death & oranges

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There wasn’t anything I wanted for Christmas (as you may have previously read), but as the day drew near there was something I really wanted to do…


A couple of days ago we buried my Grandmother. I heard stories of how she left a pretty well-to-do life in England & came with my Grandfather to New Zealand after the War.

They roughed it a while,  getting electricity one Christmas. Another highlight was finally getting a washing machine & not having to do it by hand. Eventually moving into a house my Granddad built, and continued to build while they lived in it.


It’s a world so far removed from today, where kids move out of home & HP/finance their way into having everything in an instant that their parents took a life time to accumulate.


I have a lot of happy memories of that home…

it was always more than a house.



Recently I was reading about a farmer who lived in the American Midwest during the 1930’s. He would get an orange for Christmas.

That was all.

He moved to California and on smelling all the oranges from the orange groves, thought he was in paradise.


So when asked what I wanted for Christmas, I eventually replied with, “an orange”.

I wasn’t sure if my request would be taken seriously, after all its summer & we live in a different time and oranges are in abundance. I have heard of some people still getting an orange, normally followed by much grumbling as that leaves less space in the stocking for sweets.

I’ve never had a Christmas orange. This morning I received five.


On a morning normally  dominated by the frantic tearing of Christmas paper, before quickly discarding & hurriedly moving onto the next, as if Santa would take the still-wrapped ones back at any moment…


I instead opened & slowly ate an orange.

Savoring every moment, being thankful for what I have,

for friends & family…

thinking of Christmas day without Grandma…

thinking of a farmer who moved to California & thought he was in paradise…

this christmas morning was paradise.


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