You know that saying that people come into your life for a reason...blah, blah, blah? Well, it is so true. I believe that every person we meet either adds to, or detracts from us as people. We try not to have too many of the 'detractors' in our lives, but the 'adders', well, we try and gather them to ample bosoms and hold onto them.
These people definitely are 'adders'. We have known this family BEFORE they were a family and since before we were married ( some 17 years ) and have kept in touch ever since.
For those of you not blessed to have been involved with the Defence Department, you tend to get used to being posted here and there and meeting heaps of people, but some are special. Being 'in touch' with these people means you don't need to write to or email them every week, or even ring once a year. These special people know that you care even though you aren't seeing them regularly. You meet up for the occasional New Year and discover common things you never knew. When you meet up with them, regardless of whether you saw them last week, or 10 years ago, things are still the same. You can just pick up where you left off. That is the mark of great friendship.
This family is special to us. This is why we harass them to take us places in North QLD, so we can explore. ( And 'cause the men might get to drive on some dirt, or sand, or rocks ) We have had some adventures with them and we hope we have many more.
This is last weekend.
I can't tell you where this is..........it's so secret and remote.
And because I can't remember the name of the beach.
I do know that the orange cast on the photos is because of the ash raining down on us as the authorities burn off in the dry season. There was also dust from the dust storms mixed in there as well.
Thanks again Mack D family, we love ya all more than cake.
Well, we have had something lovely happen over the weekend.
My girl, I just lover her. She is my anchor in the storm some days, and some days she is just plain weird, but I love her...........even when she's weird. That's something that is becoming more often these days, but it's OK. I still love her.
Amanda decided she wanted her gorgeous hair cut off. She had had enough, but I honestly didn't think she'd do it. Well, she did.
Please see before and after photos of my gorgeous girl. I can't stay long...........I'm off to build the cage to lock her in until she's 30. She looks WAY too grown up. *sigh* wonder if a new haircut will make me look young and vital and gorgeous like this. Nah, don't think so either, but thanks for NOT laughing,
Our teenage son, Josh, has been struggling to realise the true value of the dollar. He needed new clothes due to a MASSIVE growth spurt. I swear if his growth is in relation to what he eats, then the lad will be a MONSTER!!
Anyhow, got this great idea from friends of ours. I gave Josh a sum of money. $150 to be exact and told him to outfit himself within that budget. It was agreed I would buy jocks, pyjamas and a pair of shoes, but the rest, he had to buy within that $150 and any change he could keep. He was most excited at this prospect, because I think he thought he was going to pocket $149.95!!
Off we went to Stocklands here in Townsville on a Thursday night. Must have been a full moon, as I saw some sights there that have been only spoken of in legend. EEEwwwwww!
He had an idea of what he needed and was going to buy the lot at Rebel Sport..............yeah right. He saw a t-shirt he wanted for $49.95 and I pointed out that would take a third of his budget. He was OK with that he said and I kept my mouth shut. ( No, really I did )By the time he got to the checkout, he spotted a table with 2 shirts for $40. I could see a re-think taking place and he ended up with 3 shirts for $60. Wow, said he, I just got 2 shirts for what it would have cost for just 1!! ( just smiled and told him he was a great bargain shopper ).
For his money he ended up with 3 t-shirts, 1 pair denim shorts, 1 pair dress shorts, 2 belts and a pair of shoes he picked up for 1/2 price. I think he did well with money and I enjoyed shopping with him and watching him weigh up the options. We DID walk 275 kilometres around the shopping centre though and I put in an extra $60 to buy jocks, a pair of shoes, and PJ's as promised.
This one is the kicker though and made it all worthwhile for me. "Wow", said Josh "this is just me and you have 3 kids to outfit as well as you and Dad". AMEN, thank you, I am brilliant, I know.
The penny had dropped, and really, isn't this what it's all about as a parent? Getting your kids to UNDERSTAND and be GRATEFUL for what you do.
