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From Ashes to Forest…

Saturday was pretty uneventful, unless you live in my region and you are a rugby fan. Our team won the provincial championships (also known as the Currie Cup) for the first time in 11 years. I believe there was much fanfare and celebration afterwards. The only thing the rugby meant for me was that my landlord “couldn’t” come out to fix our leaking kitchen sink and would come through on Sunday.



On Sunday I woke up and made breakfast for the family. After eating my own breakfast I suddenly felt so completely drained that I didn’t even have the energy to get up and brush my teeth. I tried to get up a few times to get ready for church, but could not muster enough juice to do it. I was worried that I would not be able to gather the strength to go and scatter my grandfather’s ashes as intended. We decided to skip church and I lay down and rested for a while. By the time my grandmother phoned to find out why we weren’t in church and whether we were still on for later, I felt much better. I managed to get up and get dressed to head out to Newlands Forest.



We got a bit lost looking for Newlands Forest. Somehow we found it though and we set off. My grandmother can’t walk very far, definitely not uphill on a hiking trail. I was determined to be there though. My uncle said a few words and a prayer. He had us all in tears. My aunt decided to stay with my grandmother and my cousin did too. Lazy buggers. So off we went. We walked up to the path until we came to a stream. I thought about scattering the ashes into the stream, but apparently people drink out of it so we did not. I actually hope people don’t drink out of it because we saw a few dogs taking a lovely dip in there 😛 There were a LOT of people walking their dogs. We walked past a beautiful path surrounded by ferns, but Rudi felt we had not gone far enough and we carried on walking up to the first ‘gate’ into the forest. I didn’t see anything too promising up ahead so I suggested we go back to the beautiful pathway we had seen earlier. Considering I was the only blood relative other than Babyice on this trip, I kind of had the last say on it so we headed back down.




We walked back down to the pathway and headed down through the ferns. Before long I found a beautiful clearing overlooking the stream that had some mottled sunlight filtering through the trees. It was a gorgeous spot and I was drawn to it. We unscrewed the box and started scattering the ashes. I was very surprised. How many ashes do you think you could fit into such a small box?



Bottom of the box



You would be surprised! We scattered ashes all around the clearing and before long everything was covered in ash and we still had half a box of ash left! We decided to scatter the remaining ashes up along the pathway between the ferns on the way back and even that took some doing! I think I said ‘Sheesh there are a lot of ashes!’ and Rudi replied ‘Well, there was a lot of Oupa’. I guess he had a point.




In the end if felt really good to put him to rest and to carry out one of his final wishes. Newlands Forest was one of his favourite places in the world. It really is beautiful and I can understand why he loved going there. I’m just glad we were able to find where he wanted us to be. It never occurred to me to take a photo of the actual place the ashes were scattered. I guess I got caught up in the moment…perhaps that is the way it was meant to be. So that he can rest in peace.



We found the right place 🙂




After our emotional morning we all went to the in laws for a braai. I had to leave to meet our landlord to come and fix our kitchen sink which had started leaking really badly into the cupboard underneath. He came and replaced all the pipes and the leak seems to be fixed now. As long as we don’t knock the pipes underneath the cupboard around too much. We store our pots in there so that might pose a bit of a problem, but we’ll be careful. Our extractor fan above the stove has also been giving us some issues. He reckoned that it needs a really good clean and hopes it will sort out the problems we have with it. Before I knew it he had the extractor fan under his arm and off he went!




We also had Babyice’s hair cut this weekend. Even though we gave him the medicine prescribed by the doctor again in the morning, he refused to get his hair cut. At one stage the entire salon burst out laughing when the screaming/crying toddler wriggled out of Rudi’s arms and bolted straight out of the door! Rudi dragged him back in, but we were having no success. Before long the owner of the salon grabbed Elijah by the hand and said ‘Come, let’s go buy an ice-cream’ and they did exactly that. The ice-cream distracted him enough to get the haircut started, but soon he started to become upset again. She then handed him a spray bottle with water in and soon she looked as though she had taken a dip in the pool! He enjoyed spraying all of us in turn and was laughing and crying at the same time. Somehow we managed to get it all done to the best of their ability. If the salon owner had not taken the time or been interested in helping us we probably would of walked out there sans haircut. I was very grateful to her. She even refused to put the ice-cream on the bill, although the haircut wasn’t cheap at R75.00 a pop. Maybe one day we can graduate to using the shaver on him again thereby stretching the time between visits. We didn’t even get to put a cape on him and the hair on his skin really freaks him out. He also get really hysterical when you’re anywhere near his ears. The hairdresser suggested he might have sensory issues (her son had and she used to have to sit on top of him when she cut his hair). I never thought about it before, but he did complain about a clothing label the other day, saying it was hurting him. Only a specific one though, he is fine with the others…so I don’t know. I’ll keep an eye on him. Anyone know of anything else I should look out for?



Otherwise I think I might have overdone it a bit hiking up into Newlands yesterday. The ligaments carrying my tummy are extremely tender.