It’s still dark when I slip outside and so quiet I’m absolutely delighted I haven’t missed the birdsong that greets the day. I haven’t made it out in a while as winter is a bit harder to drag myself out.
I lay there as the morning mist lifted and with the first streaks of daylight came the first peep that broke the silence so gently in the distance, I wasn’t even sure I had heard it. Quickly followed by another and another until it was so loud I couldn’t differentiate between different birds. Just a loud bowl of screeches and peeps all together. But then I noticed something completely different, and as the birds competition died down I realised it was a frog down on the pond.
The goats had started tap dancing on the sheets of corrugated iron, running along it and bouncing down like a couple of toddlers playing their own game until they too were quietly grazing. By about seven am the hens were hustling around making their way down from their perches fussing about who should go through the hole first, when the neighbours hand fed lamb started up his plaintive bleat. Who said the country was quiet?
I wondered who would be up inside as I dried off and came in through the closed curtains. Taps running, the first stirrings of children with sleepy eyes venturing out. All warm, soft and snuggly. We had everyone home except Ren whose now fully employed in Vancouver. Ten adults and ten little ones between seven years and eight weeks, makes for quite a lot of bodies. We’d gone out for dinner to celebrate Gilbert’s 60th and it was a great way to kick things off on the Friday night.
Here’s the kids adding their names next morning to Gilbert’s original 21st key from 39 years ago!
Monie and I had all the beds made up, heaters ready to switch on, extra blankets at the ready. We were ready for a cold wet and windy weekend according to forecasts. What ever! Saturday morning after my spa soon had the smell of fresh scones in the air as Monie and I had a cook off with batch after batch coming out. I had three yr old Tui and four yr old Kahu as my helpers and Monie had two yr old Tai. With butter running down chins, the scones were getting devoured before cooling, and I have to concede Monies got the scone knack alright. Her cheese ones were every bit as light and airy as my best ever. Damn! I wanted to hold that crown just a little longer…
Weather was perfect for the kids and they were soon dispatched to the outside so we could have a family interview with Johnson who is putting together some family history ready for a Whanau wanaga next year. It was quite nice to spend some time remembering together. The boys were soon getting ready for the All Blacks game and gone, while the rest of us settled in for an easy evening. With ten little ones? You betcha. We had a dance party and the kids loved it! I quite liked it too actually…
Sunday morning air was filled with the smell of bacon, eggs, toast and hash browns washed down with coffee. Yum yum. I love these breakfasts. They remind me of growing up at home when Mum would fill the table. We managed to fill the day with garden walks and children’s laughter, even tho unfortunately a couple weren’t well. We opted for a big Chinese dinner and with everyone taking turns to sleep, rock, supervise the squirmishes or be in the kitchen we served up a banquet that was delicious, if I may say so myself.
They were all supposed to go home Sunday but as Chee and Annie were exhausted they decided to stay another night and before we knew it everyone was staying. Another dance party was organised and we had a ball. Gilbert and I talked in the spa after and I think these will be the weekends the kids will really remember. Simple family fun together. Goong Goong taking them for rides on the motorbike. Collecting the eggs before breakfast. Dancing in dress ups. We missed ya Renny but there’ll be another, and another, and another….