A Very Berry Christmas With Willow

We woke up early on Christmas Day. The light cast up the valley made the air exceptionally clear and we could see all the way down to the coast and Port Macquarie. But, we had no intentions of leaving the campervan just yet, nor our little farm on the mountain we call home for summer.

As I adjusted the blankets Willow found an opening and darted inside under my raised knees where she curled up. The morning was brisk as they often are here on the mountain and it seems Willow was feeling the cold.

I reached down and pulled her up cradling her in my arms between Steph and I as her fluffy head rested on my hand.

Merry Christmas, Steph says as she strokes Willow’s forehead while the sleepy little cat snuggles in between us.

What a perfect moment. But, we didn’t sleep in for too long.

Yesterday we were working hard picking blueberries, and as the sun dried off the morning dew we placed them carefully into our buckets as we worked our way along the aisles of bushes.

This morning we returned to the blueberry fields, container in hand, to pick some for ourselves to eat. Willow was quick to jump out of her satchel as we entered an aisle and began sniffing the grasses at the base of the bushes.

Steph and I carefully chose the plumpest, ripest berries from the bushes as Willow sat contentedly, slow blinking at nothing in particular.

This year Steph and I chose not to give each other any presents, for what could we possibly need? Even though our lives are compacted into the space of a van, we already have everything we need to be happy. However, Steph did crochet Willow the most adorable little Christmas sweater!

If it’s true the Christians adopted Christmas from the Pagans, then it might just be truer that consumerism stole it from the Christians, and as the advertising and promotions ramp up in November I’m left wondering what does all this mean.

But whatever Christmas is or is not, one thing is clear to me – it’s a mighty fine opportunity to spend the day with the cats you love (oh, and also the humans!)

It’s also a mighty fine opportunity to reflect back on the year. The biggest question I have been asked has been – will there be a second book?

I think, right now, the answer is no as I focus my writing efforts on content for this website. It has brought me so much joy publishing the stories of Willow’s adventures and the friends we have met this year, and what I love most about that is that I’ve kept it free for everyone to read.

So this is what I want to continue doing – prepare yourself for many a story to come!

Earlier in the year I added the ‘Support Us’ form to our stories so that readers could help us financially with running the website and other costs. I just want to thank everyone who has contributed to this as it has meant that I can go that extra mile to bring you new content. It has also meant we can support the communities we travel through. Just this year we completed our 3 year long goal of raising $10,000 for Fight MND to help find a cure for motor neurone disease, you helped us raise $1984 for animals affected by the bushfires, and we donated over $2,300 to Silver Lining Pet Rescue.

It’s also meant a lot of treats for this little meow meow!

But, the biggest thank you goes out to every single one of you who has seen us post a photo of Willow and smiled, for that is why I am here – to offer even the smallest moment of peace and calm in what seems like a world gone crazy!

I especially want to send my regards to those of you who are not able to be with your loved ones this year, held back by borders or circumstance. Please know that we are thinking of you.

So, from Steph, Willow, and I – Merry Christmas to you and we hope you join us for many an adventure in the year to come!

(We have to get back to picking blueberries. This container isn’t going to fill itself!)

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