Winds of Change

The daytime temperature has been nice but the mornings are cold – probably not in Adelaide – but up here, cold. The evenings have been much the same

Some of the larger birds at the wetlands. Swans have gone, though.

and I have taken to be rugged up if I take Benji for a walk around the wetlands in the evening as the sun  is on the wane. The other day my son sent me a message – “Wetlands in 30 mins.” so off  Benji and I trotted to the wetlands and caught up with him and the pram The day is great, warm and sunny, but the mornings and evenings are still cold. The month of November is a very busy month for the Royal Flying Doctor Group here. I said in the last post that I was asked to organise a fundraiser for this weekend – which I did – but this coming weekend is particularly busy with three events all going off on the one day. Next Saturday  I will be on the go from 8am to at least 9:30 pm. Still if it raises funds for the RFDS, it’s all worth it. I will be doing a fundraiser at the hardware store from 8;30 until 1:30 – a quick change and over to the Ada Ryan Gardens and the RFDS Simulator and  showing people through that until the close of the After Pageant Fair at 9pm and by the time we tidy up and get everything put away, it will probably be close to 10pm. Never mind – worse things happen at sea, or so they tell me.

The RFDS apart, it is going to be a busy time at church over the next month. The Lutheran Church are holding an Advent Service next week to which Annabell (my wife) and some other members of the congregation will be attending. With the other lady still on the sick list, I am still the Tuesday and Wednesday driver, and to add to that I have to take Annabell and pick up another lady for the Lutheran Advent Service on Wednesday afternoon. I thought after Mount Gambier things would start to calm down – oh sure, lead up to the Pageant,  Christmas, Carols in the Park and New Year and  you think things will calm down?

I had a bit of a “wake-up”call on Monday evening. On Sunday, the family come here for dinner. This Sunday Andrew did not come. We held off dinner, but still no Andrew. I tried to telephone him, but no reply. He was on call,  so we assumed he had been called out. Monday I tried several times to call him and again after dinner on Monday -still no reply. So I got into the car and drove to his place. He opened the door and he looked fit and well to me, but I asked how he was. He said he was fine. Talked to Trish and she was fine too. Trish quietly left the room leaving

My Grandson.

me with Andrew. I had just done what Andrew believed I would do when he did not turn up on Sunday and his phone remained unanswered – I would get in the car and drive over – and that is exactly what I did.  His reason for doing what he did is that he believed that this was the only way he could get me to come to his house. In the last year I have not been there to see my grandson, or play with him, because there has always been a reason to prevent me getting there –  organising some function or event for the RFDS – a church function or I am away for days at either Para Hills,  Naracoorte, or Mount Gambier on church business. And if i’m not doing that, I am up to my eyes in paperwork. He asked if I had to do the things I do – i.e. why me, why not someone else? I edit the church Magazine. This takes up time and effort but as much as I have tried to get people to even contribute – well,  everyone wants a magazine but no one is willing to help. The same with the State Newsletter – write on what’s happening here for the State Newsletter –  every other month I have asked for someone to do this- no one has ever responded. I have to go to the places I go to because that’s my role over and above running the service,  if you like. There are three of us who run the church, neither of the other two are fit to undertake the stress of  driving around the State – and by fit I mean medically – one is disabled and the other is recovering from  Cancer, which leaves me. Helen take care of everything locally and undertakes many of the visits, I look after things beyond local – that’s my role. I have to prepare reports for each of these meetings and be prepared to answer any questions that may arise. But Andrew is right, I am so tied up in other things that I am missing the growing up of my grandson – and to be very blunt and truthful – he is the only one I am likely to have.  Things will have to change and soon. I relayed all this to Annabell and she said she was not surprised  at Andrew’s method of getting me over there. “Your son knows and understands you more than you think he does”


Melbourne – The journey Home

Andrew with Trish's Koala Bear
Andrew with Trish’s Koala Bear

We drove out of the hotel carpark fairly early on the Monday morning to begin the journey home. I have to say that I was impressed with the drive through Melbourne and found that getting out of Melbourne is actually easier than getting out of Adelaide. Once we left the hotel carpark, the journey consisted of a succession of freeways, toll roads and back to freeways again – moving seamlessly from one to the other. It was our intention to  get some breakfast along the way but it was Dadswells  Bridge before we stopped – about 300klm.  This is the home of the Giant Koala and I convinced Andrew to buy a large  Koala Bear toy for Trish to compensate for not being able to get the  Tattoo Teddy Bear.   I also bought one for Annabell. We had a quick snack there before driving on to Horsham

From Horsham Service Station
From Horsham Service Station

where we finally filled up with fuel for the car and for us.  Melbourne – Ballarat – Ararat –  Horsham -Bordertown – Murray Bridge – Mount Barker – Adelaide – Port Wakefield – Home. . I thought we would be stopping in Adelaide for the night, but the boys decided that they wanted to get home so we pushed back through to Port Wakefield – fuel and food – then drove the remaining 300 klm to home. At 11pm, Annabell was surprised to see us as she had expected us to stay in Adelaide overnight. Benji went gaga, he was so delighted to see us (me) back safe and sound. We drove from Melbourne to home – about 1300 klm with Andrew doing most of the driving – which he enjoys anyway. Overall, a fantastic trip on every account – me being away with my boys, the Great Ocean Road, the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo in Melbourne, Chadstone Shopping Centre  and then the drive home.

Tailem Bridge and a healthy looking River Murray
Tailem Bridge and a healthy looking River Murray

The day after we arrived home Andrew telephoned the Tattoo organizers and asked about the Merchandise. He was told that there had been a glitch in the system and many people were without packages. The ship was now on its way to New Zealand and would be attended to when it arrived there. It was not. Andrew telephoned again and was told that the packages would be sent out from Edinburgh (Scotland) in a few days. As it happened the package arrived last Friday and Andrew brought it over last night. It was quite a good package;  I particularly liked the coffee mug – and I  have quite a few  commemorative coffee mugs from various events. However, it’s good to be home and with any reasonable luck I should not have to move again until early May and then out to Mount Gambier for a church conference. Although, since coming home, my computer crashed  (Windows 10) and as a result had a meaningful conversation with the Factory Reset Button. Lost much but I was also able to save much and managed to start again. I did have to  rebuild my Outlook Address book and some addresses I still have not got, but they  haven’t got in contact with me to ask why the silence.

At the moment I have over the last day or so, designed and printed an Order of Service – cover page and contents – for a Funeral tomorrow. One of our ladies died suddenly and I was asked to do the Order of Service for her.  Generally I do that anyway, but the church photocopier is on long service leave for necessary repairs so everything has been done here on my computer and printer – all 100 x 4 page  Documents. Just as well the  Board of Management are paying for the ink cartridges – although only 30 of that total have parchment covers and are in colour – for family. The remainder are in greyscale.  I dare say I will get back to what I was doing in the garden ===in the fullness of time    :o)