Sunday, October 28, 2012

Longreach Happenings

When I look back over the course of this year, the contrasts astound me.  Here we sit in the warm Sunday afternoon weather in our shirts and skirts (shorts in Don's case), when only a few months earlier jacket and scarves were necessary.  Now we live in a dry and hot climate when only a while ago we were throwing snowballs at each other and riding the toboggan. 

Don is enjoying work and the many new found friends we have made in Longreach.  His work is varied and never boring.  He has had the opportunity since moving here to work on Cessnas, Barons, and a Robinson Helicopter.  This past week he and another guy flew out to a station about an hour and a half south of Longreach to look at an aircraft that had hit a kangaroo and done quite a bit of damage to the front end.  He had to drive the engine of the aircraft about a kilometer, the engine hanging from the front of a tractor.  It was 38C that day and the first time Don had driven a tractor for many years.  Quite an adventure all around. He was able to fly the Saratoga out and back.  This Thursday he leaves for a three day trek in the Saratoga with Pastor Scott and another local pastor to visit Normanton, Cloncurry and Winton. It is so amazing that God is using him to do exactly what we would have been doing with MAF in a different setting. 

I am still trying to find some kind of routine here in Longreach.  We have very busy days here and many visitors, which I love.  The heat makes me drowsy mid afternoon and then I just want to stay up and enjoy the cool of the night (which makes for sleepy mornings).  Avon is going well.  I have so much fun with it.  I have also applied to do supply teaching at the Kindergarten and schools next year while Sam is at Kindy.  So I will just have to wait and see how that goes.  The chapter that I submitted for inclusion in a book called 'How Prayer Impacts Lives' has been accepted and will be released in print next year.  As time allows I continue to write when I can, when inspiration strikes.  Otherwise I am kept busy being a Mum to two very active little boys and all that entails. 

 Jack is loving Prep and is looking forward to being a big grade one boy next year.  His fascination with animals, rocks and fossils is ongoing.  I forever find him digging up rocks and on more than one occasion have ended up with a washing machine full of pebbles.  I am really happy with the progression of his reading and the way that he is growing up into a thoughtful boy, full of enthusiasm.  Just today he caught a baby gecko in our pantry and released it into his bedroom.  Every week at church he retrieves green frogs from the toilet and brings them home in an effort to create a colony at our house. (I did tell you I was a busy Mum).

Sam captures everyone with his smile and sprite wherever we go.  He loves playgroup and cannot wait for Kindy next year.  He loves the warmer weather but struggles if caught out in the midday hours in the extreme heat.  I mean I feel it, so I imagine he would feel it much worse.  We do all of our jobs in the morning and then stay inside during the heat of the day.  We travel on the 7th of November to his appointment in Brisbane for his heart review.  Not much will slow Sam down though, even his inability to gain weight.  It has been six months since he has put on even 100g.  It is difficult to be his Mum and not worry about that, but that is what I have chosen to do. He is happy and healthy, so this is what matters.

As a family we feel content and healthy.  There is anticipation in the air, like there are gifts that are yet to be unwrapped and I know God will reveal them in time.  Our biggest gift here has been the new friendships we have formed and the strengthening in our family of our love for one another.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

A Very Special Lady

Today I have the honour of sharing a little story with you about a lady who is full of love. I look at her and take note, so that one day I too may have a little portion of what she has.  I want to introduce you to Grandma Dunn, my husband's Grandma, Great Grandma to my to boys.

Grandma Dunn has recently been to visit us in Longreach and travels frequently to visit her family and friends.  She is an avid knitter and in recent years has used her skill to do much work for those who need it most.  Grandma began knitting when she still had Grandpa here with her.  He needed to sit much more than she did and he would ask her to sit with him.  In an effort to keep her hands occupied she would sit and knit and they spoke together.  Sadly Grandpa passed a few year ago and the knitting became more than something to fill the time, it became a passion. To date Grandma has knitted over 240 sets of little singlets and beanies which have been packaged and sent to India and now to Nepal.  She is amazing.  She would shake her head and tell you she is not.  God is amazing and those mothers and little children need these clothes.  That is why she does what she does.

