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”

 

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Road Trip, Benji and Baby

My Almond tree in blossom
Some Wetland Birds

I have just returned from two days in Adelaide. Conference this time was at Para Hills. The drive down was uneventful and the weather was excellent. The most frustrating part of the journey was the Main North Road and the roadworks that had the traffic banked up. Anyway, that was not so bad but I think watching snails overtake us was a bit depressing. Got cleared of that and was going well until King William Street and the roadworks outside the Festival Center, then more road works on the way to Bunnings at Parabanks. This is good because I know why there is never enough money to upgrade and repair country roads when everything is being spent in Adelaide. But as our Socialist Government keeps telling us “It’s good for South Australia” although how all this development in Adelaide and the million being spent on upgraded tram lines – in Adelaide – benefits a country town one thousand kilometers away from Adelaide in the far north of the state, is way beyond my comprehension. But then, not living in Adelaide, I don’t understand these things. But even at this conference – the first since the sale of Arrium –  and people asking me how things are in town now that Arrium is sold.  “Things will  be better and there will be more confidence in the community, you’ll be doing well now” – but what they think about is a sort of instant gratification and that’s not how it works. Many jobs were lost, those who survived had to accept 10 – 15% pay cuts, Westlands, the largest undercover  shopping area outside Adelaide still has over 30% of the shops empty and we still have over 600 houses up for sale and some of these are homes that were taken over by the banks when people could not pay their mortgage. Yes things will change, but it’s not going to happen overnight. Recovery will take time and the new owner will have to do something that helps to increase

Hello peeple..

the returning confidence, because, it is presently fragile and I believe it wont take a lot to damage it.  On 1st September there is a “Meet and Greet”rally to be held in the Ada Ryan Gardens. The RFDS will be doing the catering as part of our fundraising.  We hope to have the opportunity to meet the new owner, talk to him and have a photo opportunity.

Annabell kept telling me every time I called her that Benji was not a happy puppy. He hardly left my room except to go outside and come for his food. If the doorbell rang he would come charging through, stand looking at the door until it was open. Annabell said you could almost feel the disappointment  when he saw it wasn’t his daddy, so he turned and went back to the room. He really misses me when I am away from him. But it’s a two-way street and I miss him too.

Four Hours Old

On  2nd June of this year, our grandson (Connor Logan)  was born. I no longer feel quite as isolated from certain conversations as I did. However, it’s not all solved in that my grandson is a mere  three months old whereas most of the people in the church have grandchildren that are married, have children, or are out in the world carving out a life for themselves, some are serving in the armed forces. However, my grandson may still be a babe at his mother’s breast, but he has life ahead of him;   a world with all its new technology and wonders waiting for him to discover. In spite of the crazy people and events, the world is still an exciting and wonderful place. The chaos and events taking place in this era,  will, I believe, pass and by the time he is ready to go out into the world, it will be an even better place than it is now.

Part of the shopping center has been blocked off and a large new shop is under construction. I understand it will be a new variety store. I’m not really fussed but if it is big enough it will create employment and perhaps it will signal the  rebirth of the shopping center and fill many of the empty shops.  This is a development that I look forward to seeing.