Gary recieved this email from his friend Sharon in Australia and wanted to share it with you.  People around the world are feeling exactly the same way at present and are hopeful that something positive will come out of this.  The bit about the older generation saving things "for best" certainly struck a chord with Gary and reminded him of clearing his parents house!

Hello distant friends . . .  a big hug to you all.  I'm very excited as I'm allowed to go visiting my little grandkids.  In Queensland they are trialling some lessening of restrictions.  Homes can have 2 visitors, can drive within 50 km, some shops reopening.  So I'm breaking out!  I've baked the scones for afternoon tea and have a bag of knitting for the grandies.

When my mum died a couple of years ago (aged 92) as the only daughter I was tasked with clearing her house.  Mum was keeping multiples of things she was never going to use. 40 tea-towels, 10 new bath towels ( a dozen older towels she used), 4 unopened packets of bed sheets, old envelopes, dusty old books lined shelves, 17 small coin purses . . . and so it goes on.  I didn't know what I would find. So many brand new things. I couldn't understand why she used cheap versions of these items she treated herself to when she had all this nice stuff she could have enjoyed.  I have been thinking of my parents / grandparents constantly these past weeks as the world has been thrown into chaos and uncertainty.  And I have been reconciling in my mind that life is never going to be the same as a result, and how this is not necessarily a negative.
We've got a chance to start again with a clean slate, to take stock of what's important.  Objects don't necessarily make us happy.  It's the small things that are EVERYTHING.  The smile of my grandkids, the phone calls and emails that reach out to say hello, cooking for family, walking in nature, tutoring online with families who need help, volunteering.  Our older generations lived in an era where chaos was constant and they learned a big lesson in life; that status, power, money, looks, toys were icing on the cake.  They learned that health and happiness for their families and those they loved was the only important thing in life.

Keep safe, remember we care about you all and are wishing you a smooth transition to the changes we are all experiencing.

Sharon x


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