Happy New Year! Here’s to love, joy, peace, kindness and mindfulness. It’s the season to clear the clutter, clean the slate and start afresh.

Our children have had to clean their rooms. There was to be no Smoking Dragon Festival until the chores had been done. This seems to be the only way to get teens and one pre-teen motivated. And eventually, after many moons, we have gathered the build-a-bears and the baby-borns, the cots and cribs, the highchairs and the play clothes and packed them up for the little cousins. It’s quite hard taking the special toys and severing the ties. We know it’s time, we know they are no longer used but it is the connection to days gone-by, tea parties and dress-up shenanigans that makes even this silly task a tad difficult.
Imagine then cutting the family ties? Last night we gathered for a few family photos. Our youngest sister and family have decided to give Australia a try and they will start their new life in Adelaide in mid-January. So many families have had to go through this mammoth upheaval and our grandparent’s generation were the real immigration pioneers. At least we have Skype, What’s App and all other social media platforms to keep in touch and connected but it doesn’t really help the heart ache…

After many years of all being in the same province, and 6 out of 7 of us cousins being within a 10km radius, our new year will bring with it some big changes. Clearing the clutter seems simple but starting afresh is rather unnerving.
Family connections, bonds and relationships have been one of strongest threads holding this Cavern and its people together. Cousins, second-cousins, great-aunts and crazy in-laws have gathered in this special valley and these relationships are so strong it is almost a bit weird.

In fact, Hilton can’t get over this extended family. When we travelled across the ocean to Argentina and were enjoying a little hiking on the southern tip of Ushuaia, a phone call from my mum had him gobsmacked. My mum was just letting us know that some cousins in Buenos Aires wanted to meet for dinner before we headed back to SA…. we’d left SA, flown hundreds of miles to a Spanish country and there were still cousins who wanted to be in touch! Who was this family he’d married into!?
So this New Year it really is about accepting the new. Daunting and different, far-off and scary but new and exciting, a time for growth and exploration. We will rely on this strong thread, the great bond, to keep some of the old but will need to grow to embrace the new.

May 2018 bring growth and adventure to you too!

17 thoughts on “Out with the old and in with the new…

  1. Happy New Year to all you beautiful people. May this be a year filled with health, wealth, prosperity and puppies!
    Best wishes,
    Peggy.

    1. Dear Peggy
      Thank you so much! And we wish you a Happy 2018! We shall continue to share the spectacular views, the gorgeous flora & fauna and definitely all the puppy news. We love hearing from you to!
      With best wishes from us all,
      Megan & the Cavernites

  2. What a lovely family story Megan. Wish your sister and her family great adventures in Australia! And all of you still at the Cavern a wonderful peaceful, healthy and prosperous 2018.

  3. What a beautifully presented family story. May you all have a peaceful, prosperous and healthy 2018 and may the bond between South Africa and Australia stay intact and get even stronger.
    Wishing you ALL all the best

  4. Happy 2018 and good luck to all the new endeavors! Luckily space and time can never diminish the special bond between loved ones, whether near or far. Family, and the love and connection between family is what I believe makes the atmosphere at Cavern so unique and special. Me and hubby are expanding our little family with our first born this year and a visit to Cavern will surely be on his travel list!

    1. Dear Melinda
      Thank you for your response. Such wise and true words. Family bonds certainly do hold strong.
      We wish you all the best as you expect your first born. How incredibly exciting! Children make us adults look, see and experience all things with enriched insight and they bring so much joy.
      We look forward to welcoming you once more.
      Best wishes,
      Megan

  5. Wow. I remember playing with Sandra as a child at the Cavern. Wishing her lots of luck on this new adventure. My sister who also played with her, lives in Sydney now. It’s hard having all the family so far apart but you are right we do have the technologies and family visits become all the more tender. Wishing you all a blessed 2018.

    1. Hi Adina
      Gosh, so many memories, so many friendships and so many lovely families that have passed through this Cavern! We are certainly going to have to make an effort to keep the conversations going, particularly with the little people, and work hard to get to Aus to visit. Just lovely reading all these comments – we certainly aren’t in this boat alone!
      Take care and all the best for 2018,
      Megan

  6. Good luck to you guys and keep the traditions up.
    They become more important as you grow older.
    Miss you folks
    Eksteen (Dippies) & Saartjie Dippenaar

    1. Many thanks, Dippies & Saartjie!
      You are right – lots of old traditions that are certainly worthwhile remembering. We enjoyed a few barn dances on New Year’s Eve and Auld Lang Syne on the front lawn at midnight!
      Take care and best wishes for 2018,
      Megan

  7. Hello. I came to the Cavern every year from when I was 13 till I was in my 20’s. Every year when we came in December there was a new baby bouncing in the door of reception, starting from Murray, Meagan, Lesley, Lindsey…… due to finances and circumstances my mum and I couldn’t come any more. I’m nearly 62 and I still want to come back. The cavern holds many happy memories. I will come back. Llyn Gibson Durban.

  8. I will come back. I’m presently doing caring in England to make money. Then I will come for the whole treatment, because I believe its a spar as well. I can come for the weekend, have a horse ride, followed by a massage. Oh what bliss. When I have made the bucks I will deserve a break. love, Llyn.

  9. The warmest memories of family inclusion, fun and laughter, but mostly the amazing Cavern family, who through the years maintain the Cavern ethos, and the ability to keep exceptional standards of food and accomodation, yet not losing the essence of the Cavern feel, is something totally unique and something we have never found anywhere else in the world- which is becoming smaller and more accessible! May 2018 be a happy year- stay happy, healthy and safe! We’ll be back soon, and then again and again! That feeling of driving over the rise and seeing ‘who can see the Cavern first’ , will always be there!! And arriving… always feels like coming home. Thank you you special special people!!

    1. Chantal, you always make the most lovely, positive and inspiring comments. “Who can see the Cavern” was a favourite chant in our car as we approached home…. And we, The Cavern Family, are incredibly blessed to have so many returning guests and families who have become special friends. We look forward to seeing you all again soon. Take special care and here’s to 2018!

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