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Funerals and Ships of State

Driving to Mount Gambier was “interesting”since I  at one point I had the A/C on because the outside temperature was 41C and at another I had the heating on at low because it was chucking it down and a bit on the cold side. In fact I sat at the table in front of the window at my hotel and watched a major storm break over Adelaide – 35,000 homes and businesses lost power – again. First time I have stayed in this Motel since this was  the period of the Major Bike Race “Tour Down Under” and everything was booked. Normally, I would not have been traveling to Mount Gambier at this time but this was a Special Meeting. It was a hectic four days, alternating between very hot to cool to cold to very hot and the demister on because the windscreen was fogging up. It was a strange and tiring five days. And no the five was not a mistake. I arrived home on Sunday afternoon to be told that one of our elderly ladies had died and her funeral was at the church on Monday 10am. It was a fairly big funeral and the church was filled to capacity. Poor Benji, I abandoned him for four days and I took off again at 9am Monday and didn’t get home until early afternoon, then back out again to take Annabell shopping. By late afternoon I was back home and able to sit down with him – me with my feet up and him on my lap. We did not go out on Monday evening for our walk simply because the forecast rain that had held off all day came pouring down. We had heavy rain all night.

This morning (Tuesday) I took BJ out and there are dark and heavy clouds everywhere, and it was really very cool. I had a look at the satellite image and  it looks as if the  large rain band  will go across the top and although we might get a few spots, I think we will miss the bulk of the rain this time. I’ve had people from Queensland wanting to know what Rain Dances we are doing in South Australia, because they could do with some of the wet stuff up there. The week began with a funeral and it will end with a funeral. The  man I mentioned some time ago as having cancer and not expected to be with us  at New Year, was,  and passed yesterday evening. The funeral will be on Friday at 11am, so what was a hectic four days turned into five days and has now turned into  nine days. Tonight I will start to put the order of service together. Presbytery was not popular because I was away and couldn’t do the Order of Service for the funeral on Monday so they had to put something together without me. Isn’t it nice to be missed?  :o)

I have not commented at all on the US Election, the President or the Women’s Marches, nor the comments made by celebrities, however as I am told that this is a global issue and I should “Jump in “to the debate I find that I cannot. Having said that I will contribute this:

In the darkest days of World War Two, when Britain was on its knees and everything looked bleak and dark, the President of the United States,  Franklin Delano Roosevelt,  wrote to Winston Churchill and with the official letter he also included in his own handwriting the following extracts from a poem by  Henry Wadsworth Longfellow – “The Building of the Ship” thus my contribution to the debate is to return these words to you.

Sail on, sail on O ship of State
Sail on, O Union strong and great
Humanity, with all its fears
And all the hopes of future years
Is hanging breathless on thy fate.

Sail on nor fear to breast the sea
Our hearts and hopes are all with thee,
Our hearts, our hopes, our prayers, our tears
Our faith, triumphant oér our fears
Are all with thee – are all with thee.

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5 comments on “Funerals and Ships of State

  1. I’m so sorry that so much sad events came to you…. the poem is great… I hope there is hope and I hope that our power and the hope is stronger than our fears…

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  2. With each week, we see that life as we knew it has dramatically changed. Ironic how the poem from long ago still has relevance. May you have smoother sailing weather soon.

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    • Thank you. I think things have changed or are changing for everyone. Australia is not unaffected by these changes. I have heard of people changing holiday plans and suggesting that Canada is a better prospect than the United States at the moment.

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  3. As much as I wish it were under different circumstances, I have to say that Canada is a wonderful place to visit and are a fellow Commonwealth country. On a serious note, thank you for that excerpt. It is oddly appropriate.

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