Thursday, August 11, 2016


Sign on a shop door in Taihape
' I must have been mad to come at the coldest time of the year', I thought to myself as I drove north to Taihape but now I am glad I did.

It is true, it is freezing here, as the sign on the shop door says, but there is no wind (a welcome relief after Wellington gales) and the sun is shining.

The first thing I did on reaching Taihape was to drive up Dixon Way to the cemetery which is perched on the top of a hill overlooking the Ruahine Ranges. This after all was the reason for my trip, a visit to my parents grave.

It was glorious on the hilltop, as it usually is.  Looking out over the snow covered Ruahine Ranges under a bright blue sky I understood my parents never wanting to leave, even when so many friends moved to warmer places to retire. We children fretted for them but they were adamant.
The view to the Ruahine Ranges
As I looked around  the cemetery I couldn't help but think they'd be happy now with this glorious view.
Grave: View from above
My mother was an avid gardener and a practical woman and had put some potted succulents, grown for years in her garden until they overflowed the pot, on the tomb of my Dad. We added another for her and there they are, still growing as she knew they would.

All the names on the tombstones were familiar, a reminder of the community that surrounded my parents which they didn't want to leave.  I have the same feeling visiting my grandmother's grave in the hills near Hunterville. The names on the tombstones there are names familiar from my mother's stories, although I never knew the people personally.

Nowadays people have their ashes scattered or their remains are buried in places with time limits on the tombs. How transitory we have become.

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