and now, the end is near …

IMG_3440Well, it’s just after 7 on a sunny Friday Pittsburgh summer morning.  Our time in the USA and Canada is just about through.  In four hours we head to the airport and begin the  trip home: four hour flight to L.A. (via Phoenix, Arizona), three hour layover at L.A. then the 14 hour biggie across the Pacific. We get in at about 5.30 am this coming Sunday 12th.

I feel this trip has been different to the many other trips to the States over the past 26 years:

  • I’ve done SO much more driving – about 2000 km worth. I’m genuinely concerned that I’ll hop into the mighty Yaris on the LH side on my return and drive down the right side of the road. Serious!   Dale and I have talked about a driving holiday for years.  It was a  blessing to have Tom & Diana’s van for the 10 days that we had it for. The American road system makes Australia’s seem so inefficient
  • it’s been our most ‘unhealthy’ trip. These past days, I’ve relapsed with the hayfever/blocked ear/runny nose thing that afflicted me across the Pacific and beyond at the start of all this.  I’ve been to the pharmacy several times.  That said, this is nothing compared to Dale’s misadventures.  Just when the rotten cough seemed a thing of the past, it’s resurfaced in recent days.  The foot/ankle – after her 3rd trip to the doctor a few days back – is not broken.  X-rays confirmed this, but she’s been hobbling for a while now.  She would never have dreamed that this trip would have involved her moving around on several occasions by wheelchair OR motorized scooter
  • we’ve had much better opportunities to connect with Dale’s family.  This has been the main purposes of our trips to these shores.  I have little family back in Oz … all of Dale’s are over here.  That Jeremy has been able to establish relationships with his U.S. cousins etc has been wonderful.  It was great having him with us for much of this trip.   It’s been important especially for us to spend time with Dale’s parents – both around 80 and both (especially Mom) dealing with significant health issues.  Time with them has been precious, and Dale really feels the distance half a world away.
  • An aside – we had dramas two nights back after we took an anxious phone-call from Jeremy.  He’d left his wallet in a cab in Montreal.  he calls us quite distressed around 9 pm — so here we are calling umpteen taxi companies there.  You can imagine the intricacies of yours truly in his Oz accent trying to explain things to a French-Canadian … who initially responds in French.  My “3” in Year 12 German was not all that helpful at this point.  The good news is that we took a call next day with the news that the wallet was found!  Fortunately, Jeremy had checked into his Montreal lodgings prior to this, so he could access some money via the credit card imprint they had for him.  A big pheww!!!
  • we’ve been able to delve into some of the earlier history of the U.S. Our visits to Williamsburg and Jamestown SettlementDSC01644(Jamestown was the first permanent English settlement in the US – 1607) were really great.

So … Australia here we come.  We’ll spend Sunday on our return trying to stay awake so our body clocks can readjust, enjoying our cats, going through much mail, enjoying a Brisbane winter (after a mostly-mold North American summer). Come Monday, I’ll be back on deck at Indoooroopilly Uniting, before heading to Sydney on Wednesday for the UCA National Assembly.  I’m thankful for getting my Trinity College lecturing prep done prior to us heading overseas!

For Dale, school begins again on Tuesday.

A big 6 month awaits us.  By the end of December, I will have finished up at Indooroopilly UC, we will be reading to move house and ministry context to Oxley-Darra UC, Dale will be readying to move into brand-new classrooms at Somerville.

DSC01626We thank God for the opportunity to spend these three weeks as we have done and thank all of those who have followed our journey and kept us in their prayers along the way.

See y’all!


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