Thursday, June 29, 2006

To sleep or not to sleep – that is the question!

Tonight I fly to Sydney on the 'Red Eye Special', four hours across Australia from coast to coast in the wee hours of the morning. Most people try to get a few hours' sleep, but it may be more comfortable for them if I try to stay awake. Can't risk another 'dream scream' on Qantas!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Treat anyone?


The first good rains of winter after the long, dry summer and autumn have also brought some surprises. The power lines are heavy with dust and blackouts have occurred; electricity surges have been common this week and we've blown four light bulbs in our house in just over a day.

This evening, I stood at the front door a number of times, calling for our cat to come in from the dark and rain. Another light blew, outside the front door, and though I could hear Angel I couldn't see what was causing him to drag his feet. Then, with a sudden spurt of energy he leapt over the portal and into our darkened hall, frenzied feet scrambling and slipping on the tiles.

Shutting the door behind him, I entered the lit dining area ahead of him, innocently joking, "What's all the fuss about, puss? Where's the mouse?"

With perfect timing and all the characteristics of a good discus thrower: rhythm, precision and power, Angel executed his final turn and let his prize fly neatly through the darkened door into the light, to land right at my feet!
His trophy gifted to me?

… a bedraggled soaking-wet RAT!!


Sunday, June 18, 2006

In the Karri forest

...Beautiful Karri Valley Resort on Lake Beedelup near Pemberton,
less than 4 hours South of Perth.

We have just returned from three restful days in this peaceful garden of God's creation. One day we kayaked to the hidden corner of the lake, close to the base of the Beedelup Falls, the next walked the track around the lake to the falls. Birdlife was prolific with waterbirds, cockatoos and parrots to name a few. This area is one of three National Parks (Brockman, Beedelup, Warren) in the Pemberton area, through which the Bibbulmun Track passes.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Thirty-five years on

...I have by good fortune come to learn of the existence of a mural "Touched by Fire", by Vietnam veteran Derek Walsh. The mural is 12-metres long and depicts the Australian experience in Vietnam. The picture above is just a small section. The art "shows the faces of those 504 young Australians who paid that terrible price in defence of their country".

On June 12, 1971,my only brother was killed in Vietnam in the last weeks of his second tour of duty. He was only 26 years old. Though 35 years have passed, I miss what might have been had I had my brother around to be part of my life. My adult sons grieve the loss of their uncle in their lives too, even though they were born several years after his death. It is sad John never knew them nor had the chance to interact in their lives and enjoy recognising some shared family traits!

John lived life fully and left a plethora of memories of wonderful practical jokes, often embarrassing for Mum and Dad but amazingly hilarious to his little sister (me). He would be delighted if he knew the re-telling of his antics has given much joy to my sons as they grew up. As they don't have a sister, I thought it safe to include tales of his original ideas for teasing and tormenting me, which they took special delight in hearing! And so my brother's memory lives on perhaps even more admirably after death.

But I can't help wondering what it would have been like if he was still here...

Fast Food Fattens Feathered Friend!

This morning, while on leave, Barry and I had breakfast at McDonald's. Hopping heavily under the outdoor tables was a willy wagtail, by far the plumpest I have ever seen. Now what does that tell us about a regular diet of fast food scraps!

Monday, June 12, 2006

An Encouraging Word

Several words of encouragement lately, one sincerely given by an unknown visitor to my blog (thank you, Leslie), have fanned the flame of my desire to express and share myself through blogging. After another bumpy patch in life, it's time to declare the bruises healed, and get going again!

Here is an entry that I had begun but not completed:

8th May
Remembering Mum—it is 10 years today since she graduated from this world to her reward. Dad and I visited her grave and we shared memories. I miss her physical presence but still feel our closeness in spirit, and need only the stop and think, "Now what would you say to me in this situation, Mum?", to hear her understanding voice in my mind, or to recall her wisdom, loving attitude or humour that she had communicated with me so many times during our close friendship of my lifetime.

Each year Mother's Day falls on or within a few days of this anniversary. I am filled with gratitude for the gift of my Mum, but am now more aware that I am the focus of Mother's Day for my two grown sons. That is both joyful and painful...

Today was a good opportunity to tell Dad that I loved and appreciated him and was grateful for these last 10 years when we have grown in our relationship in new ways. God is good!