A dear friend of ours died the end of November, so a few days later we went to Blenheim for his funeral. It’s a four-hour trip, but because of work and cows, we decided to make it there and back in one day. It meant leaving early in the morning, eating breakfast on the road, and getting home late in the evening, but we did it. It was well worth going. The man who died was the first person we met when we moved to New Zealand 11 years ago (almost to the day of the funeral!), and he and his wife had virtually adopted us. We spent a lot of time with them the first five years we lived in Cheviot, until they moved to be nearer their family. He loved the Lord, and was ready to go, so although we’ll miss him greatly, the day carried an undertone of rejoicing that was wonderful to experience.
I was intrigued by the huge vineyards around Blenheim. While I wish the fruit orchards they replaced were still there, because I like fruit much more than wine, it was fascinating to see the long rows of vines and the enormous wineries.
Gayle took a few of the children on a very short walk to the edge of the cliff going down to the river, and when they got back, Mr. Diligence, who was stuck in the van because of his injured knee, took a few pictures. Miss Joy had found a few little rocks, which she clutched in her fist, saying, “Ock! Ock! Ock!”
Simon took his knee brace off, after having been driving for a couple of hours, when he moved to the back of the van.