I hope that 2016 has been good to you.
This time of year I also take the opportunity to thank you my dear readers, as without you this blog just wouldn't be. You have helped me to continue to write down my thoughts and share my photos, and I hope you have enjoyed what I have shared. I have certainly enjoyed our conversations and connecting with you through your blogs.
It is eight years since I tentatively started my blog in July 2008. My posts have evolved over that time and I have made many wonderful connections all over the world. I am grateful for the way blogging has expanded my world. One benefit of blogging for me is that it has become a diary of sorts for me, a great way for me to document, and look about over, our journeys, activities, special moments and thoughts through my photography and jottings.
This is the way my blog for this week started last week, but then over the last few days as I went about preparing for Christmas my thoughts went in a different direction as I thought about the people in my life who are going through grief, stress or trauma at the moment.
My friend whose divorce came through a few weeks ago, our neighbour whose husband passed away from cancer on Christmas eve 2015, my brother-in-law whose brother passed away a few months ago, two friend's whose mothers passed away this year, a friend who is caring for her very ill mother in Esperance, a friend who is desperate to reconnect with her daughter if only she knew where she was (please make contact), my blogging friend who recently had encouraging medical reports on her cancer journey, and another blogging friend who has had multiple health issues during the year.
But there has been joy too for some of these friends welcoming new life into their families.
A shared my poem - The Ghosts of Christmas Past - in my last blog. You can click here if you missed it - Christmas is a time for family
And I realized that I have much to be grateful for.
Time spent with our family and two grandsons. We are so lucky to live close to our son and his family so that we can be a part of our grandsons lives as they grow up. They lost their other grand mother not long before our second grandson was born, and I've always felt her absence in their lives.
My husband and I lost our remaining parents in the latter half of 2014, my father in September 2014 and my mother-in law on 26 December, but since then we have celebrated new life within my sister's family - the birth of three grandsons, a wedding and another baby on the way.
I read recently that it is very important for us to mourn, but then turn the page and concentrate on the living and celebrate life. How true these words are.
Time spent with friends. We especially enjoyed a couple of holidays this year with friends at Coral Bay and camping north of Broome.
Being a part of three vibrant groups through writing with the South Side Quills, photography with the Photography Group of Bunbury, and dancing with the Sol y Sombra Spanish Dance Company. Very different groups, with very different people, and all adding something to my life, skills, outlook and stretching my confidence.
South Side Quills launched their first anthology in August, and Sol y Sombra won their section of the Eisteddfod in June.
The opportunity to travel through our magnificent country. We have had various trips from only a few days to 6 weeks this year. If you go to the INDEX in the top tab, you can go to the links there to read blog posts from our travels. Western Australia is so vast and so varied in landscapes. I feel so lucky to be able to explore it.
The opportunity for personal growth through attending artistic workshops, facilitating photography workshops, portrait shoots for family and friends, and a food photography shoot. I was very excited when one of my portraits appeared on a cd cover.
Since my retirement I've enjoyed attending various art workshops and trying new things, but I have also had the opportunity to facilitate workshops too - which has tested and added to my confidence. It is amazing what we can achieve if we just take that first step.
The opportunity to photograph our amazing wildflowers, especially varieties new to me. I am passionate about wildflower photography, and with thousands of varieties in Western Australia, how lucky am I?
|Grey Leafed Bottlebrush -Dryandra 2016|
Health, a comfortable home, a loving and supportive family, learning from others and the opportunity and time to connect, indulge passions, and explore learn new skills and pathways.
This blog post has turned out very different to what I had at first intended. I thank you for taking the time to stop by and for being a part of my world. You can connect to any of my old posts through the side bar or via the INDEX in the tabs at the top of my blog.
You might also like to visit my travel blog - Tour Western Australia
|kangaroo paws flowering in my summer garden|
I value your comments and look forward to hearing from you. I will try to visit your blogs in return. Have a wonderful week.
I am linking up to whatever link-ups below that are operating this week. . Please click on the links to see fabulous contributions from around the world - virtual touring at its best!
Life Thru the Lens
Our World Tuesday
Through My Lens
Wednesday Around the World at Communal Global
Travel Photo Thursday
The Lovin' Life Team over at Lifestyle Fifty
The Weekly Postcard
Sky Watch Friday