Between the Olympics and Donna Heldon's wedding, my heart and mind seems as much with my loved ones Down Under as with the "Yanks" here at home. (Australians consider all Americans - whether from Back Bay Boston or the back hills of the Appalachians - are Yanks.)
What do I love and miss the most about my home away from home? Of course, the people. They are so hospitable and as open as the Out Back. They are bold in what they say, no shrinking violets. There is a spirit about them that is hard to describe, friendly with an intentional edge. They have a special energy about them that is so real I could feel it.
I remember colors, all sorts of colors. From the stunning flowers to the exotic birds to the luscious fruits to the blue of sky and water. When I think of beautiful colors, I think of Rhonda Hall and the beautiful dresses she wore with their wonderful colors.
It is impossible to describe the glorious fruits I enjoyed on my stays,
especially my beloved mangoes. Oh, to enjoy a perfectly ripe, practically just-picked mango. We get them at the supermarkets now, but they are not the same, not by a long shot.
And the fish, so many wonderful types. My favorite fish of all time is
baramundi. What I would give for a bite of baramundi right now.
Then there is the water. I am a water baby, as my family knows, and it was heaven to be so close to the water. I drew strength just being so near.
Best of all, of course, were my friends and family. My times with Mike & Kerry and Scott & Karen are happy memories. I enjoyed getting to know Kerry's family, especially Bryan. Oh, yes, I like Bryan very much.
As for the people in our church society, I wanted to pack them up and take them home with me, especially dear Laurel Brettel.
I am on the other side of the world, but for the next few weeks, my heart will be in Australia, celebrating with the Heldons and whooping it up with the people cheering on the Olympians. Just writing this, I am smiling and so very happy.
A special "Good on ya, mate!" to Donna & Jason and her family - Grandma Lockhart