Friday, January 21, 2011
2010 has come and gone and as January marches to an end at long last I find myself motivated to begin blogging again.
We returned home from our world tour with heavy hearts - our eldest grandson was loosing his lifelong battle with cancer.
Fortunately for us, in October he was well enough to leave his home in Townsville and make his last visit to his central Queensland family. He made the most of this special time - visiting all his old haunts and doing everything he had usually done on a visit down to us. We were lucky enough to have him stay on the farm for a week. But unfortunately his time was very limited. Within a week of his return to Townsville he was placed in paliative care and in early December cancer won the day.
This certainly threw a blanket over our Christmas preparations but we were determined to come together as he had told us all to do. So inspite of the weather forecast (200-300mm of rain forecast for the Christmas period) we gathered at the farm - all 36 of us!- to celebrate the joy of family coming together at Christmas time.
The idea of Christmas in the garden under the shade trees was dashed by the rains of the week before and good use was made of our verandahs for lunch. But Christmas afternoon the skies opened. One family hit the road immediately. The rest waited for the storm to pass. But it continued into the night. When dawn broke the next day they were flood bound... and remained so for five days.
One family walked out on day four but the rest remained until an alternate route opened.
It's amazing what is at the back of cupboards when you have to find enough food for thirty people for five days. But the family pulled together. 70 year old Uncle treated us to scones and jam and cream one day. Son-in-law curried all left over seafood, gathering a variety of herbs and vegetables from the sodden garden and with the help of a big pot of boiled rice feed us on another occasion. The ducks and hens supplied eggs for breakfast and the pikelets and muffins the grandchildren made for lunch. And the expert carving of a lamb roast meant for 6-10 people (by the same son-in-law above) was stretched to give us all a roast dinner. Thank goodness for covered barbeques! The new one we'd bought for Christmas was worth it's weight in gold!
Now at last, after nearly a month of rain we are enjoying sunshine - be it with very hot, muggy weather...We've been fixing flood fences, retrieving cattle caught in the floods, bogging and freeing vehicles, enjoying seeing the rivers run like they did when we were kids, trying to undo all the bad habits in a young pup that had had a ball running wild for a week with all the children and generally trying to get life back to normal...hence the restarting of this blog.
Happy New Year to all. 2011 will certainly be a year to live in our memories if the first couple of weeks are anything to go by.