Posted by: christinelaennec | November 5, 2011

Early November

Happy Bonfire Night / Guy Fawkes Night!   The weather has been extremely mild this week, despite predictions for snow by the end of October.  This past week was the third week of our helper, and the ninth week of the Dafter’s illness.  She managed to go to school for one class on one day, and for a meeting with her guidance teacher on another day.  Michael and I have been exhausted trying to juggle uncertain schedules (will the Dafter actually manage to go as planned?  Sometimes yes, sometimes no), appointments with doctors and the school, schoolwork, our jobs, and the usual domestic things.

I won’t pretend it’s been easy, but we have been trying hard to focus on the positives.  We have a beautiful daughter; whatever ails her doesn’t seem to be life-threatening; her school has been marvellous; she has managed to go there; our helper is extraordinarily flexible; our son seems to be doing fine in Edinburgh; we have heat and food and light;  and we thank God for our family.  There have also been moments of loveliness and fall colours to enjoy.  Here are some snaps of Aberdeen:

Fall colours in Aberdeen, early November 2011.

Bon-Accord Terrace Gardens, early November 2011

Late bloomer: Peace rose, November 2011

Thank goodness for the garden.  I found a little slice of remaining light this afternoon to plant bulbs in, and was delighted to see this lovely rose.  I like the tiny touch of pink on one petal.  The Dafter isn’t well enough to go out to the big municipal fireworks display, but we had good fun tonight in the front garden with our neighbours, and some sparklers:

Sparklers on Bonfire Night!

Some of the neighbours were letting off fireworks, and we oohed and aahed at the flowers of light in the sky.   I made a wish upon the first star I saw tonight!

I hope you’re all enjoying the start of the month of Thanksgiving.



  1. funny but true story. i was so happy to see your photo of the peace rose. i had one in my garden one time but it wouldn’t grow for me. i was anticipating the beauty of a yellow rose. my other rose bushes were more of a pink variety. anyways, sad story but it just never took off and only last week, i pulled it from the ground and i’m afraid it is no longer. so i was very encouraged by your beautiful picture. thank you!

  2. Hello, Christine! “Peace” is my mother’s favorite rose variety. My own yellow rosebush is still blooming, too, and looks lovely. The Dafter’s illness reminds me of when my sister had Epstein-Barr in college. I recall visiting her. We went to supper at a sandwich shop, and she put her head on the table for most of the time we were there. She barely finished the semester. Prayers that your precious girl will continue to gain strength.

  3. You are showing true courage in the face of your poor dafter’s difficult time. It is perhaps more difficult for Mothers to see their precious ones feeling so down and hard to keep your spirits up. Your lovely Scotland surely helps, and I hope things ease for your sweet family soon. Maybe seeing the white rose is a sign of better things to come and that is my wish for you. xx

  4. ‘Peace’ is a favourite with us, too. And maybe this late bloomer has a message for you and yours. In spite of feeling drained, you are seeing all that is good around you. Such positivity must be a huge help to the dafter as she works her way through her illness.

    Very best wishes, as always.

  5. Ah yes – my mother loved her Peace rose too!
    Slow and steady, tiny steps, and other platitudes – it’s all moving in the right direction. Stay strong! You’re doing a fine job!

  6. Good Girl for focusing on the good, we should all do more of that and be thankful. All will be well in the end and the good will win the day!
    With you in thought always x

  7. As you know, Christine, I had a still-undiagnosed spell of being extremely unwell a few years ago, which involved frightening lethargy, lack of interest in eating, and poor concentration, and it lasted from late August until some time after Christmas. I made it worse by imagining terrifying diseases, although the various doctors I saw kept saying they couldn’t find anything they recognised as an identifiable illness. It became easier to handle after I got into a frame of mind of not expecting too much, and seeing any small activity I could manage as a bonus. And eventually I was fine again. It’s really hard to just wait and let time pass, It sounds as if you and Michael are doing all the right things, and I send my love to you and the Dafter, and hope she’ll be well again very soon.. And thankyou for the lovely photos.

  8. I do so hope your daughter makes a full recovery. It’s difficult I know to try and be positive all of the time, but I’m sure she is secure in your love and that must help her enormously. You seem a strong and united family and your faith I’m sure will see you through. What a wonderful couple of days we’re having weather wise. I can’t believe the sunshine! And a rose too in your garden – it looks amazing

  9. Dear Everyone,

    Thank you all *so* much for these kind messages of support and encouragement. Once again, we will treasure them and come back to them.

    ajb – how funny! You can enjoy my ‘Peace’ rose instead.

    Ellen and Flora – it is hard to accept, in our fast-fix culture, that sometimes the only healer is Time. I am discovering that I am less patient and more of a control freak than I’d thought. An opportunity for growth!

    Karen, Martin and Ann – thank you very much for your kind words and for telling me that we are, in fact, helping.

    Roobeedoo – thanks for the pat on the back and the reminder to keep things in proper perspective! You are inspirational in this respect, and I’m ashamed to complain.

    Heike – yes, the good will win out in the end! Thanks for your good thoughts.

  10. Hello Christine. One of the reason I love the Chalet School books is that if a girl or woman had flu or bronchitis or what would now be called a virus, she got to convalesce. Properly. ‘Gels’ would have a term off school, be sent on a sea cruise or to the South of France. There was time to get better. Okay, so some of this was in the idealised world of Elinor Brent-Dyer, but it was also the tenor of that time. I think we have lost the concept of convalescence, but it is what you are giving your daughter. Last week I struggled with a Meniere’s attack, working from home although I was sometimes too dizzy to see the screen, going in to work for meetings when I could hardly get myself there. I long to have time to get better, but the pressure of work is such that I feel I can’t. Good for you and Michael safeguarding the Dafter against such pressures, and giving her time to get well.
    Oh, and do tell the Dafter that her bookmarks are in constant use!

    • Linda, thank you very much for that perspective. I hadn’t really thought of it that way. Your Meniere’s episode sounds horrible, and it’s so unfair that you can’t look after yourself. The Dafter was pleased to hear the bookmarks are still useful!

  11. Continued prayers for healing and fortitude. Gosh, you have some lovely colors!

    • Thank you very much, Kelly. All prayers are very welcome! I haven’t forgotten your family member.

  12. Time heals. It’s so frustrating when this sort of unexplained fatigue lasts so long, but I’m not sure that it is all that unusual. I’m hoping that every week is just a bit better than the last and soon your rosey daughter will bloom in the depths of winter.

    • Thank you very much for your good wishes, Sigrid. Yes, time does heal.

  13. With everything that has happened in my life recently, I’m behind in catching up on my favorite blogs (like yours). Sorry to hear that your daughter has been sick so long. Have they tested for mono? With the duration of the illness I’m wondering. No doubt they have done all sorts of tests. Hopefully she feels better soon!

    • Dear Dianne, Thanks for your good wishes! (The tests for mono have both been negative.) I hope your Thanksgiving today has lots of happy moments.

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