28 December 2010

Les and Sal Powrie Family Gazette - Christmas 2010

The family gathered for the naming and blessing of Hannah Elizabeth Herbert, July 2010. Andrew P, Cindy, Sally, Leslie, Richard, Shelly & Hannah, Andrew H & Joshua, Rohan, Colleen.

Greetings to all our dear family and friends for Christmas 2010

Hmm! Here we are again – everyone wondering what to get for Christmas gifts, and wondering what on earth happened to yet another year! Every year we all say to each other: “How did the year go so fast?” And then we turn around – and find we’re saying it again at the end of yet another year.
So much for philosophising – What has 2010 been like for you? I hope you’ll share something of your life with us. In the meanwhile, in our family’s time-honoured fashion, we’d like to share a little of our year with you.
Of course, 2010 was THE year. It seemed that we could go nowhere without sign of the countdown – If soccer fever were a symptom of an illness, SA was sure to die as the World Cup hit. And yet – and yet – it was by no means a fatal event. In fact, despite my prior cynical attitude about the much-vaunted event, there was in fact some magic in the excitement in the country. While none of us attended any of the games, we did get into the centre of Cape Town and the Waterfront during some of the major events, and we were all thrilled at the exhilarating buzz. And you know what was best about it all – there was no sense of ugly behaviour. There is only one major niggle that I personally have – VUVUZELA’s. Someone please tie a knot in all of them.
Now, let’s get down to our family.
First of all, Shelly, Andrew and Joshua welcomed little Hannah into their family on 17 May. Shelly continues to be a source of joy as we watch her gentleness as a mother with these two little ones. Joshua accepted his new baby sister sweetly, despite having to give up his position of being the only child. But then his wise parents carefully give a good balance of time to both children, and involved our curly-topped little grandson in his little sister’s care. Shelly was obviously off on maternity leave, and then when she went back to UCT, she completed the application and interview process, and was offered a permanent position instead of her previous contract position. Andrew has continued to be a constant and steady influence in his home, and in October he was called as Bishop in our ward at Church. This puts a heavy responsibility on him – caring for the members of our ward, as well as his own family. He has also recently been promoted at work to Cape Town Branch Manager. In addition to this, he is still studying. We love and appreciate this fine man who married our sweet daughter.
Colleen and Rohan have had the excitement of buying their first home this year. There is nothing quite so exciting, or so nerve-racking. They didn’t really want to leave the Meadowridge area where they were extremely happy, especially at Church, having Rohan’s family, and good friends, and being happy in their callings. Unfortunately, the cost of houses is just so much higher there that they ended up looking over our side (as well as everywhere else), and then they found a really lovely 3-bedroomed house quite close to us, which was more affordable – and it’s on a nice size property – so there’s lots of potential. Colleen is really happy teaching at SACS, which means she still has a long way to go to work each day, but Rohan works just up on the side of Tygerberg Hill, so he’s really close to work. He’s happy in his job as well, and hopes that all goes well for it to continue in the long term. Of course, the most exciting news followed their move (September) – their first baby is on its way.  That is due to be early in June 2011. How exciting is that? We get Colleen and Rohan living close by and then find they are going to give us another grandbaby. We are so blessed! Thank you, you two wonderful young people. You are a joy to us. Rohan’s parents unfortunately have them living further away, but I know they are over the moon about the baby. This will be their first grandbaby.
Our Andrew in his 22nd year has continued working at Federal Clearing, which has provided him with a good job since he left school, and he has proved his worth. Something he and some of his friends have been doing this year is Mixed Martial Arts, with classes he goes to twice a week. He’s been getting pretty fit – and he sometimes comes home quite black and blue – a hazard of the sport, I guess. He recently had his first grading and got his yellow belt. He quickly realized that this is a time when he absolutely has to wear his contact lenses, which he doesn’t do all the time. But he is really very keen to have corrective surgery on his eyes, mainly because his greatest desire for quite a long time has been to become a pilot. He has been working out a way for the finances to hopefully make it possible for him to have the op early next year. This is the time of his life to have it done. His eyes have settled and he can get maximum benefit time, so we really hope it all works out. He has also been doing some extra promotion work of computer games for Bryan Banfield during the year. Now at the end of the year – in fact, 2 days after Christmas, he is moving out to a house that he will be sharing with 3 friends. As this is in Table View, he will need his own transportation for getting to work (no longer being able to go with Andrew H). So he has just bought himself a scooter. And so our next fledgling flies the nest. Oh dear, before we know it we will have a completely empty nest. I am proud of him for deciding that he needs to get out and be independent when many young people simply stay in their parents’ homes for comfort and convenience and cost-savings. But I’m going to miss having him at home.
