Each of us has the right and the responsibility to assess the roads which lie ahead, and those over which we have traveled, and if the future road looms ominous or unpromising, and the roads back uninviting, then we need to gather our resolve and, carrying only the necessary baggage, step off that road into another direction. -Maya Angelou

Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas Letter from Clare 2011

Loved family and friends,

It’s the Christmas season and that time when you are all even dearer and especially so because you are far away. We miss you.

Tommy and I will celebrate Christmas Day in the vineyards of the beautiful Clare valley in South Australia, and share our day with some new friends we have made here.

We have had an adventurous year travelling around Australia and a wonderful month in the USA with our American family. Managed to drive through five states, and 3,000 miles in three weeks in March and saw so many canyons we were literally “rocked out”. Slept in so many different beds at times it was difficult to remember where we were but it made for magical memories.

Sue has chronicled our many Aussie adventures on her blog, soulfoodtraveller.com so we will not repeat them here, but it has been an exciting and challenging experience to explore this vast and beautiful land we call home. To do it justice we would need another two lifetimes.

In November Sue spent six weeks back in Port Elizabeth, with her South African and Kenyan family. A bittersweet time as Ian is battling cancer but she was able to spend time with Kathy and Chris as he went through another round of chemotherapy in Cape Town. It was also an opportunity to try and sell Chocolat, our home at Schoenies, which has become increasingly difficult to manage being so far away. Unfortunately we did not find a buyer but managed to find great new tenants, the Sweet family who we have known for years and are as nice as their name.

Despite a difficult year, Thom and Ems have once again shown courage and resilience. They continue to work and live in London and we are hoping will pay us a visit in 2012. Tom, Tommy’s son, and partner Joy are happy in Perth with their combined families. Thank goodness for the internet it’s a case of keeping up on Face book and emails with the family being so spread about.

We have fallen in love with the countryside of the Clare valley, the sense of community and the many friendly natives who have made us “blow-ins” feel so welcome. One day we hope to purchase some land here so we can build a place for us to stop and rest when we have tired of travelling.

In the New Year we will be hitting the road again and travelling east towards Melbourne, Tasmania and the Gold Coast. The Great Barrier Reef is on our “bucket list” and will complete our Big Lap. Please check out the Sue’s blog as she updates it monthly.

Thank you sharing 2011 with us, even at a distance your love and friendship enriches our lives. We wish you a Peaceful Christmas filled with the hope that the Christ child brings, and a New Year that will bless you more than you can ever imagine with love, laughter and the gifts of faith, friendship and most of all family.

With our love,

Sue and Tommy.xx

Clare Valley South Australia

We shall not cease from exploration

And the end of all of our exploring

Will be to arrive where we started

And know the place for the first time.

T.S. Elliott