Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Not A Merry Christmas


It hasn't been a Merry Christmas for a very long time, but we have in the past tried for Chad's sake - not very well I might add. Some years better than others. Chad went from being a little boy in the phase of "If I don't believe I won't get" Christmas, (not sure whether to believe that there is no Father Christmas and risk not getting lots presents from him or what the heck let me believe and I will get lots of presents) to a little boy whose brother died 3 months later. How real does that make life? So Chad has also become very cynical when it comes to fun; merriment and traditional beliefs. It breaks my heart, as does everything about Clint's death. He hides his anger by being cynical and angry. The anger issues have improved tremendously as he gets older, but I think now it is a kind of guilt, more than cynical and he battles with traditional celebrations, like Christmas and Birthdays and comes across as cynical. We all miss Clinty terribly and that feeling of sadness and loss is always on the surface of any happiness.

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We had no plans for Christmas this year and everyone seemed to have very little holiday and Christmas spirit, customers we spoke to; suppliers and people in general. Chad was saying that even the shops did not seem to be pushing the whole "Commercial Christmas" this year; or perhaps, because they put out all the Christmas stuff in September, by December it has become part and parcel of the decor and no one notices. The TV Channels also had very little Christmas and holiday cheer going on this year. It has just been the strangest December in a long time. In past years, whether we liked it or not, Christmas Spirit and Cheer affected us, not in a good way, because we were grieving, but we felt it - this year there was nothing.

Mystic Monkeys And Feathers
So Mark saw this advert on Facebook to spend the day at Mystic Monkeys and Feathers Wildlife Park. There would be live music, picnic baskets or food at the restaurant - Enjoy a day of fun in the sun whilst helping the animals. As far as I know it is privately owned and the animals are not rescues like the Monkey Sanctuary in Hartebeespoort, so the charity aspect of helping the animals was a bit lost on me, but it was something to do. I phoned to enquire about the picnic baskets, the contact person could not tell me what was in the picnic baskets and I think they were R180.00 a person. I had to send an email, which I did and then we were not sure if we were going to go or not. On the 24th (Christmas Eve) I went to buy Chad a Christmas present. Bad mother that I am and not having the Christmas Spirit, seems even worse seeing that I had not even bought Chad a present, but there is a story behind the Christmas present story. Last year when we went shopping for our Mozambique Holiday and bought loads of camping type stuff and new chairs and a portable fridge and and and...... I told Mark that all the stuff can be our Christmas presents. Some years we bought each other stuff and other years we didn't. The previous Christmas we bought each other gifts - it was no big deal if we bought or didn't. Some how Chad included himself in the not buying Christmas presents decision and did not want anything - his words he had enough. Famous last words. He has not let me forget that he received nothing for Christmas last year. Never mind that we bought him loads of new clothes for our holiday (sorry girls love clothes not boys), we bought him flippers and snorkels and goggles to use in Mozambique - not cheap ones and other odds and ends, but I did not wrap them up and give them to him on Christmas day - so he got "nothing" for Christmas. He keeps reminding me about that and I keep reminding him that 6 or 7 months before Christmas him and Mark wanted motorbikes - yes the dreaded word - Motorbikes and Chad's famous last words were "The bike will be my Christmas Present & Birthday Present" "It will be my Christmas Present & Birthday Present for the next 10 years." Ha Ha how long did that last - He got a brand new Honda 125 and Mark got a Honda 650, but he did not get it on Christmas Day.

So this year the nag was for a Rifle for Christmas. I hate guns and I am not sure what kind of Rifle it is. Either Mark or Chad or both "inherited" my dad's shotgun, which belonged to my grandfather. I say Mark or Chad, because ultimately it will become Chad's, but Mark needs to get a gun license for it and it is at a gun shop until he gets his license. Chad has Clint's pellet gun, which we bought him for his 14th birthday and Chad got a handgun pellet gun for his 14th birthday. Not a tradition or a family thing it just happened like that or maybe Chad used the ages as persuasion to get one. Chad got his pellet gun for his 15th birthday, he chose a small one that looks like a handgun. I had the age wrong the other day, I just remember the nagging for a gun and the discussion about when Clint got his. So now he has a Rifle - Chad has an obsession with guns and knives - I hope it is a collectors obsession and not a hunting obsession. The Rifle has to stay at the gun shop until Mark gets a license and Chad can't have the gun until he is old enough to get a gun license. So another present he can't open on Christmas Day. Where will they use the gun mmmm Mark and Chad are manipulators of note and have an answer for everything - they need it for the next chapter of our lives (to be posted about in the next chapter of our lives).

So that is the story behind the late Christmas Present Saga. Oh and the Mini was also his Christmas Present, but it was not wrapped :D. All of this was the reason for my dash to the shops to do last minute shopping. I thought the shops would be packed, they were not at all. I bought him some more T Shirts (but not for Christmas - just cause I am a nice mom) for Christmas, I bought him 2 DVD's - Nic Rabinowitz and Jeff Dunham, because he loves Comedy so much. I bought him 2 pairs of gym shorts; a water bottle for gym; a fitness book and training gloves. Nothing exciting, just stocking fillers, but something to open on Christmas Day.

Christmas morning dawned - raining and miserable, we woke up late, Chad opened his presents, Mark and I had already decided that we were not buying gifts for each other. We still had no plans for the day and ended up going to Mystic Monkeys in the rain. I received a reply to my email on the 24th, but by then we had decided if we do go we won't buy a picnic basket. Mark and Chad had the bright idea of going in the Mini, because it would be fun. So off we zooted in the little Mini. It kept up with the best of them on the highway as Mark whizzed along. Mystic Monkeys is about 2 hours drive and going in the Mini in the rain was not a good idea. It started over heating about 20 minutes away from the place. Fortunately where we could stop and get water.

Finally we arrived, the rain had slowed down to a slight mist and we were starving so went to eat first. The restaurant is more of a fast food outlet - I had a very dry Chicken Schnitzel - they are generally dry were ever they serve them, so why I ordered it, I really don't know. Chad and Mark had burgers. Christmas Lunch with a difference. The live music was not live music but a DJ playing music from an era no one has heard of. I don't even think they even play that music at a "sakkie sakkie" dance. We ate and then walked around and looked at the animals. We were not expecting the best of best bands to be playing, but don't advertise a live band when it is just someone playing unknown sings off a media stick. A tour guide takes you around and explains the different animals, but we declined the guided tour. We have been there before and done the guided tour. We preferred walking around on our own. For R 100.00 a person it really is worth going out there for the day.

Chimp Enclosure


Baby Tigers


Tigers Playing
Chickens










Waiting For Lunch

Serval {I Think}

Serval












Monkeys












Tortoise Mating Season  


      Monkeys of various sizes 
                and breeds













Egyptian Geese



More Monkeys  














Cheetahs and Chimps








Tiger 



Blue Duiker


And below is exactly what I want in the next chapter of our lives - to be blogged about in the future, but it will involve a farm. If not in the very near future, then in years to come, but an island for ducks and bunnies and chickens, I do want.


Only mine hopefully won't be green & dirty

It will have a bridge

And that was our tour around Mystic Monkeys













And we left, it was a real Christmas with a difference. And Chad and Mark are both over their souped up little Mini, because it overheated all the way home and we had to continually stop and pour water over the radiator to cool it down, then fill it with water. Lesson to the guys, little Minis can't be driven at highway speeds to another Province.

On Our Way Out









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