Cindy began her year getting her matric results from the end of last year. She did so well – 6 A’s! We certainly couldn’t ask for more. And so then it was into the big world of university for which she had been feeling ready for so long. It was with the greatest of ease that she settled straight into ‘Varsity life, and before we knew it, as usual, Cindy had her plate overloaded. She is studying a BA, with the intention of teaching English. She loves studying English, and Linguistics (we get continual lectures over dinner), and German (totally loves the language – studying it from scratch this year. Unfortunately, it doesn’t fit into her schedule next year, so she can’t continue it), and Film and Media Studies. Next year she is planning to take Maths, possibly as her third major. She was very blessed to get an excellent bursary from the education department, for which she will of course have to work to pay back at the end. In addition to her course materials, she was invited to sing in the College of Music Choir. As you may imagine, for our songbird this was a bit of heaven. It added extra hours, and on Mondays and Thursdays, Les would patiently work late at Kirstenbosch, so as to be able to fetch her late, and the two of them would get home at about 7pm. In addition to this, JoMarie, who had been her singing teacher at the College of Music while Cindy was still at school, and was the leader of the choir, continued to give Cindy private singing lessons. Add working part-time in the Department of Accounting at UCT, serving as secretary in the Primary organisation, and weekly Institute classes, and you see why I say that her plate was quickly overloaded. Fortunately, a joyful load. But a bonus – she has been given a Faculty Scholarship for 2011, awarded for academic excellence. Now for a well-earned vacation. But that doesn’t mean she will stop for a moment.
Richard – oh my goodness, he has just turned 17. He can’t wait to get his Learner’s License. I can’t believe our 5th child is old enough to start learning to drive. Stop the world, I want to get off! Simply because it’s going so fast. Not because I think he won’t be able to do it – I’m sure he’ll do great. His siblings have all done well, so there is no reason why he shouldn’t. He’s at the end of Grade 10. The last two years of school ahead of him. He has had a really busy year, most especially the 1st half of the year. His matric subjects are: English, Afrikaans, Maths, Science, Accounting, Drama, Life Orientation, AdMaths and Information Technology. Drama as a matric subject is a very demanding subject. Richard is Stage Manager, as well as having to do the actual drama in class etc. He was not too surprisingly excellent at the whole Backstage thing, considering his handiness (absolutely his dad’s son in that. Backstage was something that Andrew really loved being part of when he was at school too). I think the aspect of leadership has been excellent for him. And then, Grandpa Simon’s acting talent seems to have found more of a home in Richard than I think he had anticipated. The school play, which was written by the students, guided by the teachers, to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Edgemead High School, was incredibly demanding of time, effort and talent. And the result was amazing. I couldn’t get over what these youth put on. Richard was as proud as punch to be a part of it – and utterly exhausted. In the midst of all this, which went on for months, normal school work had to happen. Information Technology is in the evenings and AdMaths is after school. He had done Karate, but sadly, something had to give.
It’s interesting how much the performing arts – music, acting, singing and dancing – have come out in this generation. A great heritage from both Les’s and my parents and families.
Les seems to have been continually busy, and exhausted all year. He has been on a few field trips, most recently in the Southern Cape and up into the Little Karoo. He works too hard, and yet still gives more of himself if ever called on, and often without being called on. He is still ward clerk at Church. He really loves this calling, as I have probably mentioned before and is incredibly diligent in his calling. Les sadly said goodbye to his budgies this year. After having the aviary for a number of years, the point was reached where it was becoming more of a burden then a blessing. He had had a great deal of pleasure out of the birds over the years, breeding them, watching them grow, and caring for them. But this year he advertised on Gumtree, and got a response from a family in Richwood, to whom we gave the aviary and birds. We also had our old cat, Oscar (well, Shelly’s cat really) put down in March. He was just really old and battling terribly with his arthritis, and his quality of life was not good. We reckon he was about 14 years old. So now we’re down to only two cats left in the house. It seems quite strange after the menagerie we’ve had in the past.
I (Sal) have had endless cause to be grateful for the husband that I have. These last five years have been an unusual challenge, not only for me, but also for Les, and I think that we have grown together. I do feel like saying “It’s enough now, I think we’ve grown enough haven’t we?” But when I say things like that – guess what, a new dimension gets added to the challenge, one that we hadn’t imagined yet. So, I think I’ll quietly wait and see what happens at this stage. Perhaps there are aspects of the last five years which we will really only discover years down the line, but I have a feeling that those are going to be positive ones. What we have found up till now has been the positive growth of our family. The strength and support that my family – my husband, my children, my mother, my brothers and sisters and /in-laws – have given me has been more than I could ever have expected or deserved. Our Church family has also been incredible – I’m not going to name anyone for fear of leaving out special people accidentally.
Something wonderful happened for our family this year, and that was having Ron and Pamela get married and move down here. I felt an immediate kinship with Pamela, and having this sister here is great.
And so has passed another year. In terms of the birthday song sung by our Primary (our Church children’s organization): “One year older and wiser, too” – hmm? Well, the year older is inevitable. The wiser, too? Ja well no fine.
With that profound thought for the year ahead – it must surely be something to aim for next year – We send you our warmest greetings and love for a blessed Christmas this 2010, and a peace-filled 2011.
Les, Sally, Andrew, Cindy and Richard
Andrew and Shelly, Joshua and little Hannah Herbert
Colleen and Rohan Schwartz