The completion of the circle is complete when I woke this morning in Lindsay, Ontario and everything was coated in snow. Its hard to think that on Saturday we fly home to New Zealand. 227 days or 7 months an 13 days since we left New Zealand for our adventure. We are heading home.
I have to say that up to a couple of weeks ago it still seemed a long way off till we were due to leave. But with spending the last 3 weeks saying our good byes and adding a quick visit to New York to support our son-in-law running his first Marathon last weekend, the time has flown and now the count down till we leave on Saturday is speeding towards us.
After saying our good byes in Littleton MA we headed back up to Portland, Maine for the week to leave Henry tucked up in our friends Garage for the winter. Arriving back in Portland, felt like arriving home but tinged with sadness. To call this couple friends would be an injustice. They are family. They are where you feel at home, loved, cared for, you laugh with, where tears can be shed, it is easy and hugs make the world seem so much better.
We visited the Portland Head Lighthouse at Cape Elizabeth The lighthouse was first begun to be built in 1787 but not completed till January 1791 making it the oldest lighthouse in Maine and the most photographed lighthouse in America. The lantern was lit by 16 whale oil lamps until 1864 when the Frensel Lens was installed. A Frensel Lens is a composite compact lens specifically for lighthouses. The lighthouse was powered by Frensel Lens right up till 1958.
We also made a drive out to the rocky beach in the Fort William Park. What a beautiful brooding beach, with the weather turning towards a storm it was hard not to feel a little swept away with it majesty.
Even though the summer time on the island is now only a memory and the weather was turning on us, the last of the leaves falling fast from the trees in the strong chilly winds it was difficult to say good bye. More than a few tears were shed when no one was looking.
But with the draw of the kids and grand-babies waiting in New York for us, we headed off back down country. Well at least for an hour and a half. Then I remember I had left my insulin behind. I have to say that TOH was extremely calm about having to turn around and head back to pick it up and I am ever thankful for it being brought half way down to meet us. But it still added a couple more hours to the trip. Not a problem – yeah right!
Driving for 7 hours, then having to contend with the New York traffic on a Friday night for 2 hours before we could drop off our rental. As I said, TOH handled it well even when the GPS kept telling us to drop the car a whole block away from the drop off point and to “walk” the rest. Not sure how we would have managed to carry a car a whole block. We finally ignored the GPS and followed our instincts to get to where we had to be. Again I am sure who every invented GPS had one hell of warped a sense of humour.
We arrived at the beginning of the Marathon weekend and New York was putting on a magnificent weekend. To be able to spend time in New York and be part of the New York Marathon experience was amazing.
On the Saturday we took in more of the sights of New York that we hadn’t previously. Taking the boat trip out to the 144 year old Statue of Liberty, standing at 305 feet tall, she is an impressive monument. As we were passing Ellis Island, the gate way to America for over 12 million immigrants it was hard not to be touched by the feeling of what those new Americans must have felt as the gazed on the Statue of Liberty before they arrived at Ellis Island with the belief that anything would now be possible for them. Or wonder at Ellis Island itself as it had previously been called Gibbet Island as this was where they came and hang pirates in the trees of the island in the 1760’s.
On a beautifully sunny afternoon, the boat trip up the Hudson and back again is a wonderful way to see the skyline of New York and New Jersey at their best.
Sunday dawned, the day of the marathon and unfolded an experience not to be missed. Let me tell you its loud and hectic and busy and I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.
With over 50,000 runners taking part and over 2.5 million spectators lining the streets it is the worlds largest marathon. It has grown from only 127 runners in its first race in 1970 to the amazing event it is today. I feel so privileged and humbled to have been invited to share the experience with the Kids. We are so proud of our son-in-law. So proud he is now among the 1% of the population to have completed a marathon. No mean feat.
Now we are back in Lindsay and enjoying the time with the Kids and grandbabys. I feel like I am banking all the cuddles, games and highjinx I can. Storing them away to bring them out to remember when we are on the other side of the world. But as with all circles, there is a beginning and an end and what a better way to signify this than to wake this morning to findit had snowed over night. So like children, TOH and Grandbaby No.1 spent time out in the snow playing and then this afternoon shovelling snow off the deck and a few snow balls thrown in for fun with Mum, Grandbaby No.2 and I. So it does seem we have truly come the full circle.