New Beginnings …

… to sleep, perchance to dream

Our story begins on a warm Australian night early in the New Year. It is a typical summer evening, the crickets are chirping, frogs are croaking, lightning cracks over the distant cane fields and billions of stars fill up the night sky.

Thomas & Jessie on front verandah Summer House Australia

Thomas and Nanny Jessie are sitting on the verandah of the summerhouse enjoying a New Year baconbeer and a nip ceegar. Above the chorus of the Australian nocturnal creatures they can hear Winnie playing with her pals in the paddocks, and their unspoken thoughts turn to how empty their lives will be when she leaves for Guide Dog school.

With a sigh Nanny rises from her rocking chair and pats Thomas gently on the paw. “Another baconbeer, Tom?” Thomas nods and she pads quietly off to the kitchen, her sharp eyes darting left and right in case of lurking mousies.

Thomas closes his eyes and leans back in his chair, reflecting on the past year … from the joy of seeing Winnie grow into a beautiful, confident young pup ready for school and her future life as a Guide Dog, to the unbearable grief of losing his soulmate, Keely. A year of contrast unlike any other he has ever known.

Images float across his mind … the mad dash to the hospital for Winnie’s birth, the first official photo session, Winnie learning to swim, their first ski trip, playing frisbee, all the educational trips with Nanny, the “tramp stamp” that she got in New Zealand, her first car, sooooooo many happy times.

Collage Dec 2012

Precious memories of @AngelKeely arise too, and he smiles as he remembers the kissing booth at #CarniePawty then blushes as he recalls that GLORIOUS night in Paris after Winnie’s #SkoolPawty. He settles back in his chair and falls into a deeper sleep as he feels Keely’s love wrap around him.

What seems like hours later he wakes with a start as he hears Nanny running excitedly back from the kitchen. Quickly rubbing his eyes he stares at her rushing breathlessly onto the verandah, bacon beer spilling everywhere as she waves her paws in the air. She is so excited she can hardly speak but manages to splutter “Tom Tom ! Come quick!” Worried that something pawful has happened Thomas rushes after Nanny and finds her on the steps of the back door cradling a basket. Winnie is there too, carefully peeking over the edge of the basket, eyes shining with joy, squealing with excitement “Look papa, it’s a baby puppy! Do you think Mama has sent her? Can we keep her? Can she be my sisfur?”

Chloe in her basket

Thomas smiles indulgently at Winnie and looks curiously into the basket. Sure enough, there is indeed a beautiful Golden Labrador puppy, a miniature image of Keely, tucked up in the pink blankie inside. He notices the blankie has a white rose beautifully embroidered in a corner. He looks toward heaven and a star shining far away sparkles a little brighter for a short time, as if smiling at him. He closes his eyes in thankful prayer and hugs Winnie close to him. “Yes darling, I think Mama sent her to us.”

Nanny watches the two of them with love shining in her eyes. She feels in her heart that love has reached across the Great Divide and a miracle granted them. She bustles off to the kitchen to get warm milk for the new arrival. Their little fambly has once more been blessed and life will never be quite the same again.

welcomehome2 made by Nanny Jessie

Happy Hanukkah

Hanukkah is also known as the Jewish Festival of Lights and lasts eight days. This year it begins on the evening of Saturday 8 December and ends on the evening of Sunday 16 December.
In 165 BC, the Jews in Judea rebelled against the Syrian ruler, Antiochus, because he insisted that all Jewish people must worship Greek Gods. Against all odds, a small band of faithful Jews defeated one of the mightiest armies on earth – they drove the Greeks from the land, reclaimed the Holy Temple in Jerusalem and rededicated it to their God.
As part of the celebrations they lit an oil lamp which should have been kept burning all the time, even though they could only find enough oil to keep it burning for one night. But a miracle occurred, and the oil lamp stayed lit for eight days, which was the time it took to make new oil for the lamp. This  was the Miracle of the Oil.
It was then declared that every year Jews would remember the day with an eight-day Festival of Lights and celebrate the miracle of the oil by placing eight candles in a Menorah (a special candlestick) and lighting one candle for each evening of the celebration. Electric lights are sometimes used, especially where where an open flame might be dangerous, such as a hospital room. The Hanukkah lights are meant to remind those walking by the home about the holiday’s miracle, so the Menorah is displayed at a prominent window or near the front door.
During Hanukkah, people exchange gifts and give to the poor and needy.
Happy Hanukkah

Happy Hanukkah

To all our furiends who observe this holiday,
we wish you a Happy Hanukkah.
from Winnie (and Mil) and Thomas (and Nan) xx