Australian Living

While we patiently wait for a baby, we are still living life. Things like Uni are semi “on hold” (still doing assignments, but a bit behind in lectures) as we prepare for this baby. Other things are full steam ahead. Last week we bought a kitchen off eBay, a beautiful deep blue marbly benchtop, plenty of cupboards and lots of bench space, and all appliances included! I went to Toowoomba on Thursday to start dismantling it. If you’ve never dismantled a kitchen before, it’s quite an experience. Getting cupboards apart is the easy part, getting some of the cupboards out is not so easy, getting benchtops out is next to impossible when Pythagoras says it’s impossible. Luckily, the joins between benchtop sections are just “biscuit” and glue joins and are cleanly broken with a bit of patience. Most of the kitchen was dismantled on the Thursday, and then on Saturday we headed up with a few more people, the bus and a big car trailer to finish the removal and bring it all home. Finally the kitchen is removed, and has been taken down to the block to await assembly.

After unloading the kitchen, we headed down to the creek for a swim. This has been the most fun swimming we’ve had with Nathan yet! He absolutely loved it, swimming in his birthday suit, splashing everyone, throwing himself in. Then we found a rock which makes great body point, it’s probably Ochre or something similar. So we started painting Nathan with it, which he loved, and started doing himself. He even went as far as grabbing mud and splashing it on himself to make our little tribal warrior. We have some great photos and videos from it, which we’ll have to post sometime.

It was while I was down at the creek, taking photos of my family splashing around in the water, with the setting sun casting beautiful colours across the water, that I started to think about what traditional Aussie living must have been like. While it wouldn’t have been care free, it would have included beautiful moments like that, out off the beaten track, with kids playing surrounded by Australia’s beautiful features. Here was my family, starting a journey to “build our house” at the block, surrounded by natural beauty. So far, nothing about building our home has been easy, without power yet, we’ve been using brute force and battery powered tools to pull out the cupboards that are built-in to the barracks. Sara has spent many hours removing nails from the timber that we’ve pulled our, and sorting it for later reuse. We’ve spent lots of time cutting grass, trees and prickly bushes, clearing away to “rubbish” vegetation so we can eventually plant nice trees that are suitable around the house. We’ve battled an out of control grass fire that threatened the house. We’ve already lost 3 chooks to other occupants of the land. And it’s all been hard work, but real work, work that’s worth it. And we’ve enjoyed it so much.

And even with all this hard work, Australia continues to show what it is. Our neighbour has fixed up some of our fences for nothing, clearing along them, fixing the gate and stringing new wires. Yes, it’s so his cattle can keep using some of our property, but he didn’t just do a half ditched effort to just keep his cattle in, he did a proper job, spending a decent amount of his time and resources to ensure we had a good fence. The person we bought the kitchen off, gave us a laundry as well, which was another beautiful blue benchtop, a sink and cupboard. Many friends have helped with everything, from pulling out the kitchen, to unloading it, to mowing grass, to cutting down tree’s! Everywhere we turn, Australia is there to help us. Someone even just loaned us a generator so we can have power until electricity is finally connected!

I’m very excited about our eventual move out to the block, as being in that area, really feels like the good ol Aussie spirit that is missing from the city and even rural areas. People want to help, and do help. And nature is beautiful, and you can live! You can go swimming in the creek, light a fire and have billy tea. You can let your children swim in their birthday suits, all painted in beautiful earthy colours. You can stop and listen, and hear the sounds of nature instead of the cars driving past. You can look up at the night sky and see so many stars, so many more than many city people realise are visible! You can build a bush cubby as your secret hiding place. You can just live.

Having had such a good Saturday, we headed up to Toowoomba on Sunday morning for church, with worship music blasting in the car. Having had a break from youth, worship team, cleaning and the other 101 things we do at church, it felt good to be seeing our church family again, and to already be in the presence of God before we got there! And church just felt alive. Of course, life catches up and brings its stresses with it too. Now I’ve got the stress of 3 assignments, being behind on some of my lectures, and now not sure how our visit to Perth will look in June as my last exam happens to fall after the wedding, ick. So while we continue to wait for our newest family member to make an appearance, I’ll continue plodding through boring Uni, and keep working out how we can live a more relaxed lifestyle, a more traditional lifestyle with less stress, and more fun!

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