Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Year That Was

So here we are, only 5 days 'till Christmas and then poof! It'll be a whole new year again.

We're hosting Christmas at our house again this year, just with a different set of guests. Our very good friends were with us last year, but since then they have left Ireland and gone back to South Africa, having added the pitter-patter of tiny feet (and the occasional 2am howl) to their little family. So they won't be joining us.

Instead, Hubby's sister and her family have moved from South Africa to Ireland and they'll be driving up to spend a few days with us. My li'l sister will also be over, from London. It'll be good to have family around. It'll be a full house all right, but everyone will have a spot to sleep - I'm really glad we had our attic converted!

With all these guests arriving, there is a ton to be done this weekend, and I don't see much blog-time for myself. So I thought I'd do the reflecting-on-the-year-that-was bit now.

It seems to have been a year of reconnecting with the past.
I took a trip back home to South Africa, only to discover that it doesn't feel so much like home anymore. It's not the place I left 6 years ago, and it's definitely not the same place as the one where I grew up. That place is gone for good, I fear. As heartbreaking as it was to realise this, it was actually a good thing. I think what I got out of that trip was what the experts (?!) call Closure. And it turns out I'm OK with that.

My past caught up with me in another way, too.
In the first quarter of this year, a received a phone call from an old friend: someone I hadn't seen or spoken with in something like twelve years. She'd bumped into my sister in SA - both of them were there on holiday, from London! So she got my number and called me up to say hello. It was fantastic! Unfortunately I lived up to my old habit of leaving things till the last minute, and when I finally got around to phoning her back, she'd left London and headed off to parts unknown and now I've lost her again. Something tells me our paths will cross again, though, sometime in the future.

What's bizarre, though, is that this happened again a few weeks ago. One of my best friends from high school called me up out of the blue. I think the last time we spoke was at our high school reunion, 8 years ago. She, too, is living in the UK. This time I was smarter, and I now have phone numbers AND an email address for her.

I was simply astounded at how easy it was to slip back into conversation with these women, after all the time that had passed. I guess it's true - the friendships you make in your teens are the ones that are there for life.

There was another thing, too.
I had to trawl back through my archives to check this out: 7 months ago, in May, I wrote a post about a dream I'd had about a guy who'd been a good friend of mine throughout primary and high school. At the time I wondered about trying to get in touch with him but decided against it, as the lengths I would have to go to would have bordered on stalker-ish. But today I was reading the local newspaper from my home town, online (I do this occasionally), and I happened upon an announcement in the Classifieds, congratulating him and his wife (I presume) on the birth of their daughter. And in the announcement was his email address. Well I couldn't really not, could I? So I emailed him today, just to say congrats, and Hi. I figured I enjoyed my 'blasts from the past' so maybe he would, too. He's in a way different time zone though, so I have yet to hear back from him. Or not. Either way, that's OK.

And then there is the dreaded F-word.
Facebook. (You thought I was going to say something else, didn't ya?! HAH!)
Talk about reunions! Y'know, it turns out there are some people I actually don't mind finding me. In fact, I've found one or two myself.
More old friendships rekindled - across continents and after years and years.
So we send each other virtual hugs or fling chocolate cakes (or sheep, etc) at each other.
I'm still not completely enamored with Facebook but it is nice to know that people are thinking of me occasionally. Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
You know - to counteract the spitting irritation I feel the rest of the time 'cos there's too much stuff on it that I don't know what to do with.

But I digress.

There's more on this Old Friends theme.
In October, we had a visit from my ex-boss from SA. He and his wife also happen to be old biking buddies of ours from way back when. They were only over for a few days but it was fabulous to see them... plus, it was a good excuse for me to get to eat out at my favourite Greek restaurant.

And finally, a few weekends ago, we had visitors over from Holland. He and Hubby go way, way back - they left SA just before we did. We stopped in to visit them on our trip around Europe last year, and now it was their turn to visit us. We had a blast - went off to watch the SA / Wales game in a pub in town, a drinking session that lasted way longer than it should have but we were having too much fun to care!

So what is the moral of all this rambling?
There isn't one.
If you were looking for deep and meaningful, you've come to the wrong place.


Well OK then...
I've had some ups and downs, and even seen a bit more of the world this year (remember Barcelona and Paris?) Most of all, though, I have come to appreciate just how much family and friends mean to me.
And that includes all of you guys.

Merry Christmas, everyone!


laurie said...

i remember that dream posting!

let us know if he responds.

not a bad year, all told.

Terri said...

Not a bad year at all, Laurie. And no he hasn't responded yet but then it is Christmas and he does have a new baby... I guess I could be patient ;-)

angel said...

it sounds like you were busy!
how cool is it to make contact with old friends!!!
ooh- i'm on facebook too girl!

Rose said...

This post sounds so like something I could have written and the familiarity that goes with it, WOW! It would be great to chat to you on email, I used to hang around with a few bikers in my day and part of my family (on my fathers side) were bikers ... long, long story! I love your cool pictures of the round towers, you really make it sound like you live Miles away from Dublin!