During the past weekend I have been in Wellington for a friend’s 60th birthday. She is someone who I knew here in Pukekohe for a few years after we returned in 1984. She had five children who were (are) near the ages of ours - Our friendship has continued since then and has been really meaningful to me.
I got to meet her cousins, see her grown children with their own kids, meet many friends who she has in Wellington – and enjoy the very unseasonable weather. Wellington is the windy city of New Zealand and the winters can be horrible. Two years ago when I went down for a visit, I told my friend that I wasn’t ever coming back at that time of year again….ever. Her fireplace wasn’t working, her flat wasn’t insulated and it is located against a hillside – reduced sun – whatever – but I did do it this time and Wellington was actually sunny and warm – in July – no wind that almost knocks one off their feet, no rain that soaks one’s clothes….just nothing but clear, blue skies and sun during the day and mild at night. My friend has also now got a heat pump and her flat has been insulated – totally helps.
I don’t remember much about the move to Seattle except that in March, 1959 it seemed a lot colder then Portland, Oregon. We moved into an older house in the University District, near University of Washington campus, and across from a large park (Ravenna Park) that was actually a ravine. It was filled with many large trees and had pathways that we often walked.
As usual, my mother got to know a lot of the neighbours and some of them were really wonderful. They made our stay in the area memorable.