Kathleen Mitchell, South Africa
Our move from Auckland Park to Rose Village, Methodist Retirement Centre, took a long time to become a reality. In fact, we (Shelagh Mary, Melanie, Kathleen and Joy) wondered whether it would happen at all. Once our house in Auckland Park was sold, we were due to move out by the end of May. However, “lockdown” happened and we all know what that meant! - Stay at Home. This was humorously illustrated for us by the video clip of a cat trying to keep a little mouse in a shoe and telling it to - Stay at Home.
Well, we stayed at home. Deeds Office was closed, Municipal Offices were closed, the transfer could not happen and we were advised to stay where we were! Winter arrived with its bitterly cold weather and where were our winter woollies? Packed of course! However, we found enough of what we needed to keep relatively warm.
We have all experienced the packing up of a house, but I’m sure Auckland Park took the cake! We had inherited so much from other houses that had been closed. What to do with books, furniture, pictures, bed linen and more was an enormous headache!
Much time was given to preparing Auckland Park for the new owners. Washing curtains, cleaning carpets and cupboards and much more had to be done. We are most grateful to Sr. Priscilla who stayed with us and was a tremendous help in our packing up and cleaning. Mrs.Lenah Ngozi who had worked for the sisters for about 35 years in Parktown, Yeoville, Escombe Ave. and Auckland Park was sadly missed during that time as she, like everyone else, was in lockdown. Our deep gratitude to Zeph Dube (our gardener) and Lenah for their loyal and trustworthy service of us at all times. Amidst all the hustle and bustle, there was a deep sadness in the heart of each one. Auckland Park had been home to so many of us since 2003 and a place of healing for many of our sisters who came for medical care from DR Congo, Rwanda, Uganda, Botswana and Cameroon. As we reflect back on our move, we are it amazed that a home was found for everything. Finally, we moved out on the 31st July. During our final two to three weeks in Auckland Park, we spent time in Rose Village hanging curtains and transporting furniture to our 2 cottages.
Delightful garden outside our north-facing door
We received a very warm welcome from residents and neighbours when we finally arrived in Rose Village. Unpacking took much time and energy but we finally managed to settle down and now feel ‘at home’ in our new environment.
Spring is upon us and the gardens have blossomed and come to life. It is no wonder that this village is called Rose Village when one sees the beautiful roses blooming all around us.
We are truly reminded that we are celebrating Creation and God’s many gifts to us. We are blessed to experience this beauty all around us.
Thank you, Creator God, for the beauty and giftedness of Mother Earth which we experience in gardens and the colour and variety of the birds and flowers here in Rose Village”.