Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Grace Notes and Gracey

Gracey and Katie...we are to our grandchildren.
We're also very best friends.
Once-upon-a- time Gracey lived in a lovely little house just around the corner, but life moves us on sometimes and now she finds herself living in Taupo.
Most people would show you a picture of the lake, because that's what Taupo is all about, but I love the river there...the aquarmarine colours & the power of it are just so remarkable.
 On this journey we passed on through Taupo though & navigated our way further up the road braving lumpy, obstructive road works all the way to Hamilton. It is a city divided in two by the Waikato river so after a wander through this reserve & along the river side,
 and of course passed bridges & giant's homes..
we discovered, some people even have their own private carousels!
 But really, we had come all this way to see Tony, Gracey's husband. It's been 6 weeks since, alone out in the forest in the dark, the boom of the crane he was using malfunctioned, swung around & came crashing through to pin the poor man to his seat; crushing him there some 7 long agonizing hours before dawn & help finally arrived..paramedics & helicopters & you know the drill. A fistful of operations later, he is alive & still has two legs & is tenderly & hugely grateful to still be around.
 It was so good to see them both...dear hearts. Never mind that in our rush to get up to the hospital before closing of visiting hours we forgot to take note...well, of anything really. Um, which parking building old or new? Which floor of the parking building? Which level did we come in? Did we follow the red corridor? Did we bring the parking ticket so that we could pay before leaving? Luckily the car was still there some time later & the return journey next day was a lot more straight forward. There are many months to go yet, but the skill of the surgeons' hand is most evident in the care Tony has received & the breadth of prayer & concern astonishing. He even has a whole cloister of Nuns praying for him!
 After reluctantly leaving these two to the on-going daily challenges of recovery, with Tony still "nil by mouth" for the 3rd consecutive day awaiting further surgery, we headed on to Te Aroha (funnily enough where Gracey's mother lives).
 Oh we love this place!
 A tiny delightful town with great cafes, fabulous Indian food,
 antique shops (well one)
 & best of all Aroha Mountain Lodge.
 Greg & Linda are the most hospitable open-hearted hosts you could ever imagine.
Here's Greg with a son..hosting the "Day in the Domain" on Sunday.
 The unofficial Mayor of the place he's always on the job, his passion & creativity know no bounds.
There's lots of fine history in Te Aroha (apart from the fact that I lived there for the whole first year of my little life)
& lots of lovely vistas
& rural glimpses.
The mountain is imposing & grand & there are wonderful places to walk in beautiful bush.
 Some, even hike to the summit.
But not us.
 We found a dodgy looking bridge way though
 (it's actually to stop boulders crashing through the town in a flood).
You never know what you might spy when peering through bushes!
I love these old band rotundas don't you?
It's all so nice & cosy.
 We found ourselves serenaded by church bells & fire sirens, birdsong
and a few other odd bods!!

We missed the Lenten studies
but instead sat on the wide verandah with some cold apple cider,
some pretty magazines & books
and watched the day draw to a close...deeply grateful.
A little later we walked all of 50 metres to the most amazing hot soda mineral pools.
 The only ones of their kind in New Zealand.

Even the leaving is a delight,
as the narrow road undulates for miles & miles until one last corner & we career back into the bustle of
the fast lane home.
But before we could arrive, there was one last adventure most astonishing.
But I will have to save that story for another day.
Lovely to see you dear ones..thank you for stopping in.


  1. Wow - great post! Loved the cute little baby carriage in the antique shop. Hope your friend has a good recovery.
    Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

  2. Look at you, in your pretty pink! What a fun adventure in a beautiful land, Catherine!

  3. Enjoyed your post and photos! New Zealand is gorgeous indeed!

    BTW, "Fairies I Have Met" is available on eBay for $110, lol!
    http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=p5197.m570.l1313&_nkw=fairies+I+have+met&_sacat=267 (I was intrigued!)

  4. Tony's guardian angel worked hard that day...so wonderful he survived that terrible ordeal. I'll remember him in my prayers too!
    I just loved it in Te Aroha with you Catherine - where ever you go it's a magical journey!
    Rob is one lucky man.
    I would love to find "Fairies I have met" too, but not at that price!!!!


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