You know, at work it's my job to vacuum at the end of the day. The customers often express sympathy at me wrestling with an enormous vacuum that is held together with postie tape and came out on the ark with Noah. I'm sure I could suck up more stuff with a straw than this thing. Anyway, a lady said to me yesterday, "You poor thing having to vacuum here and at home". I smiled a knowing, smile and said, "at home I do it for free, where here I get paid".
Yep, I reckon if I was paid to do what I do at home, my family couldn't afford me. I'm not about to have a whinge, just stating a fact.
I usually do an afternoon shift at the Post Office, say, 1 or 2pm-5pm.
Before I actually go to work this is what I do after taking the kids to school, and I do realise that most Mum's are doing the same as me.
Tidy, sweep inside and out and run the mop over if needed. Make sure my bed is made and do any ironing or washing to make a full load. Dust if needed, usually weekly ( who am I kidding, this is the dustiest place in Australia. And I have lived in a few! ), clean my bathroom ( the kids do their own) and have afternoon tea ready for when the locusts hit. THEN I go to work.
No wonder I am tired at the end of the day. I do love having this shift though, as I can do what I want in the mornings and have all things organised as I hate living in a mess.
AND let's not forget being paid to vacuum....................how GOOD is that?
Josh had his senior baseball grandfinal on the weekend and they WON!!!! YAY Josh's team. They played well and the mercy rule was invoked. Josh took an amazing catch and had some great hits. The eye exercises are paying off. And the best thing? He's is actually turning into a pleasant human being.....................most of the time. About time kid! Josh was fortunate enough to have his Cousin Scott and Scott's gorgeous partner Emma come and watch him. Thanks guys for the family support, you rock!!
Hope you like the pics of the grandfinal day. I think they have loaded backwards to what I intended, so just think backwards ok?
While in Tamworth, I was fortunate enough to catch up with our baseball club, the Cougars. Andrew always described the team as mates who play baseball, and the members of the club and their wives became great friends. I didn't tell them I was in Tamworth, so Nikkers and I cooked another fib to get them to the Leagues Club for dinner. They were all there and I just walked in. There were laughs and even a tear or two. Well, let me tell you, we laughed all through dinner and well into the waffles we HAD to have for dessert.
I went to the bar to get a drink, and when I came back, the crew were sitting there with hats on and facing away from me. I didn't look twice, as they tend to do some weird things that don't warrant an eyelid bat. On closer inspection, someone had organised the special 25th year anniversary Cougars club caps with our names embroidered on the back. I was almost reduced to tears. Talk about being thought of when we live so far away! I was touched beyond measure at the gesture and when I brought them home to the family, they were SO touched as well.
This club supported us when Josh had his accident last year more than our church did!! We have made lifelong friends there and these wonderful people are just one of the many fortunate and life changing things on our 'journey'.
Thanks Cougars, you don't know what you mean to us.
Featuring in the pic is Amanda and Ethan sporting their Cougars caps.
I have to say "Like a Cougar!!!!!" as they compete in the baseball grand final this weekend. Don't disappoint us.
Back again after a lengthy absence, I know. I have been doing some great stuff. I have been busy being busy.
Firstly, I went back to Tamworth for a week to see Mum & Dad and to go to the CPR at Lake Keepit. ( Country Paperarts Retreat ) Thing is, Mum & Dad (and Megan)knew I was coming, but the scrapping chicks from Tamworth did not.
This post is testament to them and how well they know me.
When I left Tamworth in January, it was to be Marnie's job to find a pilot, service him and in return he would fly here and pick me up, take me to CPR and fly me back again. Things were looking grim, until the 11th hour at Marnie's Cub pack. In walks a pilot ( complete with flying suit ) to pick up his son, or daughter, (it isn't really relevant which). Marnie would have turned on her considerable charm, smirked her way through the (I'm sure ) witty and engaging conversation and did her best to woo him to "the dark side". SO DID NOT GO WELL. Before any indecent proposals could take place, he was gone..................like a fart into the wind.
