Time for Journeying…. Again

Ever since the household arrived we’ve been moving towards leaving rather than focusing on staying. This has played a wierd twist on the mind, the emotions wrapped up again with depatures and all that needs to be done to tie up the loose ends we’ve strewn about.

I haven’t been in the best of moods, nor have I had much time for reflection. Preparing to leave so soon after we just went through a heart & gut-wrenching physical and emotional leave from San Francisco has made me quite cranky and mildy depressed. Not again…. I keep thinking. Packing, unpacking, making lists, fixing things, cleaning, prepping a house for renters…. saying goodbye to new friends just when we were on the verge of moving to that next stage of a friendship…… I’m not quite ready for it. But we’ll be back, that’s the good thing.

What I am quite ready for is missing the winter here in NZ. A friend called today and said that temperatures during the month of May were the coldest recorded in the last 10 years. Brrrr. It’s been quite chilly, felt more so by the lack of good insulation not only in our home, but in most homes in NZ. This past week we’ve finally experienced the infamous smog of Christchurch — the majority of homes are pumping out heat through their wood-burning stoves, thus creating a not-so-lovely din of haze and smog throughout the city. If we had a wood-burner, we’d be doing it too. Especially since the cost of electricity is quite exhorbitant. Our bill last month (when we sat here in an empty house) was $168. We were shocked. I started asking around and found that a monthly bill of $300 – $400 was not uncommon. Yikes! Our SF gas & electric bill averaged $30 – $40/month during most of the year only to bump up to maybe $110 during the three colders months. We definitely need to figure out a better way if we’re ever going to winter in this Christchurch house!

Snow in ChchFriend Gen commented the other day that it’d been unusual that we hadn’t had a frost yet. Well, not to worry. After a wonderful week of sunshine and a really balmy day yesterday, we awoke to a flurry of snow this morning! It’s snowing….. in June. The ol’ head can’t quite wrap around this concept. It keeps thinking June = warmth and sunshine! And poor Ken was not amused. It snowed all day, sticking a bit, but quickly melting. By the end of the day, most of it formed into a big puddle in what was our nice yard. Oh well.

Snowy day 2

But we still feel we got a bit of that ol’ Kiwi magic again. Last weeks’ sunshine allowed us to get all of our outdoor yardwork done, just in time for the frost. We spent one entire afternoon doing a cardboard/paper mulch of the veggie garden. Bruce & Ken did two trips to the gardening center and hauled a trailer full of sawdust/pig manure/wood chip mulch to put on the veggie beds and the apple trees. Boy was that fun. Another day Bruce got up on the roof and emptied all the gutters of leaves and fixed a leak; I worked on prepping the rest of the beds in the yard and getting the garlic planted. Home ownership is fun!

After three months of yard work, you can see how much progress we made. Here’s the before, during, and after photos of the veggie garden.

Yard BeforeYard ApplesYard MulchYard Done

The beds are ready for wintering…. we’re ready to leave it behind. Onwards we go to… San Francisco, Iceland, Paris, south of France, Colorado, Utah, and Burning Man. Back to visit our friends and family and continue with our community building around the globe.