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Lost Nov 27

Finally got through to Mum and Dad today, firstly to give them the good news that I’m coming home for a week, and secondly to figure out why they had not been answering the phone.  I knew that they were off to my cousing 25th wedding anniversary so that would account for most of the weekend, but I was starting to get a little worried. After the series of events earlier this year I always get a little worried if I cannot get hold of them.

Ended up that the phone system was down because of the nasty storms that have hit the North Island, it odd that in a time of modern instant communications the house is still connected by two bits of copper wire strung up and over the hills.  Been there for the last 37 years and likely to be there just as long again.  They are really happy that I going to be able to come home as am I.  The one drawback of global communications is that for all the good news that can flow across the electrons there is also the bad news, and today was to be another one of the times that I wish I had gone all the way back home as I feel so remote now.  Jan Smith died during the weekend, oddly I never think of her as Jan Smith, from the age that we could first speak she and phil have always been Aunty Jan and Uncle Phil.   They were not even related to our family, but as one of the original families of Papa Aroha they have been a part of my life always.  

As we grow older we stop using the childhood affectations that we grew up with as part of asserting our independence and establishing ourselves in the adult world.  So they became Phil and Jan, but for some reason I never think of them that way, Uncle and Aunty just roll off the tongue more naturally, maybe the affectations stuck because they are a reminder of times of innocence when neighbours were more than just people living next to each other.  In the small valley of Papa Aroha neighbours worked and socialised with each other, they were each other friends, companions and colleagues.  For us children it was an extended day care system with a gang of children wandering around turning up in who knew which kitchen for lunch or dinner.  We never knew that we were almost always under the watchful of someone within this extended family.  

Now as the seasons change faster than I can keep track of the season of autumn is approaching those who were there watching me grow up.  Living in a country where the change of seasons is revered and spectacular I cannot help but reminise that perhaps we should slow down and appreciate.  Good bye Aunty Jan I will always remember you.

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