Thanks Marn, but sometime ya gotta do stuff yaself.
SO, I who LOVES a covert op, boards the plane and I had a bit of a layover in Sydney. I was feeling rather chuffed with myself after getting this far and not blowing the secret AND being chatted up some guy in a suit who wanted to have a drink with me. So I immersed myself in my coffee and Judy Nunn novel, all the while trying to look like the worldly traveller I'm sure I could have been. Next thing, phone signals a text. It was Pauline. (of course it was) The text read, "sorry you're not coming to scrap camp...................or ARE you?" Who DOES that? I wasn't game to speak to her in person lest I give the game away, so I did the only rational thing.......and lied.......by text.
Got to Tamworth, late flight and it was freezing!! Mum and Dad were there to meet me as well as a surprise Megan who turned up to roll out the red carpet for me. There is SO no place like your Mum and Dad's place is there? You can just be yourself and rest easy. Thanks Mum & Dad for always making me feel like your home is a place I can go for 'soul rest'. It's not an easy thing to achieve and you guys do it unconsciously. You are not allowed to die, cause I love ya's more than chocolate.
Next day, we laid low as I didn't want the "girls" seeing me. Having a coffee with Mum & Dad, there's a car out the front. "SHIT SHIT SHIT".........I called in a very ladylike way, "SHIT IT'S BRONNIE". By this time Mum & I were in full alert mode and diving around trying to pick up all my stuff I had spread around the house in a mere 12 hours. I had never seen her move so fast.....except when she chased me with 'the thong', but that's a whole other can of woop ass. "What do you want me to tell her?" asked Mum. "I DON'T CARE" I said , in again, a voice that would befit the Queen. Anyhoo, Mum let her in, I hid in a bedroom, and when the conversation went for a while, I couldn't stand it any longer and presented myself in the doorway. Man, I wish I had a camera. It was like a version of punk'd. Loved the face Bron, and loved the love more.
This brings me to Maryann. She had rung me the night before I left. There was a package for me at her place as I had forgotten to change my address. I was trying to talk he into letting Mum & Dad pick it up, as I was wanting to use them at camp. But, NO WAY was she having a bar of that one! She was sending me a package right or wrong. She has no ESP obviously, or she would have heard the subtle signal I was screaming at her. I even tried mind influence, but I must be really bad at that, cause she didn't hear that either.
So, Megan came to collect me and we fronted up at camp. I nearly had to lock my legs around Marnie's waist ( and that would've been ok, as we know each other well) to hold myself upright. I tell you, NOBODY on this earth hugs like Marnie. With full abandon and heart and soul into it.
Pauling smugly wandered over to inform me she wasn't the least bit surprised to see me. Bron, had seen me all before earlier that day and Maryann was a mixture of disbelief and that " you lied to me and now I know it". I was privileged to meet Marcy from Wagga as we had met online. Marcy, that would sound deliciously sordid if you were a bloke, and Sheree from Maitland who was a friend of Marns. Thanks for a great weekend ladies, you know what I'm sayin,' nuff said.
Which brings me to this long and drawn out point. I have lived in all places around Australia and made friends with lots of different people-some we have kept in touch with, others not. I'm so grateful for each and every stop on Andrew and my 'journey' as I can't imagine my life without these people in it. I have made a connection in Tamworth with these ladies and it felt like I had never left. I also got the opportunity to close the door on out life there. We left so suddenly, I grieved for the place, but mostly for the people. Flying into Tamworth, I felt like I was coming home, but by the time I left and I was flying into Townsville, for the first time, I felt like THAT was coming home.
So beautiful ladies, thank you so much for yet another gift you probably don't know I have received. Closure, not on our friendship, but our chapter in Tamworth. You will never know how badly I needed to have that so I could walk forward in my life here in Townsville. NOW I can start a new chapter in the book of 'Our Life', that I was struggling with before.
Stay Beautiful, I love you all.
p.s Just re-reading this, it sounds like a suicide note..................it's not. I still got stuff to do.