taken on the initial trip unless one has access to a boat. – Yay! no further meal planning… and one must catch some fish!
  • There are no medical facilities. – Well, we’ve never actually needed them that urgently.
  • There is no power. – Yay! leave those pesky machines at home!

Actually, things have naturally “evolved” over the years and “improved” but “internet”, “cell phones”, even “television”, were not in the English vocabulary back when I started holidaying at Te Maika. When cassette players and then hand-held devices became popular we had a rule that they must be left at home… did anyone complain? Yes, for the first day, maybe, but then they were happily forgotten. We were so isolated from the rest of the world that two weeks would happily pass by without us knowing whether or not the rest of the world even continued to exist!

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A storm is heading our way…

Weather forecasts are quite important to us now in planning our days but back then we just took it as it came and planned anyway.  Nothing we could or can do about it! One wet and stormy day was always welcome after several hot and sunny ones.  A great time to stay indoors and play board or card games. As in most kiwi baches, there is a pile of games left there just for that purpose – played with excitement over the holiday period and not seen any other time of the year.

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… and the rain come down!

And when kids get tired of being cooped up inside, it’s on with the coats (or not, if one is happy to get wet!) and out for a roam to see what the high tide is doing!

Admittedly, some folk just cannot understand how we can cope at such an isolated place, but these folk are are in the minority. Do we really need to shower every day when we can swim? And what if it’s too cold for swimming? Well, probably others aren’t swimming either so we all smell as bad as each other! (Actually, it’s only in fairly recent times that daily showering has become the norm.)

So now, I’ve clarified those issues, I will tell you about some of our visitors over the years … tomorrow…

Tidy-up Time.

“Be patient and most important of all – never give up.” Matthew Loomis

  • Opening
  • Middle
  • Close
  • Headline

Now I’m set and ready to re-visit my old posts… oh, what a task!

Over the next few days it is my intention to go back to my “Te Maika” posts and see how I can improve the openings, the closures (can I call them that?) and the headlines as per Matthew Loomis’ instructions in his ebook “How to Write the Perfect Blog Post”.

I am fully aware that my “Te Maika” posts don’t fall under the category of blog often referred to (in ML’s booklet) but I am sure I can still improve on what is currently there – especially in the Title.

So I’d love it if you journey with me and comment as we go…

Te Maika – 12 – Lights and Hi-jinks

“When you come inside you get ready for bed.”

The children knew this and it was a great ploy to keep them outside for as long as possible! By the time my children and my friends’ children had another friend or cousin at Te Maika we often numbered three adults and six children in our tiny bach. None of us really minded where we slept so long as we had somewhere to lay our heads so we had energy for the following day’s activities.

But evenings were quite special, too. The first task, once night came upon us, was to light the lamp.  The procedure went something like this:

  1. Check that there was sufficient kerosene in the base for the evening.
  2. Turn various knobs for whatever reasons…
  3. Pump a knob to build up pressure until gauge reached a red line.
  4. Fill tray below mantle with meths.
  5. Light meths with match.
  6. When meths has mostly burned off turn another knob and light the mantle with another match (I think).
  7. Hope mantle lights.
  8. Pump again to ensure gauge is at red line.

I lived in fear that the whole thing would blow up in our faces; the children loved to help and were quite in awe of the procedure.  On occasion I did have to rush the lamp outside as something went wrong, and we would wait until the flames died down before beginning all over again!  But the lamp generally worked very well and provided ample light to sit around the table playing games. Another benefit was that the fumes kept mosquitoes and other little insects away.

A smaller and less complicated kerosene lamp was used for light in the kitchen and bathroom and torches were kept handy if one needed to visit the long drop in the night (though, I think the moonlight served instead when one just popped out the door…!)

One night each holiday the children were allowed to go outside again after dark… Moonlight was not a video game back then.  It was game where players hid and then returned to an allocated spot (“home”) before the “in” person spotted or caught them. Of course, the adults joined in … and visits to the long drop were essential before the game began! Even so, I remember more than one occasion when one of the girls came back laughing loudly… “I’ve wet my pants!” or she crashed to the ground just short of “home” with her legs crossed laughing so much, “I’m peeing my pants!!”

The kerosene lamps were gradually superseded by more modern ones and then camping lamps and flash torches until now we actually have solar-powered lighting – turned on by the flick of a switch, and in all the sleeping areas, too!

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One night in between different lamps and torches when candles had to suffice!

My daughter, on a recent visit, asked if we could light the old lamp “for old times’ sake…” “Ummmm, no!”

 

Progress… learning, learning, learning..

“If you want to continually grow your blog, you need to learn to blog on a consistent basis.” Neil Patel

How’s this… my second post today…!!! And I’m taking advice seriously… (as per the above quote from a “Top Blogger” – thank you, Neil.)

Actually, what I want to mention is the progress I am making. I am enjoying the learning process and if my blurb here helps anyone else I will be happy!

In my previous post under menu item “Blogging” I was looking at blogging for money.  Now this may be an eventual goal but I realised I needed to sort out my site first and foremost.  Thanks to WordPress Help, I think I have managed to do this.  It probably could still do with some tweaks, but generally it’s okay for now.

Second point I want to make here is to direct you to the excellent “setting up” site my hubby found.  And I have a question for you… but first, I am loving what Matthew Loomis has to say regarding blogging (no, he’s not paying me to say this and I hope it’s okay to use his name here). I don’t know where hubby, Jim, came across his site and I’m not going to plagiarise his information but I am sure putting it into practice…. eg, beginning with a quote.

And now, the question…. Jim (hubby) wants to create a “chat forum” relating to topics he’s interested in.  My site is already set up and doesn’t have a lot of traffic though I love that I have a few followers and readers of each post (what blogger doesn’t?) Should Jim use my site and add an item to my menu or create his own site? A point to note is that I am likely to do much of the administering of his site if he sets up his own (but he would respond to forum discussions)… which would make it easier to just have the one web/blog site….

Anyway, love to hear your opinion…