7 April 2020
For us as a family, 2017 brought great change. Our daughter was about to go on her first big adventure. She was going to be a counselor at a youth camp in the USA. I knew that this experience would change her life forever. She had a very sheltered upbringing and didn’t know much of the world outside our town. We, that is my husband and I, decided to do something together as a family before she went away. Our family would never be exactly the same after her travels and I wanted a memory of us before we let her go. She was going to have a great, big adventure and we wouldn’t be a part of it.
We wanted this last shared time to be private and we were fortunate enough to find a setting that we all loved. Ribbokkloof(http://ribbokkloof.co.za/) in Mpumalanga was just the perfect place for us to be. We had the place all to ourselves. We didn’t arrange it that way, but when we arrived, we were the only people booked for the day. This was such a blessing, because we didn’t have to be considerate of others and we could be as loud or silly as we wanted to.
All five of us love being out of doors. That is why we chose a place where we could see beautiful views everywhere we looked. It has two types of veld. You have the wide open spaces of the Highveld in some places and proper African bush in other places. Some members of the family (all the boys) cannot be inactive. Karla and I can sit and read for hours, but the boys have to move. So, off we went on a hike, just to drain some of their energy.
Lastly, we wanted a pool and somewhere to braai (South African for barbecue). It doesn’t feel like an outdoors experience to my youngest son if we don’t swim. I am not a keen swimmer, but the rest of them can never get enough. My daughter made her love of water into a career – she is a swimming instructor. As for the braai – my husband loves making a fire so much, I think he is a closet pyromaniac. And in all honesty the kids love his meals way better than mine. He didn’t disappoint.
We only went for the day, but what a perfect day it was. I have this last memory of us before any of our children were grown up. And it should be just a memory, because they have to grow up and become independent adults (as they like to remind me). I wouldn’t change a thing about our relationship now, but I’m also so grateful that I can have these memories.