SILVER anniversary today!

I am still a young man. I still ride my bicycles, and motorbikes. I still enjoy Katy Perry’s music.

So how can it be that today is already my silver anniversary?

This morning, at 09h00, at the old Klipkerk in Bloemfontein 25 years ago, my bride walked down the aisle with her dad.

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I was very young when I took the leap- just past my 23rd birthday. In the beginning, I was very insecure and it must have been difficult at times for my lovely bride. But we grew together, and as the Afrikaans saying goes, started eating our seven sacks of salt together.

There have been wonderful times, and we also went through extremely difficult times together. I still can’t go away from home for a long time, without actually having an aching heart when she is not near. Her smile still lights up my day.

In my work I see how few couples are really happily married, and stay together even this long. So I know I am truly blessed, being married to my best friend.

We are growing older- we are not as young and as beautiful as 25 years ago- that would be the world’s opinion, not mine! But the journey of life just keeps on getting better and better together…

Who would not love a wife who goes on a 3000 km Bike trip with you?

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It was so good last week, on the Word Rider Tour, being so near Golden Gate, (Free State, South Africa) where we started our honeymoon 25 years ago…

Who would not love the mother of our 4 beautiful kids, and the calming factor when the storms of life hit us?
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I don't know who posted this in the first place- but all respect and honor to you!

I don’t know who posted this in the first place- but all respect and honor to you!

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Grace calls for Gratitude…

A Tweet becomes a blog post, usually it is the other way around with me.

But I am thinking again tonight. Maybe my little prayer/ wisdom candle is burning too low at the moment.

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There are so much pain in this world, and so much brokenness all around. I have just returned from visiting the parents of a young man who died on his motorbike in our town’s main street on Saturday morning.  A young man who I knew for many years, and whom I really liked a lot. A fellow biker, an artist, a free spirit.  I do not understand life and death, especially the pain and suffering part of it. Yes, I know, I am only halfway through my sick leave and should not go out yet- but I could not just stay at home with some good people really suffering a huge loss…  There is so much pain and suffering all around. Maybe I should used “are” here, I am never sure, English is such a difficult second language….

But… there are still so much grace and beauty in this world…

I am still not able to drive a car  or ride my bike. But usually I am, without any thoughts of pain and suffering. I enjoy being a petrolhead and a Biker. I love the freedom of the open road, with the wind in my face.  And for a few weeks I am not able to do that.

I love having good conversations with friends, sometimes around a bottle of good Cape Province (South Africa!) red wine, Merlot, CAbernet Sauvignon, Pinotage. And for a few weeks I was not able to have merry times with friends. But there will be good times ahead, as I know some of my friends…

But in the absence of my vehicles, and my friends, I had to rely much more on the love and care of my wife. And what a privilege it is to be married to someone who I truly love, with my whole heart…  And with God’s grace we will celebrate our silver anniversary next year!

I had all my kids at home over the weekend. Sunday lunch with them all around my table is such a huge, huge part of grace. Thinking of Saturday’s accident- we just never know for how long we are together as a family on this planet.

Even with the health issues. I am not able to drive yet, but  I do not experience any real pain at the moment. Even the operation to remove the faultygallbladder was much, much less painful than the lightest of the 8 gallgrit attacks. I am suffering a very small setback in my health, while I know people in my church having life threatening diseases and conditions, like cancer, and heart problems. And I have learned so much from them about courage in adversity, and the true love of life, and the fighting spirit with which some people just keeps on breathing, despite the odds…

 

Sometimes we really need to come to a complete stop in our journey of life. Sometimes you have  to pull over, switch off, and take in the stillness, and the peace, and the beauty around you.

Sometimes you just have to get a new candle…

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Ok, the photos are just from my broken Samsung Galaxy S3 at my desk at the moment. And the prose will not win any primary school literary prizes. But my point: We have one life, we have so many blessings.   I don’t intend to waste any time or blessings any more, life is just too short not to live it to the fullest possible extent!

PS- I pray for peace in Jerusalem- for ALL it’s people! Psalm 122: 6

 

 

If I could fly…

The word’s of Frank Duval’s song is keeping on repeating in my mind at the moment.

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Today I have been back at home for a week since the operation. I have left the house only once- to go to my doctor to get the dressings changed.

And I am slowly going out of my mind. I love to be outdoors. I love to be on a Bike. Or to go to a coffee shop with friends.

