One day left in Australia. This month went by in a blur. All week Chrissy and I have lamented--this is the last week. There’s so much I didn’t do…not only a couple of places here in the Sydney area we’d hoped to visit, but there are a few housework things I didn’t get to--back cupboards to scrub out, and last mop of the floor… Now I'm trying to get myself packed, Norm is packing for his two-week trip, and we're making sure things are ready for Chrissy to be on her own for two weeks. Visit, don’t be over yet!!
This week I’ve lingered over things, soaking it in, enjoying it. I listen extra closely to the Aussie accents, trying to absorb a little more of the drawl, the Down Under expressions. My eyes spot the brightly-coloured birds, and listen for their sounds that soon will fade from memory. Most of all, I enjoy Aunt Chrissy and Uncle Norm; their light banter and chuckles, the way Chrissy and I can talk FaithWriters and know that the other really understands, Chrissy's hearty laughter as she reads something funny on the message boards...
On Monday Deb Porter (from FW--the one who came home with me from the conference) and her daughter Kylie came to visit. It was a great time, and lovely to meet Kylie, who I’ve heard so much about. The time went too quickly, and I look forward to the second FW conference next summer, when we can once again catch up.
Several times this week Linda dropped by for a visit. She’s the leader of the Bible study that met here a couple of weeks ago--from the church that found out from a friend of a friend (times 4+-) that Chrissy was housebound. This group of ladies have swept us up with love and concern and blessed us so deeply. They will be checking daily on Chrissy while Norm is away, and Deb will come one day, too.
In the middle of the week, Linda brought another Bible study member to meet Chrissy. Lee-Ann wasn’t able to come to the meeting here last week, but will be one of the ones checking on Chrissy next week. She, too, was wonderfully sweet. Both Linda and Lee-Ann do a little writing, so of course we talked about FaithWriters. Linda joined last week, and it didn’t take much to get Lee-Ann totally excited about joining. She practically bounced out the door, eager to get home and sign up and start a challenge story right away.
This morning I woke to an email from Lee-Ann, offering to take me to see The Blue Mountains--one of the places we’d planned to go but weren’t able to make. It didn’t work for me to go today, but it was so sweet of her to offer.
I so wish I could take this group of ladies home with me. Chrissy is wishing she’d met them sooner. In a few months she and Norm will be moving quite a bit north in Australia. But several of these ladies reminded us that God puts people in our lives for special reasons, and for special--sometimes short--seasons. They’ll be here to step in when they are desperately needed--while Norm is on his business trip.
Tomorrow Chrissy and Norm will be going in the morning to help her parents as they prepare to move into assisted living. Meanwhile, I’ll pack (and sleep in a little ;-) ). In the evening, we’re going to their favorite restaurant for my last evening here. Then I fly out early Sunday afternoon.