Of course it was a real novelty for us to be out on the patio and to hear a little voice calling: "Hello Granddad"
Joel, four years old, stands on his jungle gym near the boundary wall between our two properties and calls Grant
Not long and their nanny, Liesbet brings the children across to our house (it's just half a dozen steps from the left of this photo!)
Liesbet and Joel and Abby in our dry, winter garden
One evening I looked out onto the patio, and saw the children in their pajamas watching Grant working. They'd obviously been bathed by Liesbet, let out of their front door, rang our gate bell and Granddad let them in!
Two little muffled muffins watching their granddad planing his desk
Rina is the stand-in granny while I'm not around although the kids go straight to her even while I'm there! There's something about her that draws young and old. Amazing!
Rina with several of the Hedges grandchildren
Now something different: when Eryn was three-and-a-half years old, she had a mop of curly hair. One day she leaned on the day bed in my office with her chin on her hands; I knelt on the other side and with this wide-angle view, I took one of the best photos I have ever taken. I gave the photo to my niece, Louise, a talented artist (Louise is the older sister and bridesmaid in the wedding post yesterday) and she painted it. When John and family arrived last week, I asked Eryn to pose next to the photo which she did.
Eryn, 11 is eight years older than she was in this painting. She's still GranJo's beautiful granddaughter who loves bling and kept borrowing my lipstick while they visited last week!
At the same time, John took Grant's photo as a little boy, off the passage wall and held it next to Elijah. This fourth child and second son of John and Debbie is not only the spit of his paternal granddad, but has a lot of Grant's derring do and mischievousness in him too.
Elijah, three, poses next to a photo of Granddad Grant also taken when he was three!
During the same week that we furnished and decorated MIL's flat at the Retirement Center, Grant made arrangements to have an awning added to the east facing side of our house. Although we have a front door, we have never used it, except to open it every day and let the fresh air into the sleeping area of the house. We also have a large lounge and separate dining room which we never use as a lounge or dining room!
Instead, in 2002, I had an entertainment area with an indoor braai/BBQ added to the kitchen and back entrance of the house. So we have two entrances to the house and these are both side entrances! One leads out onto the patio, garages and beginning of the driveway. The other leads onto a small lawn and garden which we also use extensively during mid-summer months. The past two holidays we entertained outdoors on this patio and as always found it very hot. So the part you see in the photo below is that patio with my shadow reflected on the indoor entertainment area.
The extension of our house which has been an amazing pleasure for family and friends alike
Adding the awning with blinds which can be opened and closed, has created an extra "room" to our well-utilized entertainment area!
And last but not least: the three kitties in our Marquard home. Chappie, pictured below, has been the only resident cat in the Hedges Marquard household for the past two years. She was utterly spoiled by Emily. So, as the only
child cat, Chappie rules the roost; she definitely doesn't abide imposters!
Chappie is quite a comical cat and because she's spent so much time on her own, she makes up her own games: like playing peekaboo in a shopping bag!
A month ago, however, Chappie's peace and solitude was shattered. Two cats, originally from Tanzania and recently living with their real mum, Rina in the Northern Free State, arrived at our Marquard home.Topsy and Tipsy, two feline brothers we looked after and eventually sent home to Rina, were now also part of the Hedges family.
Chappie still has her own sheepskin bed on a sofa in the lounge part of my office; Topsy and Tipsy were first confined to the inside part of our house but now roam the garden and neighbor's property at will. And when they deign to come home, they sleep on the electric blanket on my bed.Mmm, Tipsy, life wasn't even this good in Tanzania!
Ahh, Topsy, it's so hard to keep my eyes open!
Tipsy and Topsy love sharing a sheepskin bed (Chappie has her OWN) while the morning sun pours in over them
I hope you're all having a really great week so far.