Wednesday, April 2, 2008

The Past Is How I Wandered To My Future

I was born and spent the first few years of my life in Germiston, South Africa before moving to a 22 acre farm in the middle of nowhere, now known as Centurian. Our home was referred to as The Broken House, and I have fond memories of going to the dairy farmer across the road to buy milk and to visit our neighbors the Swanepoel's who had a cattle farm and many children to play with. My parents along with several other partners, an investor and their wives started Inter Avionics, an avionics aviation business which to this day has also florished to Australia and the States.

At a young age I was very enthusiastic to start school. My parents enrolled me in St. Ursula's Convent, but during the countries political unrest, my parents  moved to Rivonia. I attended Rivonia Primary until my mother, sister and I moved to England when I was eight, where it was a lot safer. My mom, who had been a bookeeper and internal auditor for Price Waterhouse, found work assisting the aged as a mental health carer.

My childhood in England was idyllic. We lived in a quaint village along the river Sowe. Growing up my sister and I would play for countless hours, we'd also run to the meadows to pick flowers and onetime we went to St. Mary's Church along Vicarage road and placed flowers atop several gravestones. 

My passion for design started as young as eight, when I'd make houses out of the building materials left on our land. Later on, while living in England we often visited historic castles and estates. Summers were spent with my Nanna, mom and sister and we'd travel to the Peak District, South West England, or France. After attending Woodles Primary, I went to Kenilworth High at age eleven where I made many friends and sat on student council as well as the Warwick Council's town planning board. I was selected from just a few pupils in our county. I enjoyed town planning, and design so much I'd spend my time creatively drawing floorplans.
{I need to scan in photos from my mom's home, she has lots of eight to fourteen years photos}.

My first job was at age fourteen. I had a small newspaper route in Stoneleigh, and my mom would help so I could catch the bus in time for school. Also, I worked as a companion to Mrs. Spires, who was an elderly lady in the village. I'd visit her every Saturday and we'd share tea. She had no children, or grandchildren, so she enjoyed having my mom, sister and I visiting. That summer, was also the first time I went back to South Africa, and every summer thereafter, my grandmother, sister and I would spend time with my dad in the States. Over the years we've travelled to Yellowstone, Hawaii, Salt Lake, Las Vegas, Bryce Canyon, Los Angeles and British Columbia.

At sixteen, I took an art trip to Paris where we studied the likes of Rodin, Picasso and toured The Pompadour, Musee De Orsay, Monet's Gardens, Van Gough's resting place as well as other popular attractions. Then after graduting high school, I attended Warwickshire College and worked in both a bank and at a small local chocolate shop where I learned to master the art of giftwrapping. Birthdays are very special in my family. So every year, my sister and I would have a party to celebrate. My sixteenth was a joint celebration with my friend Cari, and my eighteenth was celebrated with all the family on my mom's side as well as my dearest school friends at The Ardencote Manor. It was a memorable day.

Just before I turned nineteen my dad, offered to pay for my college in the States, so that's how the two suitcases and sixty dollar story arose. I started my associates in Interior Design at Spokane Falls Community College that year and from then on, instead of summer travels, I worked each summer at my dad's business, so I could purchase a ticket to spend the Holiday's in Germany and England to visit with family and yes, I arrived to the States with only two suitcases and sixty dollars.

{Need to download more photos from my photo CD's} 
After graduating, I decided to get my bachelors of fine arts in Interior Design, and so I moved state to attend Marylhurst University. A small Catholic liberal arts university. I graduated with two degrees, in two states, after having moved to another country all by the age of twenty-four.

That year I had my first ever break-up, and within eighteen months I'd lost not one, but three of my grandparents. After college I moved in with my dad, and my life was just like the movie Post Grad. Sadly, after less than just eight weeks after my grandmother's death, my dad was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He passed away after a two and a half year battle in May 2013.

Cory and I met for the first time on Labor Day 2010 for a picnic. I was twenty-four had just graduated college for a second time and moved home with my dad. Cory was twenty-eight and had also graduated twice, but had moved out by himself. We had decided on BBQ, and ordered it from Famous Dave's and ate out in Columbia Point Park. We soon realized we both had a lot in common. Our first trip together was to Las Vegas for my 25th birthday.

~Our first Christmas together with Cory's parents and his maternal grandparents 2011~

~Las Vegas 2012. My mom was with us on this trip~
After twenty months together, Cory proposed, to me on my twenty-sixth birthday at the beautiful Davenport Hotel. On our way to Spokane, my Sobe bottle had 'marry me' under the lid. Maybe, just maybe it was meant to be. Later, we had a delicious dinner by the fire, before I was guided by the hostess into the Marie Antoinette Ballroom, where at the end stood Cory with petals, shaped into a heart. He proposed, and it was the bestest birthday ever. Later that year we traveled to New England for the first time.

~Christmas 2012 with my mom and sister~

~Virginia Beach~
We decided if we were going to have a large family, we'd need to secure a better financial future. So we moved to the South. We luckily rented out our home within  a week, and drove over 2,500 miles cross country. We spent the year living in Tennessee, Florida, Georgia and Coastal North Carolina before choosing to settle in Charlotte, North Carolina.
~We got married in Florida on July 31st, 2013 after nearly three years together~


~Coastal North Carolina~

The rest, my unwritten.


Anonymous said...

What a sweet introduction/bio!

Sherry said...

I absolutely loved reading your story! What a beautiful life, and I know the rest is yet to come! I love that you have lived in so many wonderful places, and I think it says a lot that after all your travels, you chose to settle on Charlotte. It really is a great place to raise a family. We lived there from 2007 until February of this year when we moved to the Raleigh area. I miss a lot about Charlotte. I can't wait to see where your life journey goes from here. Blogging is such a neat way to preserve memories in this day and age of digital everything. Plus, it helps bring people together from all over! :-)

Carla from The River said...

I love this Kiki! What a lovely story. Thank you for sharing the heartache and the good times. Praying for you and your family. Looking forward to hearing more of the story.
xx oo

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