I watched Grandma knit while she sat in our lounge recently.  Though her body aches from the travel and parts of her don't move as they should anymore, her hands are strong, her mind is quick and she still gives the best hugs. Though her heart must ache for Grandpa and she misses him terribly she has chosen to make the most of all of the time God has give her.  My boys love her, as do I .  We recognise the Spirit of God in her and the love that she has to share.  I aspire to have half of what she does at her age.  That I could just have a portion of the get up and go and a perseverance to push on and do what I can with what I have.

We are blessed to have her and know her.  We love you Grandma.  You inspire us to live the best lives that we can. You are leaving a legacy of love that will not be forgotten.

Do you have someone close to you who inspires you?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Feeling Hung Out To Dry

This week has been hard. I have had the weight of heaviness resting on my shoulders and I have been surrounded by a contrast of sadness and absolute joy.

This week the baby magpie we saved died.

Then Don's Mum and Dad and Grandma came to visit.  We rejoiced in their company and they also brought our old dog Rusty with them.  I bought Rusty as a pup before Don and I were married nearly 12 years ago.  She moved to live with Don's parents when we had to relocate to Melbourne last year.  We were excited to have her stay for a few days while Don's parents popped out to Mt Isa.  While they were away, she escaped from our yard and I spent a whole afternoon searching the town for her.  Finally late in the afternoon we received word that someone had seen her and we drove out and found her about a kilometer from home on the road out of town.  She was dead, having been struck by a car.  We brought her home and buried her next to Mango the magpie, where the petunias are beginning to spread their colourful carpet.

I have been excited about new adventures with new friends and starting Avon.  We were even able to share some of our story with Sam at church on Sunday, which was great.

Then I received news that two little ones whom we had been praying for passed away this week, both due to Congenital Heart Disease. Two more little lives and the dreams are lost to this horrible disease. 

So I feel like I am stuck in the wash cycle of a washing machine.  You know how it is.  Your head whirls, your heart aches and you get that ache in your throat that threatens to spill into tears.  And then you suck it up and keep going, because lunches still need to be made and clothes need to be washed and you want to enjoy the precious moments that you have with family you don't see very often. 


I have learned not to be pushed around by the way that I feel.  Love and life are not a feelings but acts of our will.  And so I choose to feel the pain, then give it back to God.  Because the pain means I am human and that I love deeply. I love that God made me with a heart that lets others in no matter how much it hurts.  But I will not carry it for my shoulders are not nearly broad enough to carry the load that God requires of me.  Jesus takes what I cannot and he smiles at me, and walks with me.  So as I come out of the wash cycle, I look forward to hanging on the line for a while and letting the gentle breeze blow over me. Once again I will be refreshed. For now, I will just hang out on the line enjoying the rest.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Family Traditions and Other Stuff

This week I have been thinking on family traditions, particularly from my side of the family.

One of these is rock collecting.  My parents loved taking us rock collecting as kids and I still love it.  Recently Jack has become fascinated with rocks, and fossils and so we have been exploring the Longreach countryside for great rock treasures.  We are having so much fun and Longreach is ideal for such a hobby.

The photos don't so them justice but in the sunlight they are beautiful.  We found agates, loads of petrified wood, and many others that I just don't know yet.

The other tradition that has begun, is that I have become an Avon Representative for Longreach.  My Grandma and my mother were at one time before me, so in a small way I feel a part of something bigger than just a new business venture.  It is fun and I enjoy meeting new people and talking with them.  I get to take Sam with me and I enjoy having a new challenge. I even started my own Facebook page for customers here. Come on over and join, especially if you live in Longreach, and even if you don't, do it to make me feel loved :)  Brochures arrived on Friday and can also be emailed.  All of this and a new haircut and I'm ready to go! 

