Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Groundhog Day

We've been back in Australia for just over 2 months, and I have to admit, it feels much longer.

We are very lucky to be living in a clean and safe country, (which hasn't always been the case) in a quaint little town.  It's a place where many stores close for lunch, but as the manager of the hardware store told Roger's co-worker, Craig, "If ya need anything when we're closed - just give me a ring and I'll come 'round."

But, admittedly, the days are pretty much the same.

We had a problem with mice and spiders in the cabin so on a trip to Adelaide, Roger bought up everything to combat anything that scurried...flew...or crawled.

The days in Balranald revolve around Roger leaving for work around 5 p.m. and returning around 7 a.m.  He has breakfast, goes to bed, gets up around 3 or 4, eats and then goes to work.

Here is a glimpse into my little world:

I actually like hanging laundry outside and in the hot Aussie sun, clothes takes little time at all to dry!  I remember doing this as a child and my mother reminding me, "Hang the underwear on the inside lines so nobody has to see them flapping in the breeze!"
Since the bedroom is a stone's throw from the sofa and the door has to stay open to allow the air conditioning to reach, I try to stay out of the cabin for as long as possible.  Roger feels badly about this, but it hasn't been so bad.
Our friend, Craig, who is working with Roger brought his caravan to live in. Craig works days, so I hang out under his awning and read books, work on the blogs, and have a picnic lunch!  

The birdlife here is pretty incredible.  When we first arrived, the beautiful pink and grey galahs (a type of parrot) were prevalent.  Since then, another variety of parrot which is white and yellow have driven them out.  They are loud and raucous and negate any need for an alarm clock.  Birds are early risers. My favorite of all though, is to listen to the kookaburras.

By 2 p.m. the heat and flies win and I go into the cabin and cool off while watching TV on mute with subtitles
If Roger wakes up early enough, we have a game of Scrabble.  We've played almost everyday for four years and after hundreds of games we're still neck and neck.

Two of the many scorecards we've kept!
I'm also lucky to be playing online Scrabble and Words with Friends with friends from Canada, the U.S., Zambia and Australia!  Thank God for technology...and especially my friends who keep in touch.

While I contacted the local school and library hoping to volunteer, I never heard from them.  Fortunately I am still very much involved with the Ndola Lions School for the Visually Impaired and continue fundraising as well as writing their blog that has helped share their story.

This Christmas several of my friends have generously donated funds in honour of their children and grandchildren that will enable us to buy three goats to add to Project Baaa that was started last year, and seeds for the students' vegetable garden.  Other funds will go towards the playground, goat shed and hopefully some Braille supplies.  I love this school and feel priviledged to still be apart of it along with the school's longtime supporter and my dear friend, Yvonne.  Who knew I would get excited about buying goats and that I could still be able to contribute something a half a world away?

We are counting the days until we fly to the States to see Brad, Anette and Magnus.  We'll stay with them a couple of days and then drive to Palm Springs where we will rendezvous with them for a week over Christmas.  Their friends, the Helanders from Port Moody will also be there with their little guy so it will be a busy but fun filled week.

As important as it was to make the decision to start this adventure almost 8 years ago, I've realize it is as important to know when to stop.  I struggled with making the decision because Roger and I have been such a team in some pretty challenging situations, but I know I need to find a place to call home.  Or as Roger puts it, "a place to hang pictures."

So, we've rented a one bedroom condo in Parksville on Vancouver Island for 2-3 months to try the island out.  It ticks a lot of the boxes for us:  no brutally cold winters, near the ocean and our boat, not far from Brad, Anette and Magnus, we have good friends the Perry's and Ikert's who live there, and it is only a day's drive to Idaho.

We will drive to Parksville after Palm Springs and then the plans are for Roger to fly back to Australia for a few weeks.  If the project is extended past February, I'll fly over for a visit.  In April we'll head back to Idaho and spend time there and on the boat off the West Coast.  Then, in September, we will decide where to make our base.

So as Roger sings, "Stand by your Man"....I'm replying with, "Country road...take me a place, where I belong...."

Being married to Roger means there will always be adventure in our lives, and he's given me the confidence and opportunity to do what I never thought possible.

It's just time to cool off the passport for awhile.  And hang a few pictures.

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