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Posts Tagged ‘strength’

I caught a vision of you
I peeped into your room and there you were. Sitting at the tangled mass of wires and electronic equipment that stood piled up on your desk. This was hallowed ground and a place where I did not venture unless I was invited. After all he was my big brother and someone who I looked up to as a child.
I’d always wanted me to follow where you walked.
The call came out loud and strong, “ZS1MJ…….calling ZS1MJ.” I sqeezed through the opening and made my way across the room to the voice beaming from the speaker. My brother was a HAM radio enthusiast, a hobby which he began as a young man. This was before the internet boom and when radio played a huge part in our entertainment and leisure. I edged closer and he gestured towards a chair. I was always thrilled to be part of this action and to be able to connect with him in this manner. I was so much younger than him and I was still in my doll- playing phase. Hence the lack of common interest! It fascinated me as he spoke to people all over Africa. He even assisted in relaying messages during a disastrous flood in the arid Karoo in South Africa, when all normal forms of communication had broken down. Some stranded farmers were able to get messages out via their shortwave radios. My brother picked up these calls for help and passed them on to the relevant authorities.
The sand it falls away into the hour glass.
My interest in the radio activities was soon to change direction as I moved into adolescence. There was an upbeat radio programme that used to beam out from Mozambique. It was known as LM radio and those of you that are old enough would remember it! It played all the magnificent 1970’s music late into the night. Before my brother moved away to go to university, he set me with a huge old submarine valve radio which was able to pick up this station loud and clear. I still recall the big black box with the name HALICRAFTER emblazoned across the front. My favourite for the week was The Top 20 programme. The problem was that it went on till the wee hours on a Sunday night. It called for ingenious methods so that I could break my bedtime curfew.

My brother with me on the end.

My big brother…..

The years passed and we went our different ways as young families do, but he was always there. We kept in touch even after he made a move over to the United States with his then young family. We did manage to catch up on visits back to South Africa and we made the trip over a few times too.
We may have built a life away in other towns. But blood is thicker than the water in the ground.
Little did I realise that we would make that trans Atlantic move too but ours was to Canada. He was a pillar of strength especially in those early years when everything was so new. He had walked that road with his own family.
Some things in life were made to last, like brother when I see you, no time has passed.
So today I want to wish and honour you. May you continue to grow as I know you will…..there are not too many people who go back to university in their 60s to get their Masters Degree and who read and widely as you do. I am proud to have you as my brother.
Happy birthday!

Out exploring in Toronto with my Boet....

Out exploring in Toronto with my Boet….

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I expect all the bells and whistles on Sunday! After all it is Mothers’ Day! I would like to start off with my tea in bed and a whole grain rusk. I like the ones from Ouma with cranberries inside. So that’s a huge call being that we are on the other side of the world! Thank goodness for the South African shop nearby. I have stocked up so all they will have to do, is have a dig in the capacious cupboard. Then a gloriously full bath will go down well if it is run with heaps of bubble bath.  As long as my day starts like this, I will be happy just to spend some time with my boys. On second thoughts…..a little back rub and a list of ‘I promise to do the following’…. that would also go down well!

As I am the MOTHER in this household of men, I give myself permission to celebrate and marvel at my 3 sons. Thank goodness they are all so different, as this gives me the opportunity to enjoy their varied interests. These differences have also proven to be rather challenging at times. I refer to the handling of the ‘teenager stage.’ Just when you think that you have this whole stage waxed, you have to rethink your strategy.  It kept me on my toes! What am I saying? It still does! As David, my youngest, is still there.

David

David

 So David keeps me young. Well hopefully, or else I will crumple up in a heap from exhaustion. As I charge from one rugby match to the next, I lap up the fact that I am still part of the ‘rugby moms.’ The fact that I am nearing the big six, this is quite a feat!

David has a peaceful soul and is happy with his own company. I marvel at how easily he has made the transition into this new country of ours. I can’t imagine how daunting it must have been to have walked into the High School of over a thousand kids. He did not know a soul! That takes guts! He is a strong lad too and is my right hand man in the garden. He has dug many a deep hole for the copious plants that arrive each week in the summer. But with all this strength, there is also a gentle side. It becomes apparent when Dave cares for his animals.

Bryan

Bryan

Bryan is the passionate one. What can I say? ‘Die appeltjie het nie ver van die boompie geval nie.’ He attacks whatever he does with fervor. He involves me by discussing his day at a busy pharmaceutical plant. Bryan has a good eye for design and often helps me with projects around the house. This artistic streak is also noted in his photography. He has documented in photographs much of our new life here in Canada. He is our ‘outdoor kid’ and drags us out over weekends to try all sorts of new Canadian activities. This enthusiasm is infectious, although it does get us into trouble at times. A broken wrist or just a case of sunburn and sore muscles is often the result of our escapades into the unknown. I admire the way Bryan has kept up this enthusiasm even through the winter when our spirits were low.

John

John

John is my eldest son and my old soul too. He has an innate wisdom as if he has lived for a very long time. He knows a lot about everything and I can talk to him for hours. John enjoys his work as a software engineer and I marvel at his commitment. His hours are long and he is often called upon in the middle of the night. This is because the US is just waking up when the day in South Africa is drawing to a close. His American counterparts were obviously not strong contenders for the geography prize at school!

Where is South Africa? We share a love for music and I enjoy watching him sing. He comes alive when he plays the guitar. I miss him now that we are so far away. I am grateful for the regular contact that we have and the for the man who invented Skype. Actually I am sure it must have been a woman…….what man would invent software that enabled you to TALK to someone on the other side of the world!

John and Kristen

John and Kristen

 I need to add someone else to my ‘celebration list.’ I am grateful for the lady who calls me mom. Kristen is my daughter in law. She has balanced out our family and has improved the plight of the only woman in the house. Ha! Ha! Kristen is a creative whiz kid and has developed an online textile design business. She produces the most amazing designs and has recently appeared in many of the South African magazines. Some of her designs have made their way over the seas to Canada too. When I need to touch base with my roots, I only have to look over at my Nguni or protea cushions that she made. I enjoy her creativity and her work ethic. Kristen has included me in their lives as a couple and I am eternally grateful for that.

Thank you for allowing me to indulge myself with my thoughts on my children. I feel content and proud today. Although I know that they all have their foibles too, they are my children and therefore my legacy. I rejoice in that!

The Morkel mom

The Morkel mom

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