I slept like a log last night - went to bed at 8:30 and woke at 9:40 - and I feel sooooo much better. Amazing how important sleep is.
Our plan for the day is lunch with Biff. So it was hurry up and run into town - Pietermaritzburg - and get fresh bread and rolls from the bakery, load up the bakkie (pickup truck) and head down to Hillcrest, about half an hour away.
Driving into town, nothing much has changed. It is still a pretty little city with lovely old homes. but there was a lot of trash alongside the roads, and Mick says the city center is awful. But we didn't go all the way into town. I checked out prices in the store and it is still considerably - make that a lot- less expensive than the U.S. And there is a large variety of goods available, more than when I was here four years ago.
Driving south, the hills stretch for miles and lots of open space dotted with the typical flat topped trees and an occasional house. The hills are still a summer green but you can tell it is turning to winter, with areas of tawny grass. Again, nothing much has changed. More traffic though, and a lot of heavies - big rigs - making the drive between Durban, the port, and Johannesburg.
Right near Biff is a railway line, and when we were living here, we went on the steam train which is used for tourist runs. As we got near the line, the puffer went by. Brought back a lot of memories.
At Biff's, where Zoze and Bryan are staying until they move into their little place, we were greeted by the two dogs and Biff, Zoze and Bryan. The house and garden look wonderful, orchids blooming in the trees, roses all trimmed back, waterfall and pond looking beautiful. Lunch was a braai (bbq) with a leg of lamb done on the grill, wine and shandies (beer and 7-up) and lots of laughs. It seems not five minutes can go by without the conversation turning raunchy! I didn't know my brothers' minds were in the gutter! And the teasing and kidding didn't stop.
It's good to be home - and "in the arms of" the family. Just to able to sit back and just be. Not have to worry about what they think of me, or what I am doing, or anything else. No judgement. I think this is what family is all about.