Is is normal to feel depressed and trapped a week after an operation? Or is it just my personality shining through?

Anyway, I dont want to sound like my friend Ben from Bitter Blog

I am spending the quiet time reflecting, evaluating, planning…

I have read some amazing books. Somehow I really liked Isabel Allende’s Daughter of Fortune.  I am also into my 3rd Odd Thomas book, by Dean Koonttz, although it is a genre I don’t normally read.

I listen to Bob Dylan on my hifi, and a lot of my other, what my kids would call Old Music, I must confess, sweet gospel music doesn’t do it for me at the moment, some good Classic Rock really helps a lot. All the music we were warned against as teenagers in the 80’s…

I have seen some good movies- like the new 300, and Transcendence,  and the worst one ever- Hercules Reborn…

And now I still have to get all my financial things in order for the yearly tax return, looking forward to that like a colonoscopy….

So, while feeling trapped, today I wish I could just hop on an airplane and fly away…

I hope your day is much better. Biker friends, go for a Ride, life is just too short not to…

 

Welcome to my office…

As stated in an earlier post today, I had a wedding to officiate this afternoon. This is  the wedding venue, built on a cliff, overlooking a beautiful valley.  Remember- this is winter around here, and yesterday was the coldest day I felt in a long time!

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My view from my “pulpit”…

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And the view the bride and groom sees when they overlook my presense…

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Some days I really love my job! Today was difficult though, because I only met the groom an hour before the wedding and the bride when she walked down the aisle. I usually love to spend more time with a couple and get to know them better, to make it a more personal experience for them. But I still tried my best today…

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Day Lily- Flower Friday

Just before our Word Rider trip, I went with a friend to a wedding ceremony at the beautiful town of Riebeek Kasteel. While he was conducting the marriage of Miss Fitness SA of 2009 and 2010 inside, I walked around outside. So much beauty inside!

Like most old town churches there is a old cemetery on the church grounds.  Telling tales of old sorrow long time ago- like this father buried alongside two of his children between 1883-1886.  The father lived to the age of 38, his child alongside lived only 6 months. The child on the right has a different surname but is buried in the same family plot. Maybe the widow married again very soon, and this child died before reaching 3 months old… It must have been hard times for the Hugo and Malan families in the old Cape Colony…

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But next to this old story of sadness and suffering there stands a row of Day Lilies, reminding us to live TODAY!

IMG_2110 IMG_2111So: Carpé Diem! Because one day the second date on your headstone will arrive…  Make the hyphen count!

 

Now for some GOOD NEWS…

After yesterday’s sad news blog from my side, I had to go look for something uplifting for the spirit.  This morning, while having a coffee with my younger colleague, I found something inspiring to share.  Colleague, being married for 4 months now, took this photo and I (being married for 24 years Monday) stole it from him.

And here it is: really mindblowing and awesome and inspiring and amazing and uplifting… you get the picture?

These two lovely people are members of our church. Their daughter took them for coffee and cake. What is so really special about them?

Today is their 65 th anniversary!  That is a Sapphire Wedding Anniversary, they told me. And the best part of it: they are still in love, and really love each other deeply.

Now THAT is inspiring to me this morning! When I am 90, I would love to be happily married for 67 years! Working on it!

Romance- Ailsa’s Weekly Travel Theme

I have the wonderful privilege to be a marriage official as well. And one of the most beautiful things for me remains when romance grows to a wedding…

At the end of November I had the honour of marrying my young colleague with his beautiful bride… I snapped a special moment between them on that special day…

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And Romance in my own life blossoms still- going for 24 years of happily married life, here is my bride on our 20th anniversary…

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http://wheresmybackpack.com/2014/02/14/travel-theme-romance/

Connections- Ailsa’s Weekly Travel Theme

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xxx Ailsa

“In nature we never see anything isolated, but everything in connection with something else which is before it, beside it, under it and over it.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“Creativity is the power to connect the seemingly unconnected.” – William Plomer

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There is the connection between a fisherman and his fish…

There is a strong connection between man and nature...

There is a strong connection between man and nature… and brothers…

There is a connection between man and beast...

There is a connection between man and beast…

There can be important connections between brother and sister...

There can be important connections between brother and sister…

But the strongest connection might be between mother and child...

But the strongest connection might be between mother and child…

As you can see: family is a very important connection to us. We are not always that successful in fishing and hiking. But our connections can be a huge source of fun!

PS- Both the fish and the python was caught and released… some children too… 🙂