This week we also adopted Mango the magpie.  He had been blown out of his nest in a very tall gumtree by the wind.  He was unable to get back up, no matter how hard his parents tried to get him to.  In the end we brought him inside and took care of him.  Sadly he died overnight and we all cried, before burying him with the petunias in the back garden.  He fell over 10 meters from his nest, so it was possible he had internal injuries or died of shock.

This week we have also acquired pet lizards and a very big green frog that would easily filled my entire hand.  This combined with a big week of friends and visitors has been action packed.  Time to go and have a little nap I believe.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Lovely and Not So Lovely

I have had to learn how to be a changeable lady, at least on the outside.  Our travels around our diverse and beautiful country, have led us into may different sub culture and climates.  Each has brought it's reward and challenges.  Somehow I don't think it would be quite as complex if I had only myself to look after and think about. So here are my current list of loves and learning to with's living in Longreach QLD.


The weather is predictable and mostly sunny.  Each day is warm, or at least warms up to a reasonable temperature.
The sky is so big and blue and at night the stars are evidently more bright and numerous.
The country is big and wide and flat and the sunsets are breathtaking.
The people are friendly and just drop around and say hello.

Everyone is keen to help you out and get to know you.

The school is fantastic and Jack is loving it.

Everything is within walking distance or five minutes drive.
My home is full of natural light and is airy, catching even the slightest breezes.

Our new church family is awesome.

Learning to loves:

The mosquitoes are eating us alive and we need to remember what insect repellent is and how to use it.

Using evaporative air conditioning means we have plenty of cool air but it gives me a dry throat ii I leave it on at night and I talk all day sounding like a 'two pack a day smoker.

Everything is more expensive out here, so budgeting is a challenge on one wage.  Cost of living is one of the highest out of all of the places we have lived.

The heat can be searing and the middle of the day will be spent indoors in Summer.  Temperatures reach close to 47C in the hot months.

I often think of the disciples as they travelled from place to place and how they learned to live in what ever areas they stayed.  They were able to adapt to the culture in which they lived, dined as the community dined, worked as they worked and yet still they remained centred in God.  So it is with us, though we may live in the city, the country, the hot, the cold, with the wealthy and the not so wealthy, still we are who we are.  And as we live, love and linger, we too are changed and change others.  Each day we have a choice to live purposefully where we are planted. 

Each home has it's challenges, though in Longreach the good by far outweigh them. If you could name one love and challenge in your own home, what would it be? I'd would love to hear them.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Captain Starlight's Lookout

What a day of inspiration!

Today we travelled to Captain Starlight's Lookout just outside of Longreach on the Cramsie-Muttaburra Rd. It was a 50km drive on unsealed road and we could almost hear the Prado resounding with throaty exultation to have her tyres chew through the gravel.  This was one of the smoother parts of the road/track.

We saw a big bearded dragon, emus and Eastern Grey kangaroos. We stopped at this pretty waterhole where Jack proceeded to get stuck in the mud and finally managed to extract his shoe.
The lookout was easy to spot, as the expanse surrounding it was spread flat like butter on bread.
Captain Starlight was a cattle rustler and his story is well worth the read if you have a spare 5 minutes. Read here.  He manged to wrangle a herd of 1000 cattle and run then down through some of the harshest country in Australia and sell them for a profitable fortune in South Australia.  A feat that Burke and Wills failed only a few years earlier. In the end he was trialed and found not guilty due the admiration of his amazing feat.  Late in life he also ran the first lot of cattle out to Brunette Downs in the Barkley Tableland, a place where my husband Don spent a part of his childhood. The lookout was used to keep an eye open for anyone who might discover his herd before he had a chance to set off on his grand adventure south. Oh, does anyone else feel a new novel coming on?  I know I do!

Sam climbed all of the way to the top by himself.  A prouder Mummy you have never seen.

The view from the top was worth the climb.

Doing just like Daddy does.

These little mountain men, were pretty proud of their explorative efforts.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...