Sam and i were discussing the season yesterday as we sat having our morning tea. “What’s summer Mum?” Something on ‘PlaySchool’ had triggered the question i think. He knew about Winter and snow, but the rest of the seasons were a mystery to him. So we discussed Victorian seasons and then we talked about northern seasons. Here we have three… dry season – ahhhhh the cool! Sometimes we actually need to wear a jumper or have a doona on our beds! The build up – yuck! Where temperatures and humidity soar – making the most simple of tasks unpleasant to do in the perpetual layer of sweat that covers you. And the wet season, where days of precious rain break up the heat and sun. I think i have written previously about how different seasons evoke different lifestyles and patterns of behaviour, but this week I am noticing again the changes with the coming of the dry season.
What a precious gift the cooler winds have been in the last few days. It is interesting how just in a week you can begin to see the changes around you and within you!
There is less sweat! Most days up here you are sweaty all day everyday… It’s pretty gross. And if you do some thing physical, like Jason loading the plane with luggage, or for me cleaning or hanging out the laundry… then you literally drip with sweat. Some mornings when cleaning is on my to do list… i clean the house in my pjs, hoping for no visitors, then take a shower after I’m done. As the feeling of my matted sweaty hair, sticky arms and gluey eye lashes is just too much to endure for the whole day! Jason often looks like someone has thrown a bucket of water on him, but no, it’s just sweat!
The birds are back… crows which we haven’t seen here on Elcho Island yet have begun to appear… as have the slingshots in the hands of the young boys! I needed to shoo one group away from the neighbour’s yard yesterday as the rocks hitting our shed and house roof were making the dogs go nuts!
The sun is a little less powerful and the breezes are cooler. It is pleasant to be outside for most of the day. Jason proved this by pruning our front hedge this week, with a little assistance from Sam. The barrels were useful ladders. So in being outside more, the kids next door have begun playing with Sam more often. One day it was riding bikes on the road in front of the house, another day it was football in the front yard and yesterday Caleb joined us and the Purdeys as the boys played in the front yard. I fear he should’ve been at school, as he is a little older than Sam, but he was very intent on staying. Having kids playing with Sam means a chance to use some of our language skills which is great.
Beautiful butterflies and lots of dragonflies are around in our yard. Not that i could sneak up on them to get a photo unfortunately.
The town seems to be in a season of mourning at the moment with several deaths occurring recently. The echoes of clap sticks are heard at various points during the day and night. I was pondering the other day that if we lived in Melbourne still that Sam would most likely have no idea of what a funeral is, but because we live here it is a word he hears used very often, and in weeks like this one, almost daily. Huge crowds of people are seen accompanying the bodies of the departed to the clinic, airport or home – depending upon what stage of the funeral process it is. Last night, it seemed as though most of the town was part of the procession to the clinic. At the same time we were inside celebrating dinner with two engineers who had come to town to do some work, and celebrating one of their birthdays.
Meanwhile, in the pilot’s seat, Jason has been flying around, washing planes and wearing the Base Manager hat for the last few week while the Petts have been away on leave. We are so excited to have them back today, but Jason has mostly enjoyed his battles with rosters, accounts and fuel orders.
On Saturday, Kim had the house to herself as the boys went fishing! Jason has found a favorite fishing spot and came home with three fish. Sam helped! While the house was quiet i managed to get some radio scripts written for ‘Women of Hope’. In recent months, it has been great to get back into writing some scripts and editing some others. I love having the brain space to think and write again.
On Sunday, we were all ready for church. All dressed, bag packed (Yes you need a bag of supplies for a 3 year old in any church) and we were sitting outside in our yard waiting for the bell to ring or people to start arriving. But the bell never rang and no one appeared. Perhaps the funeral celebrations had cancelled church for the day, or perhaps it got moved to another location… we never found out! So we packed up the car, rang the Purdeys (the other MAF family here) and set off for the beach. Time for lunch, chatting for us ladies, fishing for the menfolk and lots of fun for the kids. It was so cute to see Sam and Jimmy (who is just a week younger than Sam) playing together. They went hunting for tigers in the trees, played “Octonauts” and pretended to fish like their Daddies. It does my Mummy heart good to see Sam playing and enjoying a friend so much.
Cameron came to visit us this week, Jason’s adoptive Yolgnu brother. He is back from his stay in Darwin and Gove and seems well. He was playing us some new worship songs he has written on his new keyboard. We’re hoping and praying he continues in good health.