Living a minimalist lifestyle in a caravan allows for creativity conducive to the space available.
Our Christmas tree is usually some tiny artificial thing that sits comfortably on a seat ledge barely 25cm tall, unable to have any of our decorations hung we’ve collected from the different places visited during our travels. But it’s the thought that counts, and what it represents – a time of giving.
So for our 2014 tree, our impromptu creative juices turned to constructing an outdoor one.
With our young adult children Cameron and Claire, we ventured into the neighbouring plantation to collect different pine tree branch lengths, and some pine cones. Laying the branches into a shape of a triangular tree, wire was moulded to affix them into position.
Another time was planned to complete the project, however, this was as far we got due to the bike fall and clavicle experience (refer blog post 050114 A Christmas Break Like No Other).
Christmas came and went. Folk who arrived to camp had probably dismantled or discarded their trees already. Ours still stood skeletal, uncompleted.
It didn’t take much to motivate the camping kids that surrounded our caravan to be sitting at our picnic table smothering peanut butter onto the pine cones. This was after a camping Dad drilled a hole for another camping Dad to thread the wire to hang them from the tree. And this was done after the kids rolled the cones in bird seed like ice cream being rolled in lolly chips. It allowed for Mum’s to have some ‘mum time’ as we had fun being kids again ourselves. Once hung, melted honey was drizzled over the seed, peanut butter and cones giving that glistening tinsel effect when the sun beamed.
The whispers of joyful absorption were unanimous as the first birds landed to start pecking at the treat bestowed to them. The numbers of birds and bird species have been plentiful since. Other passer by campers and children stopped at the sight of the tree and birds dining on the hanging decorations. Kids radiated expressions were just brilliant.
The moment the mountain bike soared up leaving the ramp, I knew I was in trouble.
Instinct unfortunately froze to let gravity do its thing … and gravity didn’t disappoint. Having gone over the front of the bike’s handle bars, my helmet and shoulder took the full impact of body hitting the dirt track hard. And the ground was unforgiving.
It was my last interface with a Project K student I mentor for 2014 and we chose to do an activity he is passionate about – BMX riding. I was riding my mountain bike with clip in shoes and it only took a momentary lapse of concentration to change the Christmas festive season holiday break like no other.
The arrival of the paramedics assured me that the lump in the shoulder was a bone split into two. The ambulance personnel referred to the word “broken” in a number of sentences; and the hospital x-rays confirmed that I had indeed severely snapped my clavicle. I was admitted to hospital pending an operation to insert a plate to re-align.
I got to encounter the coming and going of Santa, as I did BClaire and Cameron whom joined me briefly on the ward to consume their ham and cheese croissants, as I scoffed traditional turkey and cranberry sauce hospital cuisine style.
Ticking all the boxes on Boxing Day, I was discharged to start the process of time and heal.
What a fascinating experience. New friendships made over the bond of broken limbs. Being pampered by a realm of brilliant caregivers at the push of a button. The pink pills to make all the blues of pain go away. My place of employment value my contribution to offer peace of mind recovery support. And the number of face book friends who ticked ‘like’ when someone is hurting had me smiling.
Finishing off my Christmas shopping; working through as part of the skeleton team; taking our recently purchased second bedroom on wheels for a tiki-tour around the South Island on the stat days; playing ‘zombie’ tag with the child campers invading our slice of paradise over the holiday period; ramp up the fitness training so as to complete the Motatapu mountain bike ride followed by the St Clair half marathon – evaporated as soon as I went soaring up and over.